'Belgravia' Episode 5: Anne Trenchard could burn the only piece of evidence proving Charles Pope's legitimacy
In Episode 5, the penultimate installment of 'Belgravia', things heat up considerably with Lord John Bellasis (Adam James) hot on the trails of the secret and what he discovers has him sweating buckets.
He finds out that the marriage between Sophia Trenchard (Emily Reid) and Lord Edmund Bellasis (Jeremy Neumark Jones) was not a sham and that Edmund's friend, who had married them, was in fact a clergyman.
Therefore, Charles Pope (Jack Bardoe) is the true heir of the Brockenhurst estate and the title of Earl will pass to Charles, not him. It is a moment of extreme panic for a man who has been so sure of his every move till now.
Before the shocking discovery, which he couldn't imagine in his worst nightmare, he even thinks its possible Charles Pope is the illegitimate child of Lady Brockenhurst and Mr James Trenchard. The conjecture is so wild that even Susan Trenchard (Alice Eve) laughs about it.
Meanwhile, despite maid Ellis (Saskia Reeves) and butler Turton's (Paul Ritter) best efforts, the marriage certificate and Sophia's letter about the union are now in Anne Trenchard's (Tamsin Greig) hand.
However, she doesn't know that they are legal and legitimate documents and are the only means to prove that Charles Pope is the legitimate son of Lord Edmund Bellasis since everyone who was at the quickie marriage is dead.
There is a possibility that Anne might even burn these documents herself as they are the last piece of evidence linking the Trenchards to Charles.
It is exactly the kind of self-sacrificing act Anne is capable of in order to "fade into the background" as James Trenchard (Philip Glenister) had said they must do once Lady Brockenhurst (Harriet Walter) acknowledged Charles Pope.
Earlier, Lady Brockenhurst had told Anne that a "good life" waited for Charles if Anne would only let her tell people that Charles was her grandson. "I will acknowledge him privately and things will follow," she tells her.
Anne realizes this and understands that Lady and Lord Brockenhurst can help shield Charles from the scandal of underhand business dealings that Oliver Trenchard (Richard Goulding) has brought on his head.
Anne is quite capable of burning the only piece of evidence connecting Sophia and the Trenchards to Charles because she would think that she was giving him the fresh start he needs at this time. James has already told Anne that to preserve Sophia's honor they have to allow Charles to move away from them even further than he already has.
Anne breaks down but she gets how class and status is such an effective barrier that such a turn of affairs would come to pass. But as well-intentioned as they are, the Trenchards would be much better off taking Lady Brockenhurst's approach — telling the person to whom it matters the most, the truth.
As the protective grandmother, Lady Brockenhurst tells Lady Grey that Charles is her grandson privately so that she can convince her mother to not rush into the marriage with Lord Bellasis.
Anne and James could do the same and tell Oliver the truth. As of now, a lot of his vindictiveness is because he believes that his own father is favoring a stranger over him. Would his attitude change once he is told that he is scheming against his own nephew?
'Belgravia' airs on Sundays at 9/8c on Epix.