Well, what a difference a speech makes.
So, let’s review: the unnamed King has some ideas on what the British government should do, the sort of welfare state type stuff that died under Margaret Thatcher and that Francis Urquhart supports keeping dead wholeheartedly. To shore up support for his government, Francis called for a general election. Those things work like public referendums and would show the people prefer lower taxes and less services like he thinks they do.
Then the King gives a speech on TV about caring for others and evoking patriotism, and just like that Francis’ party is down ten points in the polls and counting.
Now, Francis isn’t the giving up type, and he does believe in the monarchy even if members of his own party don’t. To that end, he’s grooming a nice relationship with the King’s wife and by extension their son.
But there are problems. Sarah is asking more and more about Mattie, even tracking down one of Mattie’s old associates, a man who shortly thereafter turns up dead. Stamper wants more of a piece of the pie, and he’s putting trust into the wrong people.
On top of all that, it’s open season on personal peccadilloes for any and all public figures.
But through it all, Francis doesn’t break a sweat. That’s that stiff upper lip at work for you.