Shell or Shoe? Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ makes fun of Imelda Marcos

Helena Bonham-Carter and Imelda Marcos. Photos: The Crown/IG; Wikipedia
Helena Bonham-Carter and Imelda Marcos. Photos: The Crown/IG; Wikipedia

Oooh, look who’s having a moment in the spotlight!

Former first lady Imelda Marcos was mentioned in the third episode of the fourth season of the Netflix drama The Crown, which is based on the British royal family’s lives.

In the episode, Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham-Carter) talks to her family about when she met Imelda during a visit to the Philippines.

“In Manila, in the middle of a state banquet, who barges into the room? None other than Imelda Marcos,” Margaret said with a cigarette in one hand.

“She makes a beeline, straight for me, saying she’s desperate to show me her… wait for it,” Margaret said.

“Shoe collection,” interjected Princess Anne (Erin Doherty).

“Mhm. Shell collection,” Margaret corrected.

An amused Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies) asked, “Are you sure? She was probably trying to say ‘shoe,’ and you misunderstood her.”

“Did she have something in her teeth?” Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Coleman) joked.

“No, I can assure you, it was seashells,” Margaret replied.

Twitter user @dl02__ said it was the characters’ way of making fun of Imelda’s fake English accent. Meanwhile, @halfmanananggal said, “To be fair, one old rich family with an unfair accumulation of wealth making fun of another is the kind of irony I cannot [take]. But on the meta-level, the Crown making a point. Yes, Imelda Marcos is a joke and a blight; all forms of dynasties often are.”

User @missprecybeth said that the joke “made” her night. “It’s what she deserves,” she said.

“This is the best thing I’ve seen on DAYS. The only thing that can make Filipinos happy in these dire times is The Crown dissing Imelda Marcos. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART @netflix,” wrote @baldsooperiorrr.

The controversial former first lady was convicted of graft in 2018 but is out on bail. She and her husband, former President Ferdinand Marcos, were found to have stolen millions of dollars during his reign, which was also marked with numerous human rights violations. According to the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the Marcos family’s ill-gotten wealth is estimated at US$10 billion, but only US$3.1 billion has been recovered in 30 years. According to reports, at least 3,257 people were reportedly killed, and some 35,000 others were tortured when the Philippines was under Ferdinand’s rule.

The Marcoses are known allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, who said in 2018 that Imelda’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., is his worthy successor.  

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