The Crown season 3 episode 3 recap, explained: Aberfan

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix /

Show Snob brings you a recap and explanation of the third installment from season three of the acclaimed Netflix show, The Crown.

Episode three begins with a look at life in 1966 for the Welsh mining village of Aberfan; families happily go about their business. Until a terrible disaster strikes when a collapse causes 144 deaths. We see prime minister Harold Wilson’s shocked reaction.

Yet, when the Queen is advised to attend the scene, she replies that she only attends the opening of hospitals and the like. Underestimating the public mood drastically; Wilson doesn’t make the same mistake.

The prime minister arrives at the scene of devastation on foot because roads are blocked with potential rescuers; this is a keen insight into his compassion. At a press conference, he guarantees a meticulous inquiry.

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Next Wilson is informed by locals that the dangerousness of the pits was ignored by politicians. He feels the strain – as do other leaders as well as their families – of the severe incident.

Again the Queen refuses to go to ground zero of the accident, due to her not wanting to be an unnecessary distraction. She informs Wilson that the Crown does not put on a show; he counters it will be comfort. Although her Majesty is unmoved.

Meanwhile, Princess Margaret apprises the Queen of the awful reality of the village’s problems. Her husband, Lord Snowdon, a photographer by trade, went to ground zero of the catastrophe. Snowdon was said to be affected dramatically by the tragedy.

Responsibility is not taken by any officials, much to the annoyance of the residents. Additionally, the National Coal Board deflect blame; it is suggested to Wilson that he do the same. Unfortunately, he is unable to encourage the Queen to attend; though Prince Philip is apparently en route to the area.

Funerals of the departed begin to take place six days after the tragic event; the aforementioned royal is in attendance. Upon returning to his wife, Philip says that it was an almost unbearable but touching moment at the gravesite.

We learn that the government intends to distance itself from culpability, along with making the monarchy look unconcerned by the disasters. Consequently, the Queen decides to go to Aberfan immediately. Shedding a tear after meeting the bereaved; however, she later admits it was a dry eye and done for effect.

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Subsequent to her visit, the Queen orders for Wilson to rendezvous with her then lambastes him for perceived treachery. In deflection, he blames his colleagues. Explaining her feelings, the Queen says she struggles to feel emotion or cry. His admission, in turn, is a facade during the election campaign; adding that the Queen does an excellent job.

While listening to a hymn sung at the burials in Wales, the Queen cries at the end of this episode of The Crown.