Season 4 of The Crown has dropped on Netflix and it is addictive. No doubt it has ruffled a few feathers but viewers can't get enough of it.
What is The Crown about?
Netflix stalwart, The Crown has now given us its latest peek into the goings-on behind closed doors at Buckingham Palace with Season 4, which covers the 80's and as such depicts the tumultuous relationship between Charles and Di! Need I say more...
The Crown is a Netflix Exclusive, which means you can't watch it anywhere else. It is reportedly one of the most expensive series ever made with the first season costing an estimated $130 to film.
Obviously, the entire world is binge-watching as we speak. For anyone a little late to the party, that is unfamiliar with the Netflix show, The Crown is about The Royal Family.
Season 4 is definitely the most controversial to date.
It currently comprises of 4 seasons that show The Queen at different times in her life as Monarch against historical events that took place in Britain. There is no doubt the Seasons 1-3 are superb and they gave us insight into The Queen being thrust into her role as Sovereign at a young age, her marriage to Prince Phillip, Princess Margaret's scandals and so much more.
This is all set against a backdrop of real British history with the Prime Minister of the time making up a big part of the storyline, Winston Churchill, in particular, features heavily. Churchill is played by the only non-Britsih actor within the cast, John Lithgow, he gives us an excellent performance as the formidable PM.
Olivia Colman's star performance as the hard-working Queen trying to hold her family together was just excellent.
Josh O'Connor pulls off a stellar performance of Prince Charles.
Season 4 however, is the absolute Creme de la Creme. Josh O'Connor is cast as Prince Charles. He was first introduced in Season 3 as a shy sensitive, slightly misunderstood young man that struggles with the duty thrust upon him as heir apparent and growing up in a world that he finds difficult to fit into. As he grows up it becomes clear that he must marry someone suitable and in comes, the delight that is a young Princess Diana, played exquisitely by Emma Corrin.
Charles submits to the pressure he has been under to marry and proposes to the teenage Diana, sadly there is a huge obstacle in the way of a successful marriage, the fact that he is in love with Camilla Parker-Bowles. Much has been said in the press of late about how accurate the storyline is and have criticized the show, saying it is too harsh on Prince Charles. That being said no-one can deny the existence of this infamous love-triangle and the consequences of it.
Who plays the Queen in The Crown?
In Season 3 and 4 the important role of Her Royal Highness The Queen is played by the multiple award-winning actress, Olivia Coleman. Best known for her comedy work in channel4's favourite Peep Show, Coleman's career has really soared over the past few years. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2018 for her role as another royal, Queen Anne, in The Favourite. Coleman plays the role to perfection showing the Queen juggling her roles as Monarch, Wife, and Mother. You get a real feeling of the challenges she faces being Head of State and head of a very complex family.
Princess Margaret is played by Helena Bonham-Carter and she is perfect as the icy yet emotional Princess. Her storyline provides a very interesting sub-plot surrounding her failed relationships and struggling to feel useful and relevant within the family. Her relationship with The Queen is marred by her wishes to have more responsibility and her inability to deliver on that duty.
Gillian Andresson nails it as the 'Iron Lady' Margaret Thatcher
As Season 4 covers the early 80's the PM of the day was none other than Maggie Thatcher, played outstandingly well by the wondrous talent, Gillian Anderson. Best known for her role in the USA hit, The X-Files and many other hit shows and films such as Sex Education, The Fall and Johnny English.
For me personally, Anderson steals the show. Her embodiment of Margaret Thatcher is spot on. She has the instantly recognisable dusky voice and skittish walk down to a tee. We also get to see a completely different side to the Iron Lady. We see her devotion as a wife to Dennis and her love for her children. Her life as the PM was most certainly eventful and the show depicts her handling of The Faulkland War and reluctance to impose sanctions on apartheid South Africa. It is such an epic time in British History no matter your political standpoint is very engrossing to watch.
How true is The Crown?
The Crown is not to be confused with a documentary, whilst it does include major points in history from the world as a whole and actual happenings from within the royal family. There are many things omitted and lots of artistic license has been applied. The Royal family have always tried yet often failed to maintain a dignified silence on topics of a personal nature. What The Crown offers the viewer is an imagining of how events may have unfolded behind the gates of Buckingham Palace and the like.
Emerald Fennell plays the young Camilla Parker Bowles in season 4 of the Crown. Her extramarital affair with Prince Charles was heavily featured throughout this series.
Charles and Diana's fairy-tale marriage crumbles.
Whilst we can only imagine just how wretched the young and naive Princess Diana must have felt being married into such a tight-knit impenetrable family. Emma Corrin does a brilliant job of showing Diana's loneliness and desperation to please her husband and in-laws. The facts remain that, to quote Diana, 'there were three people in that marriage, so it was very crowded'.
Rumour has it that this latest storyline has left senior royals reeling and saying the storyline is biased towards Diana but it impossible not to feel sympathy toward her given everything that has transpired. Overall much of The Crown is true and historically accurate but where intimate conversations cannot be documented the story writers step in to fill in the blanks as to how it may have happened.
How can you watch The Crown?
The Crown season 1-4 is currently streaming on Netflix. Netflix is a great value streaming service and costs £5.99 per month. You can also buy The Crown Series 1-3 DVD Boxset.
If you still need convincing, just have a look at the official Netflix trailer for The Crown Season 4. It's big budget, slick, star-studded and as close to the real thing as you can possibly get.
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