Okay, I’m gonna admit it. Under the Queen’s Umbrella is one of the best series to air in 2022. Kim Hye-soo has always been a stunner, but her portrayal of Queen Im Hwa-ryeong solidifies her impact when it comes to the Korean drama world.
This Netflix series has been one of the most anticipated series throughout this year, and I surely know why. It’s because the Queen is one of the strongest female protagonists that I’ve ever met.
In this article, I’ve focused on five strong reasons why Queen Im Hwa-ryeong is one of the most impressive queens. Another point is how she broke the typical queen formula when it comes to sageuk dramas.
1. She resisted palace protocols.
As we all know, any member of the royal family is instructed to always act prim and proper. Ladies cannot go out, run, or even raise their voices. In this series, we are welcomed by a queen who’s running around chasing her sons one after another. Knowing that she has come from a noble family throughout her life adds to her character’s intrigue.
One of the most impactful protocols she broke was when she met the deposed noble. It was a risky move to save her son. Which makes her character a little bit human, as most people may assume that Queens back then were mainly displays at the palace.
2. When she tolerated the prince’s mischiefs.
As a parent, any mother would want their children to obey them at all times. Particularly if your mother is a member of the Joseon royal family. Since the queen has fixed her attention on the Crown Prince, she hasn’t been able to focus on the other four Grand Princes.
Whenever Grand Princes Seongnam, Gyeseong, Muan, and Ilhyeong are out on their own adventures, the queen never punishes them severely but instead only nags them. This allows her to shine apart from the other concubines, who were very strict with their sons.
My heart warmed when she tolerated the night of the four princes: Gyeseong, Muan, Ilyeong, and Simso. She even assured Simso that she would keep it a secret, even though Simso is the son of the concubine who initially didn’t like her.
3. Knew how to put up a fight.
I’ve seen a few historical K-dramas, and the queens depicted in them were mostly evil and manipulative. They tend to focus on the concubines or even the romantic aspect of the drama to make their audience feel some butterflies. Queen Im Hwa-ryeong wouldn’t let you experience that, though. She’s a compassionate and intelligent woman, which might be one of the main reasons why the King relied on her in his toughest times.
Despite Queen Dowager, Physician Kwon, and Consort Hwang’s multiple attempts to bring her down, our Queen has always been a hundred steps ahead of them. Her calm and composed demeanor whenever she’s dealing with the people who hate her made me realize she is not someone to mess with.
I love her for it! Talk about women’s empowerment in the Joseon Dynasty, right?
4. A generous queen.
The restrictive palace life and unseen eyes didn’t stop Queen Hwa-ryeong from exploring the outside world. Our queen enjoys going outside on business trips where she assists oppressed people. She’s mostly drawn toward the ladies who were treated badly, hence providing shelter for them.
There may be political issues that are outside her control, but she still fulfills her duty as the mother of the kingdom.
5. Accepted and loved her children the way they are.
Every child is perfect in their mother’s eyes. I think that’s one of the strongest messages this series leaves us with. Despite the criticisms and gossip that the Queen has endured, any words that may target her children are something she’ll never tolerate.
If you’ve watched the series, you might have been extremely shocked by Gyeseong’s secret and Muan’s unexpected surprise. If the Queen wasn’t an understanding and loving mom, her two sons would’ve been attacked already. Instead, she set aside the anger and pain she’d felt to accept them and help them overcome their hardships.
Definitely a perfect queen behavior.
6. A loving and doting mother, grandmother, and wife.
Queens are often manipulated or put as “decoys” to control the King but the series is a breath of fresh air knowing that the two share the same feelings toward each other. May it be love, gratefulness, or ease that they can trust each other despite the messy life inside the palace.
Hwa-ryeong was a loving and doting mother to her sons as she was able to raise them well. A loving and doting grandmother to her grandchildren who can innocently enjoy their life in the palace. Lastly, a loving and reliable wife to her husband which perfectly suits her role as a Queen.
You may watch the series on Netflix here.
All photos courtesy of tvN.