In episode 11 of Under the Queen’s Umbrella, the contest to select the next crown prince is drawing to a close and the queen aims to ensure the winner is selected through fair means and without outside influence. The episode is now streaming on Netflix.
The king sits down with the three finalists and gets their thoughts on the contest and asks them what issues they would like to bring up about the kingdom. Seongnam speaks about the corruption within the royal granaries which is hurting the poor.
The King adds that issue to the final evaluation and sends it to the scholars.
Meanwhile, the Queen sits patiently as there is heavy political manipulation among the officials within the palace to get information through to the scholars and sway their decisions in one particular direction.
While the scholars remained impartial, Seongnam was leading the scores but eventually, outside influences have their say and Bogeom and Uiseong catch up. Consort Tae and the queen dowager campaign for Bogeom while the state councillor and consort Hwang push Uiseong ahead.
The Queen stays out of it as she believes that if Uiseong and Bogeom tackle each other, it will only benefit Seongnam. The state councillor and Consort Hwang realize that they can’t succeed without the queen dowager’s support so they sit down with her to make their case.
The queen dowager had always planned for Uiseong to be the next crown prince and now that the time has arrived, she calls consort Tae and Bogeom and orders them to drop out of the competition.
She uses the leverage she has on consort Tae to make her comply and brings the competition down to two participants. With just Uiseong left, the odds are stacked in Seongnam’s favour and she decides to step in.
She enters the chamber with the scholars and tells the king that she is certain she will find evidence of misconduct and the king gives her permission to find it.
She faces the scholars and picks out some of the notes that have been passed to them. She then gives them a speech about loyalty and integrity and tells them that they will not face any consequences as long as they remain impartial after which she burns the notes she found.
The scholars also have a change of heart following the speech and burn the notes they were given. They continue to evaluate Seongnam and Uiseong but this time they do it without bias.
The queen turns her attention to consort Tae, punishing her for her discretion. She demotes Tae to a court lady and makes her do a lot of physical labour to tire her out. She used this as a way for consort Tae to clear her mind and make better decisions in the future.
She also has a conversation with Bogeom to comfort him after he was forced to drop out of the race and gets another ally on her side.
The scholars make their decision but before the king can read it out, the state councillor brings up the matter of Seongnam’s parentage so the king, queen and Seongnam agree to do a test to make sure.
Consort Hwang and her father have a plan in place to sabotage the water in which the blood test is taking place and the queen disproves the result by having consort Hwang and the state councillor tested as well.
She then invites the queen dowager and some of the other princes to have another test take place. She mentions a distinctive feature in the ear of the king that has been passed down to his sons and has the queen dowager confirm that the princes have it, proving Seongnam’s parentage.
She then says that Seongnam was accused of being conceived at an immoral time following the former king’s death which is why he had to live outside the palace but the queen says that she was already pregnant with him by then and wrongly accused.
Seongnam is chosen as the next crown prince but councillor Hwang and his family are not done yet and are confident that they’ll be able to get rid of him before he ascends the throne.
- This is yet another episode where the Queen shines as a character. Her intelligence and humility in dealing with situations are so well thought out and inspiring. She comes across as a benevolent queen who has the wits to stand up for herself when required.
- The scientific advances of the region within that era are also something to admire as it is depicted that they knew how to test a person’s parentage using blood which is extremely impressive.
- The first half of the episode moves by in a rush as moves are being made to manipulate the scholars of the contest. This episode can be split into two distinct halves with considerably different pacing.
Under the Queen's Umbrella season 1 episode 11
Director: Kim Hyung-sik
Date Created: 2022-11-19 19:00