I’ve now seen all of The Crown! God I love it, but in a very weird way. It’s a guilty pleasure I guess. You have to go into it knowing that it’s a) highlighting a bunch of completely horrible people and b) mostly just stylish bollocks. But REALLY ENTERTAINING stylish bollocks, you know?
Absolutely the highlight of this season for me was Emma Corrin’s Princess Diana, pretty much the only not completely horrible person in the show. Disclosure: I always geniunely liked Diana the person, or what I knew of her, she died when I was about seven. I admired her AIDs work, so I’m glad the show mentioned that. I think the writers and Corrin struck a good balance between the different aspects of Di’s personality. She was naive and innocent but on the other side of that she was immature and childish. She hated a lot of royal life but she also loved the attention. I’m glad they didn’t portray her as a saint, it would be doing her a massive disservice.
Also shout out to Gillian Anderson’s Margaret Thatcher, a great performance of a wretched human being. I’ve seen people say online that her accent was bizarre but that’s what the real Thatcher sounded like! Honestly! Go dig out some old videos of her! I appreciate that they didn’t bother making her sympathetic. Her scenes also taught me some history I didn’t know, like the South Africa thing with her son, my God why didn’t I know that? That’s a pretty damn big deal.
The only person in this show who I think might be miscast is Emerald Fennell as Camilla. Not because she’s a bad actress, far from it, but she’s just too pretty. This is hard to explain without sounding mean but the real Camilla wasn’t particuarly good-looking and this actually factors into the show, Camilla laments that she could never be as beautiful as Diana. But it’s coming from someone who clearly is beautiful, just stuck with unflattering hair.
(Also the meeting between Camilla and Diana at a restaurant called “Menage A Trois” probably didn’t actually happen, but I suspect that scene will do little to improve Camilla’s popularity over here.)
I love all the visual foreshadowing in this show. When Diana’s in New York you can see the World Trade Center looming behind her car, a reminder that in only a decade or so the world would change even more. And of course just Diana being shown in cars so much also serves as foreshadowing really.
Just as with last year’s “Aberfan,” the best episode of this season is the one that looks at the lives of normal people, the ones this lot are supposed to be serving. This time around it was “Fagan” which tells the story of Michael Fagan, the guy who broke into Buckingham Palace (twice) and tried to get the Queen to talk to him. It’s very embellished in the show but it gets the point across, that things were very different on the other side of the wall.