Imelda Marcos gets roasted in ‘The Crown’

Over the weekend, Netflix’ period drama “The Crown” namedropped Imelda Marcos, wife of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and irl villain notorious for her 3,000-shoe collection.

The much-talked-about mention came from Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister Princess Margaret (played by versatile acting queen Helena Bonham Carter) as she recounted her visit to Manila in the third episode of “The Crown” ‘s season 4. 

“So there we are, in Manila, in the middle of a state banquet, when who barges into the room? None other than Imelda Marcos,” the princess said in a room full of royals. “She makes a beeline straight for me, saying she’s desperate to show me her…wait for it…”

“Shoe collection,” Princess Anne added, but the Queen’s sister corrected her and said “shell collection,” which seems to be a roast of the former first lady’s accent, causing the others to chuckle. Princess Margaret stressed that it was indeed a “seashell collection” to the other members of the royal family, among them Prince Philip who questioned whether she understood Imelda correctly. After she was interrupted by the entrance of Lady Diana Spencer, the princess then proceeded to share, in a Filipino accent, how the former first family flexed their wealth.

Season 4 of “The Crown” dropped on the streaming platform on Nov. 15, and it didn’t take long for local Twitter to make that clip about the Imelda anecdote go viral. The striking scene was based on a real-life meetup when Princess Margaret represented the Queen in a state visit in Manila in 1980. While we still have to confirm if Imelda really did “make a beeline” to share her shell (or shoe) collection with the princess, netizens have since been over the top at how the series illustrated the former first family’s ill-gotten wealth and unnecessary extravagance.  

Imelda Marcos was convicted of seven counts of graft in 2018 by a Philippine court for funneling $200,000 to Switzerland when she was governor of Manila in 1970. Meanwhile, the Marcos family has been accused of stashing in overseas accounts billions of dollars in hidden wealth. 

While some are celebrating the fictional royals’ jabs at the former first lady just for shits and giggles, they aren’t exactly in the clear either. Some people brought up the British royals’ controversial leadership in real life and pointed out how the scene portrayed their racism for poking at Imelda’s accent instead of the Marcos regime’s fascism.

We previously wrote about how the British monarchy is full of outdated and unnecessary rules while having an alleged racial bias problem too. A lot of our political rage against the Marcoses may resonate with this one specific scene, but let’s not forget that this is a fictionalized historical drama and that we shouldn’t be quick to praise those royals that easily.


Art by Dana Calvo

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