“Under The Queen’s Umbrella” is a 2022 Korean historical drama streaming on Netflix. The series is written by Park Ba Ra and directed by Kim Hyung Sik, with Kim Hye Soo, Kim Hae Sook, and Choi Won Young starring in the leading roles.
Why Does Queen Im Visit Queen Yoon?
The queen of Joseon, Im Hwa Ryeong, is unlike the typical image of a queen. She is fierce, but her sons are not. Her first son is the crown prince, who is married and has a son. He is the only prince who studies in Seongnam, while others study in Jeonhak. All the other sons of the queen are called Grand Princes, and they are nowhere close to their eldest brother in personality. The queen has to wake some of them up to attend their class because the King himself is going to be present there.
The queen brings her laziest grand prince to the class, only to find out that grand prince Seongnam has not arrived yet. The class fills up with all the princes, who are sons of the King’s six concubines. The King starts asking them questions, and the smartest princes answer the questions in order to impress the King. Seongnam arrives in the middle of the lesson and catches the queen dowager’s attention.
The queen was scared of the queen dowager, and as she feared, she got scolded by the queen dowager for the grand princes’ immature behavior. However, this time the queen talks back to the queen dowager because she has heard enough. Elsewhere, the grand princes pick a fight with prince Uilseong, the son of the first concubine. Prince Uilseong had talked rudely to the queen, and his sons couldn’t hold back their anger.
The queen dowager punishes the grand princes and calls for the queen, but the queen is busy somewhere else. The crown prince has collapsed, and the queen has just found out that he has the hereditary disease of blood deficiency. The previous crown prince had died of the same disease. The queen cannot let this news go out and needs to inform the King. However, the King is busy at night with his new concubine.
The queen meets the queen dowager late at night, and their conversation doesn’t go well. The Queen Dowager not only tells her about the grand princes’ punishment but also that the King has decided to hold a test to make one of the princes the crown prince’s cohort. A cohort is someone who stays with the crown prince like a shadow. However, the queen senses that the queen dowager has an ulterior motive.
The queen dowager has sent the royal physician to another town all of a sudden, and now, the cohort test. The queen dowager was just a concubine, but she made her son the King after the crown prince passed away. Only the previous queen, Yoon, knows what happened at that time. The King has abandoned the old queen, and it is treason if anyone in the kingdom talks with her. Nevertheless, the new queen meets the old queen because she fears that her son will face the same fate as the old queen’s sons.
Who Makes Seong Nam Submit His Name For The Competition?
The previous queen, Yoon, was not interested in talking with Queen Im, but when Queen Im told her about what was going on in the palace, she started talking. In the past, Queen Yoon’s crown prince did not die of any disease; as everyone knows, he was cured. Queen Yoon accuses the queen dowager and the King of murdering the crown prince.
If Queen Im wants to protect her children, she needs to act fast and control the situation, something that Queen Yoon couldn’t do. After the crown prince died, Queen Yoon’s other sons were killed one by one, except for one. Queen Im understands the depth of the situation and decides to act first and think later.
The queen gathers all of the grand princes, but instead of forcing them, she tries to convince them to partake in the cohort exam. The grand princes joke around and discuss getting married and leaving the palace instead. However, only Grand Prince Gye Seong volunteers to participate. The queen meets the prince’s master, and he tells her that none of the grand princes is capable enough to become a cohort. Moreover, he tells the queen a rumor about grand prince Gye Seong.
The queen didn’t believe the master and followed prince Gye Seong, only to find out that the rumor was indeed true. She wants to cry out loud but cannot because she is a queen. She needs to keep this a secret from others, or the prince will be doomed. While the queen is still trying to convince her sons to participate in the test, other concubines have started preparing their sons for the exam. The queen dowager has sent them a book of secret practices each to get them on her side.
The crown prince calls on Seongnam to visit him, and they reminisce about their childhood memories. Seong Nam is the second oldest of the grand princes and has been close to the crown prince since he was a child. The crown prince asks Seong Nam to take care of his son, and Seong Nam finds it odd as if the crown prince is going somewhere. The crown prince asks Seong Nam to become his cohort, and Seong Nam submits his name at the last hour.
Under The Queen’s Umbrella: Episode 2 – Ending
Surprisingly, all the other grand princes have also submitted their names, and the queen is amazed. She reads all the books overnight and annotates them for the grand princes. The concubines have secretly invited scholars or have bribed the examiners, but the queen does not resort to those unfair ways. She hands the notes to the princes, and Seong Nam opposes the forced study. However, the queen says to him that there is something that she cannot tell him now. On the day of the exam, the atmosphere is tense in Jeonhak, and the consorts and their sons are hurrying inside. However, one of the concubines doubts that the queen has employed a tutor for her most capable son, Gye Seong. She follows him and gets shocked to see what he’s doing. Gye Seong has dressed up as a woman and has put on makeup. “Under The Queen’s Umbrella” starts with powerful female characters and some sequences that break the stereotypes. Set in the Joseon era, the series carries dark humor and some mystery.