Summary: Queen Hwa Ryeong does everything in her might to protect all her children from the predators in the palace. After the tragic death of her eldest son, the crown prince, she tries her best to keep her position as queen to protect the remaining grand princes who are in danger of getting killed once a different prince will become the new crown prince.
Genre: Period, Kings & Princes, Family, Comedy
Stars: Kim Hye Soo as Queen Im Hwa Ryeong
Choi Won Young as King Lee Ho
Kim Hae Sook as Queen Dowager
Bae In Hyuk as Crown Prince
Moon Sang Min as Grand Prince Seongnam
Yoon Sang Hyeon as Grand Prince Muan
Yoo Seon Ho as Grand Prince Gyeseong
Park Ha Joon as Grand Prince Ilyoung
Likes: What a beautiful drama! I can totally relate as a mum myself. The story tells about a powerful woman, the queen, that inspite of her position, she was challenged by all sorts of things surrounding her duty as a mother to a nation and most importantly as a mother to her five sons. I love every bit of it, the plot, the mixed genre of period and comedy, the directing, the cinematography, the well-defined characters, the twists, the moral of the story and of course the meaningful representation of the Queen’s Umbrella – just so beautiful.
The Plot. How interesting. It started with all these mums, the queen and the consorts, competing who’s son is the best. It just started with a usual competition between princes, but then it suddenly turned into a serious one when the crown prince died. It got darker when the crown prince was later found to have been murdered. The search for justice and the struggle to get the most coveted position heated up. I liked the complexity of the story. We had several interesting stories (past and present), merged into one.
The well-defined characters. Although I’ll be going more into detail on the queen and princes’ characters, there were a lot of undeniably great characters in the story. The consorts, the queen dowager, the King, the new crown princess, the doctor who was actually a former prince. They had all their own stories.
Cinematography. Impressive camera movement and cinematic scenes. I love the scenes when the two princes went to an island. It gave us a lot of glimpses of that era’s beautiful countryside setting.
The symbolic umbrella. Oh how I love how they used the umbrella to symbolize the queen’s protection. That beautiful scene of the queen outside the place sharing an umbrella with Prince Gyeseong after she let him dressed up for a painted portrait. She let her son be himself while protecting him! And at the end when the Crown Prince Seongnam held the umbrella for her symbolizing it’s now his turn to protect her. How beautiful!
The Queen. She was of course the star of the show. I love how they introduced her as a totally energetic queen, running here and there making sure everything is in order and becomes frantic when it concerns her 4 grand princes who are a bit unruly. I just loved her energy! However, the queen wasn’t just energy, she was also wisdom, perseverance, strength, resilience, tolerance and I think above all, protection.
- The wise queen. She always had a plan and counter plans. She needed to be wise to outdo all the consorts, to challenge the queen dowager and the officials, to be a support to her king and a protection to her children.
- The queen persevered. The way she continuously guided her kids to a safer path paid off in the end.
- The strength of the queen. She was unrelenting in her research and investigation with regards to the death of the crown prince, her son.
- Resilient queen. For a mother who lost her son, she didn’t stay in a slump for long, as she got other kids in her care. Such an admirable strong person, the queen was.
- The tolerating queen. She did not tolerate wrong doings but she was willing to understand and sympathize situations that deserves her tolerance. I love how she embraced Prince Gyeseong femininity, but made sure he won’t be caught. Or how she accepted Prince Muan’s out of wedlock baby. She was a mum who tried to let her children grow.
- The Queen as a shield. The whole meaning of Under the Queen’s Umbrella is protection. The queen protected everyone she loved and cherished, and that’s not just her children but everyone, from her servants, her court, princes, the King and even the lowly ones outside of the palace walls.
Kim Hye Soo as Queen Im Hwa Ryeong. She was awesome in her role. I love her facial expressions, her voice, she was full energy, even her eyebrows were speaking. She was so motherly to the grown-up princes. She really connected so well with them.
The Princes. Same parents but every prince was different.
- The Crown Prince – he was perfect in so many ways, handsome, good in studying, he loved his younger brothers and he was even able to produce a grand heir. He was such a dutiful son.
- Grand Prince Seongnam – manly and handsome but can be a bit cold. I loved his journey in becoming the next crown prince. He was so determined to get it. And man, his chemistry with the future crown princess was sooo good!
- Grand Prince Muan – the brazen one! He was full of himself but in a funny way. There’s always one person in the family who’s like this prince.
- Grand Prince Gyeseong – a woman trapped in a prince body, but got to give him that, he was so beautiful in Hanbok and with makeup!
- Grand Prince Ilyoung – the baby! I loved how he went to the queen to get a cuddle. He was just really a baby.
Different Mums. The ways may have differed but all just wanted the best for their own sons.
- The Queen to her 5 sons – she was tough on them but she also tried to be tolerant for their own good.
- Consort Hwang to Prince Uiseong – she would do anything for his success.
- Consort Ko to Prince Simso – she was such a tiger mum!
- Consort Tae to Prince Bogeum – very supportive but no powerful background.
- Consort Ok to Prince Hodong – she just wanted to make sure his son is always well-fed.
- Queen Dowager to the King – she would kill for her son to ascend to the throne.
Favourite Quotes from our Queen…
“Even if one of my grand princes ascends the throne, I will make sure you keep your position. I need the Third Senior Consort, the Fourt Junior Consort, the First Junior Consort to let my position as the queen shine even brighter.”
“The duty of a parent is not to lead the way but to show their child the path they have walked.”
The new Crown Prince and Crown Princess. Their love story was just so cute! I love how they made connection in that island on a beautiful sunrise and having the symbolic pair of shells. The aggressive crown princess was so well suited with the timid and cold crown prince. And how the first night went, oh well, good thing there was a second try.
Cute cameo. I didn’t expect Rain to show up! What a treat!
Bitter, sweet and meaningful ending. Bitter because the kids are all grown up and one by one they left the palace. I personally dread this moment too 😢. However, one day we need to let go and give them more space to grow. I admire the queen for being so cool to let go of her kids. I wish I would be that cool too. And I wish that umbrella we’ve been always trying to shield our kids from rain will be returned to us, just like that adorable scene of the Crown Prince finally holding the umbrella for his queen mum.