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Shea, who had dementia, is survived by his wife and two daughters. You soon will when you see the fourth season of The Crown.. Every season of The Crown has depicted a number of press scandals for the British royal household, from allegations Who Was Michael Shea, Queen Elizabeth's Press Secretary? He dealt with the press during the courtship For communicators, his short appearance in the show is probably familiar and a bit painful. Some backstory: Serving as the queen’s press secretary between the years of 1978 to 1987, Shea helped the palace through scandals for years and did an excellent job by today’s standards. The Crown season 4, episode 8, “48:1,” introduces Michael Shea, who played an important role in the public life of the royal family, particularly Queen Elizabeth II. But it also features a less famous yet no less key historical figure: Michael Shea, played by Nicholas Farrell. The Queen feels she and the UK have egg on their faces, in a way that tarnishes their reputation in front of the rest of the Commonwealth, so she asks Michael Shea — her press secretary — to leak a statement to the press indicating that the Queen is deeply unhappy with Thatcher and her actions and basically everything about her. Here's what actually happened when the Thatcher vs. Queen Elizabeth scandal broke. Shea, who had dementia, is survived by his wife and two daughters. From royal sidekick to shameful exile: did The Crown’s Michael Shea really betray the Queen? As The Guardian explained in its obituary of Shea, who died in 2009, the then-press secretary admitted to speaking with a Sunday Times reporter but denied being the source who outed the queen’s political leanings. The majority were political thrillers, under both his own name and also the pseudonym Michael Sinclair. Nicholas Farrell plays Michael Shea. In 1986, an article was published in The Sunday Times claiming that the Queen was "unhappy" with how Thatcher was running the government - with Michael becoming the number one suspect as the source of the story. But even in such limited time, his writing aspirations are touched upon more than once Remember Michael Shea, the Queen’s press secretary between 1978 and 1987? Every season of The Crown has depicted a number of press scandals for the British royal household, from allegations Who Was Michael Shea, Queen Elizabeth's Press Secretary? In his obituary (printed by The Guardian) he was known to be “smooth and urbane.” Michael died in 2009 of early-onset dementia. We see the Queen and trusted Private Secretary Sir Martin Charteris instructing her Press Secretary, the former diplomat Michael Shea, to brief a newspaper that Her … It was officially revealed that the Buckingham Palace Press secretary, Michael Shea was the source. It's likely Shea had his eye on the door for several months before the Sunday Times scandal. Until the age of 14 Shea attended Lenzie Academy, where his mother was a teacher. [10], http://cadensa.bl.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/gR0fld7fWI/WORKS-FILE/11570052/123, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Michael_Shea_(diplomat)&oldid=995580005, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using infobox military person with embed, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 20:45. What books did Michael Shea write? As The Guardian explained in its obituary of Shea, who died in 2009, the then-press secretary admitted to speaking with a Sunday Times reporter but denied being the source who outed the queen’s political leanings. The Crown shows the Queen’s press secretary trapped in a fight between Her … Although The Crown makes it look as though Shea was the obvious culprit for the palace leak, the actual events were less cut-and-dry. He died at age 71 in 2009. "The Crown" shows how that article allegedly came to fruition: Michael Shea (Nicholas Farrell), the queen's press secretary, is depicted telling a reporter that Thatcher's aggressive austerity policies and inaction on apartheid dismayed the queen. The couple had two daughters. Who was Michael Shea? He entered the Foreign Service in 1963 and served in Ghana, West Germany, Romania and New York. But in 1986, the Sunday Times ran an article claiming the Queen found Thatcher’s approach to be “uncaring, confrontational and socially divisive,” per royal press secretary Michael Shea. It’s also possible (if not likely) that Shea was “sympathetically interpreting” the queen’s views to align with his own ideologies, rather than conveying the queen’s direct order. Michael Shea began off his profession as a diplomat and went on to turn out to be Queen Elizabeth’s press secretary again in 1978. Michael Tollman, Group CEO of Cullinan Holdings Ltd, said: "We realized a massive pent-up demand was unfolding for January. The Queen's press secretary, Michael Shea—who had served as press spokesman for the Queen from 1978 to 1987 and seen the Windsor family through some of … The majority were political thrillers, under both his own name and also the pseudonym Michael Sinclair. https://thetab.com/uk/2020/11/16/michael-shea-the-crown-182550 Here's what actually happened when … One of the latest outings focuses on Queen Elizabeth II’s (played by Olivia Colman) former press secretary Michael Shea (Nicholas Farrell) and the moment he left office. In episode eight, Shea (who died in 2009) is the central figure. The Crown depicts Charteris appearing at Shea’s desk and more or less firing him on the spot. In 1986, Michael was subjected to a large controversy when an article printed in The Sunday Occasions had claimed that the queen was not pleased with the way in which Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ran his authorities. [8] Other activities included service with National Galleries of Scotland as a trustee, with the Edinburgh Military Tattoo as a director, and with the Royal Lyceum theatre as chairman. In other words, it’s unknown whether the queen herself actually asked Shea to speak with the press. Queen’s press secretary Michael Shea went on to become an author; here are five books by him In the series, Michael Shea is compelled to take blame for comments made by the Queen. Members of Parliament called for Shea's r… He did not immediately retire to write books, as The Crown shows. After watching the newest season of The Crown, I can safely scratch off another idea from my list of potential dream jobs: “press secretary to the Queen of England.” I’d rather not be fired for doing what Queen Elizabeth asks me to do, which is exactly what happens to poor Michael Shea in Episode 8, titled “48:1.” When Her Majesty decides to break royal protocol by expressing an opinion about Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s policies, she asks Shea to leak those opinions to the press. He was at the centre of a "mole hunt" in 1986 for the person who gave a briefing to a journalist on The Sunday Times in which it was said the social policies being followed by the Thatcher government were causing the Queen "dismay",[3] and Margaret Thatcher's negative attitude to the Commonwealth of Nations caused displeasure. In fact, Sir Michael Heseltine, the Queen’s private secretary, had a letter published in the Times accusing Michael of being the “Buckingham palace mole,” basically confirming that he (Michael Shea) had met with a reporter. In reality, Shea remained in his position until the following year, after which he left the palace to become director of public affairs for the Hanson Group. Michael Shea was the Queen’s press secretary from 1978 to 1987. In episode eight, Shea (who died … Though he denied being the source of the leak, the events ultimately led to Shea leaving the palace. In fact, Sir Michael Heseltine, the Queen’s private secretary, had a letter published in the Times accusing Michael of being the “Buckingham palace mole,” basically confirming that he (Michael Shea) had met with a reporter. In 2020, Holiday Traditions Matter More Than Ever, Five Creative Forces Share Their Gift Wishlists, The Queen and Margaret Thatcher's Relationship, The True Story of the 1982 Palace Intruder, The True Story of Lord Mountbatten's Tragic Death, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Shea was portrayed by Nicholas Farrell in episode 8 of series 4 of The Crown, in a storyline focusing on apartheid and the alleged rift between Margaret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth II. From royal sidekick to shameful exile: did The Crown’s Michael Shea really betray the Queen? Michael Shea was married to Mona Grec Stensen, a native of Norway; they married in 1968. He resigned in 1987. This never actually happened. Shea was later to describe his role as press secretary as that of a "quasi-spin doctor", and there is no doubt that he improved relations between the Palace and the media. “What’s more up for debate is whether the leak was sanctioned or whether Shea decided to take the initiative, or was even tripped up by his own loose tongue,” explains The Tab. Who was Michael Shea? Every product on this page was chosen by a Harper's BAZAAR editor. Thatcher was understandably surprised by the article, but the one who ended up facing the most turmoil for the scandal was Shea himself. Michael Shea,press Secretary To The Queen Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images The Queen's Press secretary Michael Shea, played by Nicholas Farrell, is one of them. He can be heard in a private interview given to Brendan Bruce (former Conservative Party Director of Communications under Margaret Thatcher) for his book 'Images of Power' (Kogan Page 1992) in the British Library Sound Archive. Michael is the Queen’s press secretary. Here’s where Netflix likely takes a few leaps. Michael Shea, who died on October 17 aged 71, was press secretary to the Queen from 1978 to 1987 after a 15-year career with the Foreign Office. After he resigned as the Queen's press secretary, Shea worked for six years at Hanson plc as director of public relations. He was at the centre of a "mole hunt" in 1986 for the person who gave a briefing to a journalist on The Sunday Times in which it was said the social policies being followed by the Thatcher government were causing the Queen "dismay", and Margaret Thatcher's negative attitude to the Commonwealth of Nationscaused displeasure. The Crown Took Some Liberties With Its Depiction of Michael Shea, the Palace Press Secretary Here's what actually happened when the Thatcher vs. Queen Elizabeth scandal broke. [4] Members of Parliament called for Shea's resignation if he was responsible. Michael Shea, press secretary to the Queen between 1978 and 1987, was a man of many parts: diplomat, academic, businessman, author and spin doctor. He was commissioned during his National Service into the Royal Corps of Signals in 1957. [5], Shea left royal service the following year; some sources indicated that he was "dropped" from the role. Michael Shea or Mike Shea may refer to: . All About The Crown: News, Spoilers, and Episode Recaps, Lady Gaga Drops a Hint About Her Beau on Instagram, The History of Queen Elizabeth's "Favorite Child", 'The Crown' Has Cast Its JFK and Jackie Kennedy. Michael started off his career as a diplomat and became Queen Elizabeth's press secretary in 1978. In 1986, an article was … In reality, the Queen was said to be shocked and reportedly rang Mrs. Thatcher immediately to apologies, and the relationship survived with the queen eventually personally awarding the Order of Merit (which can only be given at the queen’s request) as shown in The Crown. Shea was identified as the “palace mole” by Sir William Heseltine, the Queen’s private secretary—rather than Martin Charteris—in a letter published in the Times. The Queen's press secretary, Michael Shea—who had served as press spokesman for the Queen from 1978 to 1987 and seen the Windsor family through some of the greatest crises in that decade— was believed to be the Times's source. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. [2], After helping to arrange the Queen's official visit to the US bicentennial celebrations in 1976, Shea became her press secretary two years later. Article continues below advertisement THE Crown is thrilling fans with its fourth series, with the new series focusing on the relationship between the Queen and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The Tab | 11-16. He’d served the queen through Princess Diana’s many media moments, the outing of royal photographer Sir Anthony Blunt as a Soviet spy, and the break-in of Michael Fagan into the queen’s bedroom. The Crown shows the Queen’s press secretary trapped in a fight between Her Majesty and the PM, which ends in his ousting. [6] He continued to deny that there was any connection with the earlier controversy. The show portrays him as the source of an explosive leak to the Sunday Times. Described as “smooth and urbane” in a Guardian obituary, actor Nicholas Farrell portrays Shea, who died in 2009. State of the Nation (1997) and Endgame (2002) take place in an independent Scotland. Michael Shea’s official job title between 1978 and 1987 was Press Secretary to the Sovereign. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Fictional Show Won't Remind You It's Fictional, Inside Princess Diana's Affair with James Hewitt, Emma Corrin Shares Unseen 'The Crown' Snaps, What Princess Diana Meant to My Black British Mom, Diana's Surprise Dance Left the Crowd Speechless, Princess Diana's Phantom of the Opera Video Exists, Relive Princess Diana's 1989 Tour of New York City, Emma Corrin Addresses 'The Crown' Backlash, The True Story of Queen Elizabeth's Hidden Cousins, The True Story of the Avalanche on 'The Crown'. Michael Sinclair MacAuslan Shea, press secretary to the Queen, born 10 May 1938; died 17 October 2009 Topics Michael had several bestselling books including State of the Nation (1997) and Endgame (2002). Drawing on his years as Press Secretary to the Queen and his long experience as a career diplomat, author Michael Shea gives us a novel that speculates on the outcome of a seeming political inevitability: Scottish independence. His other stories were mainly political thrillers, most of them reminiscent of his own life in the palace. Shea was also among the group that revived the Edinburgh Oyster Club. Here’s the real story behind Michael Shea, the Queen’s press secretary in The Crown. Who was Michael Shea? Following nine years working for the Queen, Shea took the fall for a PR disaster that struck Buckingham Palace in 1986. He then attended Gordonstoun as a result of gaining a scholarship. From the Back Cover. The Queen's Private Secretary, Sir William Heseltine, responded to the controversy in a letter to The Times confirming Shea as the contact, but asserting that Shea's comments had been misreported. Amid all the plotting and drama of season four of the Crown, one particular Balmoral beef stands out – the blow up between the Queen and Thatcher in episode eight. Former Press Secretary Michael Shea’s demise is shown in episode eight of “The Crown” in the newly released (and highly anticipated) fourth season. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash. In 1986, Michael was subjected to a big controversy when an article published in The Sunday Times had claimed that the queen was not happy with the way Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ran his government. In the series, he makes a brief appearance in the eight episode 48;1 and by the end, is compelled to take blame for the comments made by the Queen. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh, having read Economics; he also completed his doctorate at Edinburgh[1] on economic development in West Africa. Although The Crown makes it look as though Shea was the obvious culprit for the palace leak, the actual events were less cut-and-dry. Michael Shea was born in Los Angeles—in Culver City, across the street from the huge north wall of MGM Studio's main lot. The Crown Took Some Liberties With Its Depiction of Michael Shea, the Palace Press Secretary Harper's BAZAAR - By Lauren Puckett. Shea, 48, who has been press secretary since April 1978, told the queen last week of his intention to resign, and the queen was ''very sad'' that he was leaving, a palace statement said Tuesday. He resigned in 1987. You soon will when you see the fourth season of The Crown.. After he resigned as the Queen's press secretary, Michael went on to write more than 20 books. When he left his role at Queen Elizabeth’s side, he was not awarded a knighthood, though the palace did state in 2009 that the queen was “saddened” to hear of his death. Shea denied ever leaking the queen’s opinions. His last years were affected by the onset of dementia. Harper's BAZAAR participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Problem is, the queen’s not allowed to express political opinions under Britain’s constitution. Netflix may not be far off because, in real life, Michael Shea was blamed for the leak. A thriller, Sonntag, was published under the pseudonym Michael Sinclair in 1971, the first of 20 books, most of them political thrillers, some set in the near future. Shea, 48, who has been press secretary since April 1978, told the queen last week of his intention to resign, and the queen was ''very sad'' that he was leaving, a palace statement said Tuesday. His memoirs were published as A View from the Sidelines (2003). Michael Shea, diplomat and press secretary to the Queen: born Carluke, Lanarkshire 10 May 1938; married 1968 Mona Stensen (two daughters); died 17 October 2009. 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