The return of The Crown was highly anticipated and it didn’t disappoint. It was just as well-acted as season one, with Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth, Matt Smith as Prince Philip and Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret to name a few of an excellent cast. The script and storyline were similarly fantastic and the entire series was a joy to watch.
There were a number of significant issues that demanded serious attention from the Queen, the Prime Minister and his cabinet. From the Suez Canal being captured by rebel Egyptians to the visit and death of John F Kennedy, and the divorce of Philip’s secretary. Episode six, titled Vergangenheit and meaning the past in German, concerned the Marburg files and was particularly poignant and was ridiculously well-acted. That the actual photos of Edward VII’s friendship and communications with Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler were shown at the end of the episode serves as a reminder to us all that it isn’t just a drama on Netflix, it was real and didn’t happen all that long ago.
Claire Foy won an award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth, and it was justly deserved. Foy captured the sheer brilliance, stoicism and resilience in the face of political rivalry, international scandal and familial tensions in a way that was beautiful to watch. Likewise, Matt Smith’s volatile, irascible Prince Philip was fantastic paired with the fragility of his childhood paralleled with his son Charles. Foy and Smith somehow managed to make England’s reigning monarchs tangible, corporeal even, and human despite the somewhat unknown reality on the fringe of our awareness.
Margaret’s side story is similarly moving. Vanessa Kirby was devastating, her characterisation of Princess Margaret’s insouciant yet fractured persona was quite frankly incredible. Still recovering from the previous season’s tumultuous familial conflict surrounding her relationship with Peter Townsend, Kirby successfully portrays the vulnerability, the rebellious glamour and the sharp wit in her new and interesting bond with British photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones (Matthew Goode).
The Crown is a jewel in Netflix’s wide assortment and it should be recognised as such. From the music score to the costumes, the entire series was sheer brilliance, rendering most other dramas mundane in comparison. The acting, in particular, was a stunning array and is a triumph of beauty.
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