Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 10 recap – who progresses in the taekhyeon?

By Nathan Sartain
Published: November 14, 2022 (Last updated: February 3, 2024)
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Another strong chapter which starts wrapping up the tactical battle to see who will become the next Crown Prince.

We recap the Netflix K-Drama series Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 10, which contains spoilers.

Today, Under the Queen’s Umbrella began to show the finish line for the taekhyeon contest. With just three competitors left, the tactical battle between royals is about to hit its climax, making next week’s instalments must-see. For now, though, it was fun to see the Queen (Kim Hye-soo) get the upper hand again, and Grand Prince Seongnam (Moon Sang-min) progressing alongside Bogeom was a predictable but nice touch.

Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 10 recap

Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 10 opens by watching the Queen ask Consort Hwang about her links to Physician Kwon, with Her Majesty wondering if she can find the doctor through the concubine. Hwa-ryeong states she wants the man who treated the late Crown Prince back in the palace, causing the mother of Prince Uiseong to immediately wonder why. Elsewhere, Kwon worries Ham-deok may have scuppered their scheming now the ground plans have been lost but sees a potential opportunity in the royal edict given to the man posing as a monk.

As the Queen worries about the enigmatic Physician Kwon’s unknown whereabouts and origins, she orders his connection to Won-hyeong to be looked into. Soon though, Her Majesty has more pressing matters to deal with, like Grand Prince Muan‘s appearance in Hanseong alongside Cho-wol, which she duly heads out to investigate. Meanwhile, Ham-deok accepts Prince Uiseong‘s offer to head back to the palace, as long as a currently unknown condition is met. Outside, Grand Prince Gyeseong tries to warn his rival against transporting the shady rebel to the kingdom, exposing the treason plot backed by an army of monks. Nevertheless, even with threats of being stopped, Uiseong is determined to continue with his plan, to the point he even urges that Ham-deok should “arrive before Prince Gyeseong.”

After the Queen angrily ticks off Grand Prince Muan for his behaviour, which has seen him eliminated from the taekhyeon, she sits down with Cho-wol. Here, the two discuss the former courtesan’s affection for Her Majesty’s son, where it’s conceded that they’re in love. As such, Cho-wol requests she is afforded the chance to choose her path, disappointed that she is still being urged away from Grand Prince Muan, however unreliable he may appear. “Just resent in me instead,” the Queen replies, ignoring the quotes of equality thrown her way. Yet a flashback shows how caring Hwa-ryeong usually is to those less fortunate, given she rescued the pregnant victim of rape from being framed by a nobleman, and gave her a place to stay. Reflecting, Her Majesty wonders if she was too harsh on the person Hyewolgak was established because of.

Holding on to a delivery from Consort Tae, Prince Bogeom looks determined to make use of his final day in the company of Park Gyeong-u. Together with Grand Prince Seongnam, the prospective Crown Princes decide to look into the curiously missing cash from the marketplaces, believing embezzlement may be at play. So, the duo poke around Gyeong-u’s chambers, finding a Manwol Island chibuchaek (described as a transaction record of money and goods), but little answer to where the man’s wealth could be. Any investigations are quickly halted anyway, as Gyeong-u soon returns, discovers what his two guests are doing, and orders them to leave. Later, Seongnam shows Bogeom the chibuchaek, motivated to get to the bottom of the alleged defrauding alongside his supposed adversary, who showed his loyalty by disregarding the intel gifted to him by Consort Tae.

While the King ponders how to deal with his opposition, wanting to uphold the meaning of taekhyeon by appointing the most capable successor for the late Crown Prince, Grand Prince Seongnam and Prince Bogeom return to face Park Gyeong-u with proof of his “defrauding.” However, the two are not here to scold the supposedly corrupt exile, but rather praise him for creating a “cooperative society” by using the money he took to pay off debts, open stores, and generally improve life on Manwol Island through economic independence. As such, the two royals tell Gyeong-u they will help him implement his theory around the kingdom, and suggest he comes to the palace for the benefit of the people, not the King. Ultimately, this is accepted, with travel arrangements put in place for the following day. As an aside, a flashback shows the King had previously been in contact with Gyeong-u, asking him to discern who is fit to become the next King.

Not wanting to get swept up in emotion, Won-hyeong doesn’t get carried away by the news he receives of Grand Prince Seongnam’s lack of royal blood (which should expel him from the palace), knowing there is still a final evaluation to be made by the King. “He may have planned something ever since he decided to turn the taekhyeon into a contest,” the Chief State Councillor adds, doubtful of His Majesty’s intention. Concurrently, the King and Queen are infuriated and upset by this rumour circulating about Grand Prince Seongnam, with the latter in particular understanding this is where Queen Dowager Cho gained her confidence from.

After Cheong-ha confesses her affection for Grand Prince Seongnam during their heart-to-heart under the sunrise, everyone gets ready to have Gyeong-u transported back to the palace. It’s a smooth, comfortable ride, unlike that of Grand Prince Gyeseong’s on the way to his potential prevention of Ham-deok’s return to the kingdom. Yet there’s even more urgency elsewhere, as we find out through a letter delivered to Won-hyeong that the fake Monk’s one condition upon his following of the royal edict was to have Gyeseong killed, something Consort Hwang is happy to oblige with in spite of her ally’s warnings. “This is a great chance to drag the Queen down along with Grand Prince Gyeseong,” the concubine spitefully says, ordering the sending of swordsmen to carry out the requested deed.

As we see, precise orders are followed. Gyeseong is initially caught alive, the evidence (ground plans) is robbed from his body, and Consort Hwang is readily prepared to step in with her created “reason why Grand Prince Gyeseong must die.” This plays out like so: the concubine discusses the Grand Prince’s “immoral heart” with the King, and a suicide note is placed underneath the hanging body of Gyeseong to remove suspicion. Yet there is one potential problem for Hwang, given the Queen is confident enough to allow His Majesty to observe the supposedly controversial portrait. This is because the painting of Gyeseong has been swapped (thanks to Consort Ko), meaning Consort Hwang will now be punished for slander, as she failed to prove her lofty allegations to the King.

The next day, the Queen brings Gyeseong up to speed on everything that happened, while we watch how she managed to save her son due to the honesty of Consort Ko. The Grand Prince is subsequently told to hide temporarily, and keep his portrait a secret too now that court officials know his true identity. Gyeseong’s response is to try and use Ham-deok’s treason as a reason to leave, though his mother informs him that the King is already aware of the situation. How? Fortunately, Prince Uiseong exposed the criminal’s plots at the palace, allowing the rebel to be arrested on sight.

However, the King isn’t happy, upset by the fact Ham-deok was led to him despite Uiseong being aware of the rebel’s plots back at Mount Gyeryong. As such, the cunning Prince has no choice but to apologise. Elsewhere, a concerned Master Toji acknowledges the trap laid by His Majesty, and Physician Kwon orders an ally to find out “where Seo Ham-deok is confined and who is interrogating him.”

After it’s established that Prince Uiseong, Prince Bogeom and Grand Prince Seongnam all progressed to the final evaluation of the taekhyeon, the ladies of the palace are called for an audience with the Queen. There, Consort Hwang is demoted to Fourth Junior Consort (the lowest rank for a concubine) for her slanderous actions, and Hwa-ryeong issues a reminder to the mother of Uiseong that she only chose not to kill her because she is prioritising the maintenance of her son’s secret. Outside, Consort Tae rubs this in, infuriating her adversary to the point of unabated rage. “I will make sure I repay them for this humiliation,” Consort Hwang tells her son, desperate for Uiseong to become Crown Prince.

Once Court Lady Nam is scolded and interrogated for her alleged forging of Grand Prince Gyeseong’s suicide note, Queen Dowager Cho arrives. Sending everyone away, the Queen admits to the elder she played a trick with this, wanting to turn what Won-hyeong did to her son into something Cho did, in the same way her enemy did when it came to framing the Chief State Councillor for the attack on Grand Prince Seongnam. “When you created those slanderous papers about Grand Prince Seongnam, you should have been ready to face this,” the Queen adds, before getting ready to make the Queen Dowager an offer.

Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 10 ending

Next, the King explains to the royal court that the final test of the taekhyeon will be made by the Confucian scholars of Sungkyunkwan, and we see Won-hyeong has been forced into vocalising approval of this method because His Majesty knew about his involvement in the attempted murder of Grand Prince Seongnam. So, with no opposition, things proceed as planned, in a way judged to be the least likely to cause bias. The Queen is mildly content with this, knowing that the scholars are basically choosing the King they will serve so will have to judge fairly, and admits she will accept the result if Grand Prince Seongnam fails to become the next Crown Prince. With that in mind, the remaining candidates line up for the final evaluation, bringing an end to the episode.

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