Forbidden love: The Crown Review

The Crown, as you know, is about the Royals, about the reign of the dazzling Queen Elizabeth as the main character, but perhaps what stole the show was the short-lived love affair between Margaret and Peter Townsend.

These star-crossed lovers got me a couple of times, with their subplot pulling at my heartstrings, I couldn’t help feeling indignant towards them.

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Their proposal for marriage faced strong objection not only from the state but also from the government body. As the church of England, royals like Margaret aren’t supposed to marry divorced persons like Peter. After waiting it out for 2 years with the hope that they’ll finally be able to marry, but that was not to be. These two are finally reunited; but they soon find themselves separated again, and this time, for good.

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I am no stranger to the concept of forbidden love. Perhaps I know the feeling that it comes like the dagger straight to my heart, that as a Christian, it is both against my parents’ wishes and God’s wishes to marry a non-Christian, someone outside the faith. You may think I’m silly, that in this modern age, nobody clings onto traditional values like this, but I don’t have a choice because my relationship with God is important to me as well.

I think the negotiation in today’s post does not lie in whether a Christian can marry outside the faith or not; but let’s assume we cannot, then the negotiation lies in divided loyalties, the party to blame. Should we be angry at God for prohibiting our relationship? Our parents? Myself? And sometimes it hurts because there is no one to blame at all.

Perhaps that is why when the time came for Margaret to choose, with great agony, between the call of duty and love; that I felt great pain for her—marrying a divorced person at that time was against the Holy Scriptures, the church of England didn’t allow it; and no matter how we matter dismiss these values today, they stand in face of their unique situation.

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Despite his record as a courageous fighter ace, [Townsend] was gentle, sensitive, and intuitive, qualities that appealed to the vulnerable core hidden beneath Margaret’s willful, confident exterior. When Townsend accompanied the royal family on a tour of South Africa in 1947, the two were in each other’s company every day. “We rode together every morning in that wonderful country, in marvelous weather,” the Princess told a confidante. “That’s when I really fell in love with him.”

For once, I know how it is to love that kind of man. That kind of man that seems more passive, quiet and probably duller than me but really…is the one silently supporting me from behind, is really the one shining, the one to hold me together. Gentle, sensitive, intuitive. The one that complements my fire, that wild spirit inside; the one who can tame it, nurture it, shape it without being burned himself. Rather decent and old-fashioned. “Easy qualities to mock,” Margaret says. “Easy to miss, too.”

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“I won’t let them send you away. I won’t.”

“Even though both Townsend and Margaret went on to marry others—with Margaret’s marriage to photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones ending in its own scandalous divorce—Townsend was always considered to be the great love of Princess Margaret’s life.”

Perhaps we only fall in love once, and that happened when we least expect it, or that one romance early in life that was everything. Then as we grow older we just find people who fulfil our ‘checklists’…financial security, tick. Appropriate age gap, tick. Preferred race, tick. Similar values, a similar religion, tick. Royals have to marry royals. Easier to live together this way. A safe route.

But if you have a checklist is that really love?

I always believe love is just…unexplainable. It just happens, you just love a person, you don’t know why. If you say, “well, he’s so cute,” or “well, he’s just the sweetest being ever, so responsible and romantic,” then perhaps you’re in love with his qualities, qualities that fulfil your requirement in a lover. Of course, that’s not to say we shouldn’t appreciate or look out for these qualities, but if these qualities become the reason you love someone, then…chances are you’re letting it define your relationship, and when that crumbles, your marriage would crumble, too.

Loving has no explanation. It is loving the person, embracing their flaws (unless they assault you or whatever then please go to the police la) HAHHAA.

Maybe there is such a fine line between requirements and real love, that we don’t know what’s the difference anymore. All I know is I felt strongly, that Margaret’s great love is Peter Townsend, that one love that we will never forget no matter what, that one precious love early in your teens that if it has worked out for you, you know you’re the lucky ones.

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