Before shows like ‘The Crown’ gave us a peek into the lives of the royals, commoners would wonder about the lives the monarchs lived. Even now, as we watch the show, we wonder about its accuracy, how close it comes to capturing the truth around its subject matter, and what secrets does it refuse to divulge to the audiences. Such curiosity has led several people to try and break into the royal grounds.
However, none has caused as much of a ruckus as Mike Fagan did by ending up inside the Queen’s bedchamber in the early hours of a summer morning. This episode of the show focuses on this particular incident. Here’s what it means. If you haven’t caught up with the show yet, head over to Netflix. SPOILERS AHEAD
The Crown Season 4 Episode 5 Recap
The year is 1982, and the country is going through a difficult time. Unemployment rates have skyrocketed, and the Thatcher government seems to be doing nothing about it. They are too invested in the war going on in the Falkland Islands to see what is happening with the people in their country. One of these people is Michael Fagan. The brunt of joblessness has hit him extremely hard. He has not only lost his steady source of income but has also lost his wife and children as a result. Fagan lives alone in a flat under his wife’s name, due to which he can’t get any repair work done in it.
Until he does that, he can’t get to see his children regularly. To discuss his problem, and that of the nation as a whole, Fagan approaches his MP, but like any other interaction with bureaucracy, he is not acknowledged as someone worth listening to. In the end, the only viable option for Fagan is to speak to someone powerful enough to bring about the change in the country that can better his life as well as that of every other citizen. Fagan needs to speak to the Queen, and he finds a very unusual way to go about it.
The Crown Season 4 Episode 5 Ending
One night, Fagan finds himself lurking outside the Buckingham Palace on a whim. He finds it surprisingly easy to break into the grounds and creep inside the Palace. He spends some time lurking in the hallways, making himself comfortable on the throne, and drinking some wine. Eventually, Fagan is spotted by a woman, and before she can alert the authorities, he runs away. The Queen is notified of the intrusion and is considered lucky to have not been present in the Palace that night.
The Queen had been staying at Windsor. Despite her staff’s concerns, she decides not to further this incident to the Prime Minister, worrying that they would turn the Palace into more of a prison than it already is. A month later, the Falklands war comes to an end, and the Queen returns to the Palace. A difficult encounter with his family and his wife’s boyfriend leads Michael to lose any claim over his children. With no reprieve in sight about any trouble in his life, he decides to do exactly what his MP had suggested to him.
Once again, he breaks into the Palace, this time, knowing his way around, and makes his way to the Queen’s chambers. Finding a strange man in her room alarms the Queen, but despite her attempts to call for help, no one arrives. Upon realizing that Fagan is not an immediate threat, she acts calmly and talks to him about the reason he broke into the Palace. Fagan tells her about the state of the country and how Thatcher is making it all the worse for people like him.
Eventually, the maid arrives, and the guard is alerted of Fagan’s presence. Later, in a meeting with Thatcher, the Queen demands her to do something about the failing economy that is driving people to madness and the extremes such as seeking out the Queen to speak about their problems. On the other hand, the PM dismisses her concerns and basks in the glory of having won a war.
Where is Michael Fagan now?
As the conversation between the Queen and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher indicates, Fagan was arrested for his deed but did not get to serve time in prison. Instead, he was in a psychiatric hospital for a while. He was charged with the theft of a wine bottle but not with trespassing because, until 2007, his act was considered not a criminal but a civil offense. In addition to that, making the Queen appear in court for testimony was not considered an acceptable act. After his stint and the repercussions that followed, Fagan found some more trouble in his life.
He was once arrested for attacking a police officer, once found guilty of indecent exposure, and once imprisoned, some years later, in a drug-related case. He also recorded a version of the Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen. As to why he broke into the Palace, Fagan says that he has no idea and that he was very terrified and surprised at the idea of having somehow landed himself in the Queen’s quarters. “I didn’t know why I was there. But she’s a human being like anyone else. She’s not accessible, just once a year at Christmas talking about the Commonwealth doesn’t mean much to most people,” he said in an interview with Islington Gazette.
Whatever the media and everyone else said about his act, he claims that he never meant to do any harm to the Queen. “I have got a lot of respect for the Queen and the monarchy because it makes money for the national purse. I never had any malicious intentions,” he said. Now 70-years-old, Fagan says that he was not approached by Netflix to consult the story. While Tom Brooke plays the role in the television series, Fagan sees Al Pacino as his screen-version. 2020 proved to be a difficult year for him as he not only survived coronavirus but also a heart attack, which led him to spend three weeks in the hospital.