This 'The Crown' Season 1 Recap Will Help You Keep Track Of All The Intrigue Happening In Buckingham Palace

Ad failed to load

Politics can be so convoluted, even Claire Foy's Queen Elizabeth needs weekly briefings to keep abreast of the latest updates. So if you need a recap of The Crown Season 1 to clarify all the monarchical intrigue that happened during the first few years of Elizabeth's reign… well, there's no shame in that. Unfortunately, Winston Churchill himself isn't here to re-educate fans on the events of Season 1 — or John Lithgow, for that matter — so you're stuck with me.

When Season 1 of the Netflix series began, George VI (aka the subject of the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech) was still ruling England, young Elizabeth was but a monarch-in-training, and Churchill had just been re-elected Prime Minister, six years after his triumphant term during World War II had come to an end. The premiere began with Prince Philip Mountbatten of Greece and Denmark renouncing all royal titles so he could marry the heir apparent to the throne of England. But his marriage to Elizabeth would be far from a smooth one, as she would be thrust into her leadership position far sooner than either of them expected upon the untimely death of her father.

What else happened in Season 1's 10 episodes? Read on to refresh your memory.

Ad failed to load

Queen Elizabeth II

Alex Bailey/Netflix

After her father passed away due to complications arising from his lung cancer, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of House Windsor — now Queen Elizabeth II — found herself assuming the royal duties far earlier than expected. This put quite the strain on her personal relationships as she juggled the expectations of being a national figurehead with the responsibilities of being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and human being.

Ad failed to load

She clashed with her husband Philip over his last name and their place of residence; she clashed with her sister Margaret over her choice of husband; she clashed with her senior deputy Tommy Lascelles over her choice of successor; and she clashed with her prime minister Winston Churchill over matters of state. Essentially, no one in Elizabeth's life survived her transition to power unscathed, as the demands of the crown took precedence over any personal matters. Elizabeth was faced with that choice time and time again, and chose the crown every time.

Prince Philip

Alex Bailey/Netflix
Ad failed to load

After having their honeymoon/Commonwealth tour cut short due to King George's untimely death, Philip found himself quickly chafing at the role of royal consort. Feeling threatened and emasculated by his wife's power, he put up a fight wherever his manhood was concerned, including keeping his surname, his family home, and his stubborn refusal to kneel during Elizabeth's coronation. (He lost every one of those battles, much to his chagrin.)

Fortunately, Philip found some comfort in flying lessons with his sister-in-law's paramour, Group Captain Peter Townsend. Whenever he found himself getting too restless, his wife would find something to occupy his time, including putting him in charge of planning her coronation and, in the Season 1 finale, sending him off to be her representative at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.

Winston Churchill

Alex Bailey/Netflix
Ad failed to load

If you want an account of Churchill's tenure during WWII, check out the movie Darkest Hour, with Gary Oldman as the Prime Minister. Season 1 of The Crown picked up six years later, with the towering politician having been out of office for over half a decade, returning to Downing Street a much older man… and one perhaps past his prime. (Pun intended.)

While Churchill did his best to educate Elizabeth on the ways of the monarchy, he also dealt with his own tragedies, power struggles, and health issues — including the death of his secretary during the Great Smog of 1952, his opposition by ambitious members of his own party, and a debilitating stroke during a critical moment of international relations.

It wasn't until artist Graham Sutherland painted an unflattering but honest portrait of Churchill for his 80th birthday that the Prime Minister was forced to confront his own mortality. He retired from office and was succeeded by Anthony Eden… just in time for the new Prime Minister to get embroiled in a clash with Egyptian President Nasser over the Suez Canal.

Ad failed to load

Princess Margaret

Alex Bailey/Netflix

If Elizabeth was George's pride, then Margaret was his joy. Elizabeth's free-spirited younger sister refused to let her elder's responsibilities keep her from enjoying her own privileged life, whether that be hosting parties, giving improvised speeches, or pursuing the man of her dreams, Group Captain Townsend. After Margaret fell in love with the older divorcé, she learned to her chagrin that they wouldn't be allowed to marry until she turned 25, due to the Royal Marriages Act.

Ad failed to load

Upon Churchill's request, Elizabeth kept Margaret and Peter separated during their two-year engagement, hoping the flames of passion would die out on their own. When they didn't — and Elizabeth had no choice but to acquiesce to her sister's most desperate desire — both young women learned to their chagrin that the Royal Marriages Act had a second part that Lascelles had kept from them: that, even after she turned 25, Margaret's marriage would have to be approved by both houses of Parliament, after which she would still have to wait yet another year.

The Queen Mother

Alex Bailey/Netflix
Ad failed to load

While the royal sisters bickered, their mother (also named Elizabeth) found herself at a loss. Her husband was now dead, her daughter was now her ruler, her title was nothing more than an honorific, and her role in the monarchy was ambiguous at best, superfluous at worst. Struggling with depression, Elizabeth escaped to Scotland, where she bought a castle on a whim and cherished life outside of the spotlight for once.

Experienced in what the monarchy can do to a marriage, the Queen Mother had a keen eye for the tensions between her daughter and Philip. She clashed with Philip over his domineering parenting of young Prince Charles, and encouraged Queen Elizabeth to send her husband away to Australia to oversee the Olympics.

Edward, Duke Of Windosr

Alex Bailey/Netflix
Ad failed to load

One more member of the royal family came out of the woodwork after King George's death: his older brother Edward, who had been living in Paris since renouncing his kingship in order to marry divorcée Wallis Simpson, choosing love and his own personal life over duty and the crown. To Elizabeth, her uncle's is choice always remains an example of what not to do — even though her own father, and by extension herself, would never have ruled England if Edward hadn't abdicated.

Netflix on YouTube

What crazy hijinks will the royal family get up to next? Find out when Season 2 premieres — and Dexter star Michael C. Hall makes his debut as President John F. Kennedy — on Netflix this Friday, Dec. 8.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In March, So You Can Plan Your Next Marathon Now

Even though the groundhog saw his shadow — forecasting six more weeks of winter — a nice spring thaw is already on everyone's minds. Fortunately, Netflix has things squared away for March. Whether you're ready to cozy up in front of a fire or get you…
By Sophy Ziss

11 Thoughts That Mean You’re Not As Happy With Your Partner As You Might Think

Even if your current dating situation seems to be going well — you're hanging out, having fun, having sex, etc. — it's still possible that you might not be happy with your partner, and thus not truly happy in your relationship. This can be a gut feel…
By Carolyn Steber

25 Book Recommendations From Your Favorite TV Characters

Although the two may seem like natural enemies, the truth is, television and reading are a match made in bibliophile heaven. Not only are some of the best shows based on or inspired by literature, but whenever you turn on the tube you can be sure to …
By Sadie Trombetta

It Took Heather Graham YEARS To Make A Movie About Women Ditching Toxic Men. The Reason? Men.

They say you should write what you know. But in Hollywood, that age-old advice apparently needs an addendum: Write what you know — as long as men are into it. And for actor and newly minted director/screenwriter Heather Graham — a woman who swam thro…
By Kelsea Stahler

Bustle Editors On CPAC + 'Making A Murderer'

Adulthood is, essentially, just waiting until the weekend hits — which is why I know we're all glad it's finally Friday. Whether your plans are to catch up on all the Netflix content that'll be leaving the platform at the end of February, a weekend g…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

7 Signs Your Energy Is Closed Off To Love, According To A Psychic

Finding love requires more than just the actions of going on dates or setting up an online dating profile. It also requires opening yourself up to love and giving off the vibe that you're open. You may not even realize it if you're energetically bloc…
By Suzannah Weiss

Target Just Launched A Gorgeous New Home Brand — And Most Pieces Are Under $30

Design lovers rejoice! Everyone's favorite store for pretty much everything is about to make all your daring decorating dreams come true. Today, Target's corporate blog issued a press release that provides a peek into Target's new homeware line, Opal…
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

17 Brilliant Ways To Support Parkland Survivors Wherever You Are

Following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors are demanding Congress take action. A large group of students who survived the shooting are opposing politicians' "thoughts and prayers," arguing that inst…
By Sarah Beauchamp

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale