This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 1 contains spoilers.
With a massive set and a lot of stuff, Under the queen’s umbrella had an undeniably frenetic start. Seemingly centered on the drama of who may or may not be able to ascend the throne if the crown prince dies, it’s a show with a lot at stake, and this character-driven first installment did some good. work to raise them. while making us discover the different personalities of the palace. At the end of the episode, everything had a good rhythm, so hopefully things will continue to improve from now on.
Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 1 recap
After seeing an angry Queen Hwa-ryeong (played by Kim Hye-soo) interrupt a romance, we witness Queen Dowager Cho (played by Chaerin) receive a visit from the Crown Prince and the Princess. As this trio enjoys a hearty conversation about living a long and prosperous life, King Lee Ho is busy trying to make a decision on what to do with those residing in Seochon, from where originated the plague. Eventually, to the disappointment of some of his men, the choice is made to establish a temporary aid station near the huts, and to deliver only food to the people of Seochon, preventing any close contact. In addition, security will be reinforced so that those quarantined can remain checked.
As Prince Seongnam is shown on horseback, Grand Prince Gyeseong calmly arrives at the back of the line for his lessons at Jonghak (described as an educational institute for princes and those of royal descent), and Prince Uiseong is transported to school alongside First Junior Wife Hwang. The final two discuss a “missing” arithmetic tutor who will be replaced (a later scene shows Uiseong to be extremely intelligent, hence the high standards here), while Prince Simso follows the First Junior Consort Ko and Prince Yeongmin moves. accompanied by second senior consort Kim. After a few more introductions to the royals studying today, the scene ends.
However, there is a problem. Not all of the princes gathered at Jonghak before the arrival of the king and queen dowager, causing Hwa-ryeong to rush those who remained to avoid being “doomed”. Fortunately, Ilyoung arrives just in time, but Prince Seongnam is still nowhere to be found. So when the queen gets a chance to sit down, she looks rather disappointed. Elsewhere, the crown prince is schooled at Sigangwon, a place of education that is exclusive to him.
In Sigangwon, the crown prince recites passages on the importance of a good ruler who does not err, while the princes of Jonghak are asked about the duties of a wise man, and are encouraged to “break free” from their studies so that they can “develop the ability to come up with new ideas. Nevertheless, some awkwardness arises in the middle of the king’s lesson to the young royals, with Grand Prince Seongnam coming quite close to his climax. Later, the Dowager Queen asks Consort Hwang to have tea with her, before warning Hwa-ryeong of the grand princes, whom she “hates” due to the concern they bring to the king and because they don’t set a good example. .
In response, Hwa-ryeong assures Cho that she needn’t worry, as the crown prince is properly educated to become king in Sigangwon. However, the Queen Dowager is unconvinced, wondering how much someone who reaches royalty can catch up with those who are not on her level. Then, with a word about her burdened responsibilities, the Queen leaves, frustrated, though somewhat liberated by the thought of being able to stop harassing her sons now that she has no favor with Cho. So, Hwa-ryeong decides to postpone preparations for the banquet, instead wanting to visit Sigangwon, where she hears about her son’s success in his “exceptional” test. Meanwhile, Uiseong is beaten for insulting the Queen, until the Queen Dowager intervenes.
While the Queen is happily reassured that the Grand Princes are more thoughtful than currently believed, something shocking happens. Suddenly, the Crown Prince collapses, requiring immediate medical attention. Meanwhile, a furious queen dowager berates the grand princes for what they did in Uiseong, going so far as to force them all to kneel for a long time despite the harsh weather conditions.
While tending to the ailing Crown Prince, the Queen receives a request to meet Cho at her quarters. Elsewhere, Uiseong is beaten by Consort Hwang, reprimanded for the negative words he spoke against Hwa-ryeong (the smart royal thinks he should be the crown prince and his queen consort). “Criticism only rings hollow if one wins his right,” Hwang responds to the grievances she hears, wanting Uiseong to outdo the crown prince first, then seek to take his position.
That night, Hwa-ryeong is informed that her son’s illness might be hyeolheogwol (a disease caused by blood deficiency and fatigue that leads to collapse), which puzzles the queen, she has not been informed earlier of the symptoms the crown prince had exhibited. for about a year. Sadder still, someone else had already died from this seemingly inherited condition (Crown Prince Taein), but this seems to signal a ray of hope for a potential treatment, as doctor Cho Guk-yeong may remember what has been done in the past. For now though, the Crown Prince’s health status is to remain under wraps.
After considering whether to inform the king of the Crown Prince’s condition, Hwa-ryeong ends up retreating anyway when she sees His Majesty has another visitor. Afterwards, the Queen is met outside by the Queen Dowager, with the two briefly discussing the punishments endured by the Grand Princes for their attack on Uiseong. Departing, Cho takes a quick note to check the Crown Prince’s location.
After the grand princes are spared from suffering their full punishment, Hwa-ryeong returns to the crown prince, holding his hand as he remains in his home. Then we move on to the next day, where all the young royals rush to Jonghak to find out more about the relationships. With a fairly candid lesson to teach “wise and disciplined” sex, it’s fascinating, not least because everyone in the room is engrossed in learning how often they should have sex and positions. which could be used. Elsewhere, Queen Dowager Cho questions the King about sending Kim Ja-hong and her son to China, which left a significant vacancy to be filled by one of Jonghak’s princes.
As a new Lady of the Special Court is appointed, sparking gossip about Her Majesty’s taste in women, an announcement is made about plans to give the Jonghak princes a chance to become the Crown Prince’s cohort. Hwa-ryeong asks the concubines to stay calm during this time of evaluation, but it’s clear there’s some level of anticipation. At the same time, younger members of the royal family are told of the opportunity, leaving Uiseong seeming bitterly determined for this “unprecedented” chance to rise through the ranks (usually such a role is reserved for court officials or royal children). However, her mother, Consort Hwang, is much more shy, vocally thinking of her concubines that it’s impossible to tell whether this is “opportunity or trap.”
Continuing on, the concubines soon end up crossing paths trying to determine if the queen dowager had any “secret methods” to make her son king despite his initially low ranking, though it was a generally unsuccessful endeavour. Even cheerful consort Tae, who manages to have a conversation with Cho, is unable to draw any immediate advice and finds herself forced to make an offer if she wants to get her hands on a book with all the necessary information. for royalty.
When he hears about the current unavailability of royal physician Guk-yeong, Hwa-ryeong rushes to allay the king’s concerns about his son’s medical condition and instead shifts the topic to why. which a cohort is selected from among the princes. Hearing that it was Queen Dowager Cho’s idea, the Queen seems curious about the situation, especially since the elder also played a role in keeping the doctor away from the palace. To make matters worse, Hwa-ryeong is soon informed of Consort Tae’s newly possessed book containing the secrets of raising a king, sparking new suspicions.
In due time, things become more uncomfortable for the queen. Forced to confront the dowager Cho at the bedside of the ailing crown prince, she speaks with the hyeolheogwol elder, the death he could cause, and the lack of skill one of the grand princes possesses if a new heir to the throne was needed. Naturally, Hwa-ryeong is annoyed by this, frustrated that the Dowager Queen is more concerned with the royal court than her grandson. Here it is bluntly revealed by Cho that she believes the Crown Prince is the Queen’s only worth, before heavy implications are made about plans that may be in the works that would see someone else placed in a position high enough to prevent any of the Grand Princes Ascending.
Fearing the Queen Dowager, Hwa-ryeong turns to longtime servant Lady Shin for definitive answers about what happened to the late Crown Prince Taein and his mother, deposed Queen Yoon. As we hear, it’s a kept secret between Cho and Yoon, with the only revelation being a subtle statement that the former would do anything for Her Majesty, who managed to achieve royalty despite the fact that he or the son of a concubine. With tears in her eyes, the Queen holds the Crown Prince’s hands as he lies unconscious.
Meanwhile, the Queen Dowager sits comfortably in thought, wanting Consort Hwang to be interested in setting her son up for the cohort role. That, and the eldest reveals her plans to give her advice book to all mothers of “promising princes.” However, she wants the gifts to remain discreet, so that no information is shared, “and that they swear loyalty to me and obey me”. Again, this seems to cement the cynical plans Cho has up his sleeve.
In the pouring rain, Hwa-ryeong heads for the fallen queen, who resents this unexpected visit. Wanting her questions answered urgently, the Queen is desperate, even when told she may face a treason charge just for being seen with the former royal. “I mustered up the courage to hold on, but I don’t know how to protect the things I have,” Hwa-ryeong says, before dropping to her knees to ask the fallen queen what she would do if the time was going back, admitting that she is facing the same situation as Yoon.
“From one desperate mother to another, don’t you have any advice for me?” is the question posed that finally opens the door for Yoon to consider sharing the secret of what happened between her and Cho. With Hwa-ryeong firmly stating her request to receive the information withheld in the interest of protecting her own life, the episode ends.
What did you think of Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 1? Comments below.
- Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 2 recap (will be uploaded once aired).
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