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This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.
|Name:||Claire Hale Underwood|
|Date of birth:||1965|
|Birthplace:||Highland Park, Dallas, Texas US|
|Education:||Radcliffe College, Harvard University|
|Profession:||Vice-Presidential Nominee, Capitol Hill Lobbyist, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, former CEO of Clean Water Initiative|
|Mother:||Elizabeth Hale (d. 2016)|
|Children:||with Dalton McGinnis:|
Unborn child (aborted)
with unknown man:
Unborn child (aborted)
with Frank Underwood:
Unborn child (aborted)
|Played by:||Robin Wright|
|Seasons:||1, 2, 3, 4|
|First episode:||"Chapter 1"|
|Appears in:||4 seasons, 39 episodes|
Claire Hale Underwood (born April 8, 1966) is the 48th First Lady of the United States, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, wife of President Francis "Frank" Underwood and the Democratic Nominee for the Vice Presidency. Until the movement into the White House, she was also the Chief Executive Officer of Clean Water Initiative until she gave it to her Office Manager Gillian Cole, after a nasty fight between Claire and her about Gillian's healthcare plan for her unborn child. Claire ended the argument saying, "I am willing to let that child wither and die inside you."
Claire Hale Underwood was very close to her Father; Her mother stating: "You got away with murder". This paternal closeness resulted in a strained relationship with her Mother. As Claire moved from childhood to adolescence this strain; turned to estrangement. Claire Underwood's mother always told her to frown less and smile more but never considered her personal feelings were in the way of her happiness; she just couldn't smile from the inside out.
In the second season it is revealed that Claire grew up in the elite enclave city of Highland Park in Dallas County, Texas. Her parents were referred to as being very wealthy and she has come from generations of ranchers. Before attending Radcliffe she went to school at the prestigious Phillips Academy. Claire was also sexually assaulted by a classmate, future general Dalton McGinnis, during her freshman year at Radcliffe. Despite suggestions, Claire refers to her childhood as a happy one.
In the third season (Chapter 32) it is revealed that Claire was 22 years old when she and Francis got married, 28 years prior. Therefore, Claire was born in 1965.
Claire earned her bachelor's degree in environmental health and chemistry at Radcliffe College and her master's degree in public health at Harvard University. At Radcliffe, Claire met Frank Underwood. The couple agreed not to have children, and in the finale of Season 1, it was revealed that Claire has had three abortions. Through an interview in Season 2, it was revealed that Claire's rapist is now a General in the military, and Claire falsely claimed she had an abortion afterwards in order not to reveal to the public that she aborted Frank's child during his first campaign.
During the military gala where McGinnis was to be given an award for his military deeds, Claire tells Frank the story behind freshman year. A story that Frank won't take with enthusiasm.
Up until Season 2, Claire was the CEO of the Clean Water Initiative. A charity, non-profit organization intent on bringing clean, drinkable water to developing, impoverished countries. During her tenure, she proved to be just as ruthless and pragmatic as her husband. One example was firing half of the CWI staff due to unavailability of funds after Frank was not made the Secretary of State. Also, one of the main reasons for her even working at CWI is simply to make herself and her husband seem like caring individuals.
When she and Frank moved into the White House, Gillian Cole (despite the fact that she was fired) became the CWI's new CEO.
Claire Underwood had a previous relationship during her youth with Adam Galloway. She left Frank for a time in Season 1 and went to stay with Adam in New York.
During Season 4, Claire develops a close relationship with novelist Thomas Yates upon his return to the White House. During Episode 10 (Chapter 49), they are seen to engage in a relationship of a sexual nature. This continues over into Episode 11 (Chapter 50), until Yates temporary departure. At the end of the episode, Claire is seen telling Yates she doesn't want him to leave, telling him "I want you back.", to which he replies, "I want you back too.".
Vice Presidential Nomination Edit
After President Underwood's disastrous idea to hold an open Democratic caucus for the Vice Presidential nomination and the falling through of the failed nomination of Secretary of State Catherine Durant for the Vice Presidency, Durant withdraws from the vote and urges her delegates to pledge allegiance to the First Lady. This translates into a media coup, which results in Claire winning the Democratic Nomination for the Vice Presidency, putting her on her Husband's ticket.
Behind the ScenesEdit
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|"Chapter 40"||"Chapter 41"||"Chapter 42"||"Chapter 43"||"Chapter 44"|
|"Chapter 45"||"Chapter 46"||"Chapter 47"||"Chapter 48"||"Chapter 49"|
|"Chapter 50"||"Chapter 51"||"Chapter 52"|
Claire Underwood is a strong and determined individual, traits she admires in others such as Gillian Cole and Zoe Barnes. She doesn't want to be coddled and held on a pedestal, and mentions that Frank was the only man she dated that understood that. As the former leader of CWI, she held a position of power that she uses for the betterment of herself as well as Frank. When she became the Second Lady, she uses this same influence to bring a controversial topic into the national spotlight while recruiting Patricia Walker, the First Lady, to aid in her fight. She can be just as cold and calculating as Frank, as demonstrated by her decisions to fire half of her staff as well as later betray Frank by helping to defeat an important bill. Despite her ambitions and devotion to Frank, part of her also yearns for a life of spiritual freedom. This is what drew her to freelance photographer Adam Galloway, although she admits that she can't give up what she has with Frank. She has shown to have some guilt and sadness with her ruthless pragmatism, which is demonstrated following her visit to a rape victim who becomes suicidal after Claire uses and discards her. Her decision not to have children is perhaps something she second-guesses, as she has previously shown interest and affection towards Peter Russo's two children. She has previously had three abortions.
- "My husband doesn't apologize. Even to me"
- "I like irons. But I love fire."
- Claire Underwood: "What should we serve the Walkers?
Frank Underwood: "Cyanide?"
Claire Underwood: "I'm saving that for dessert. What about the main course?"
- (to Gillian Cole) "I'm willing to let your child wither and die inside you if that's what's required."
- “I will talk about this if you want but if you’re doubting yourself, I can’t indulge that.”
- "The US Military is irrelevant..."
- Claire is the only person who refers to Frank as Francis, and he is also listed in her phone as Francis. In what may have been a deliberate dig and power-play, in the midst of aiming to end their affair, Zoe Barnes does refer to Frank as Francis. His reaction to this is subtle but clear: no one calls him that but Claire.
Zoe also called Frank "Francis." She does so seconds before her death scene.