Student Run Newspaper

“The Crown”

Gretchen Allen, Staff Writer

 

With America’s infatuation of the British royal family, it’s no surprise that fans nationwide were anxiously waiting the season two arrival of Netflix’s “The Crown” on Dec. 8. Centered around the current monarch of The United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II, the series chronicles her reign.

Peter Morgan’s drama does not boast a lot of big name stars, but Queen Elizabeth (Claire Foy), and Prince Phillip played by “Doctor Who” alum Matt Smith, fill their roles with what seems like effortless sophistication. The show begins in 1947 with King George VI (Jared Harris) in power, but coughing up blood. His health is declining and Elizabeth (Foy), newly married and barely thinking of the crown, is soon atop a tenuous British monarchy after the death of her father. As Elizabeth navigates her way to being The Queen she will become, Prince Phillip is also a man in flux. His insecurities foreshadow tensions that are a theme throughout the first season. We also see how the show gracefully tiptoes around mentions of Winston Churchill’s international policy. Instead, he is portrayed as a passionate, tragic figure who was simply misunderstood because of his brusque manner. Stretching only through 1955, “The Crown” can be a bit slow-going for those who like an action-packed drama. However, it is a well-written story that will walk you through an enjoyable history lesson. While the characters portray real people in actual situations, there was also a bit of artistic liberty thrown into the mix. It’s a show that covers so little that is new, but is executed very well.

“The Crown” is toted to be one of Netflix’s most expensive shows with a two-season budget of 100 million dollars. Its breathtaking costumes reportedly employ a team of more than 50 people to make custom looks. Costume designer Michele Clapton blended research from photographs and footage of the royal family during the early years with her own idea of what they would’ve worn. 

Season two promises to continue to center around Queen Elizabeth II, but expect to see more of the men in her life. With rumors swirling after season one of whether Prince Phillip’s alleged affair will rear its head, the show’s creator, Peter Morgan’s lips are sealed. What we can anticipate is learning more about Prince Phillip in this next season. More about his past, traumatic childhood, and maybe a sordid affair. His mostly dutiful husband façade changes in the second season. Becoming a frustrating pain in the rear, this season will explore Elizabeth and Phillip’s complicated marriage in greater detail. Ultimately, the show is about a woman persevering at all costs, even when the men she loves fail her.

Nov. 20, 2017 marked the 70th wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip.

Wed at Westminster Abbey in 1947, they are the longest-married couple in British royal history. At 91 and 96 years old respectively, they are finally starting to scale back their responsibilities due to age. Despite earning their platinum milestone, they chose only to celebrate with a photo shoot. The couple released their first anniversary portrait, shot by British photographer Matt

Holyoak, taken in the White Drawing Room at their home of Windsor Castle.

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