The Crown: Should You Watch It?

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Mathew Yeager, Staff Writer

During this year’s Christmas break, as I was perusing through Netflix looking for a show that would fill the void of time that would usually be filled with friends and family if not for the peculiarity of this year, I was surprised to see that The Crown season 4 had come out about a month ago. Having seen the last three seasons that I had enjoyed even with its ups and downs, I decided to give season 4 a go after seeing the raving reviews from other websites. This review will be a slight overview of The Crown’s premise, but will mostly focus on season 4. I will do my best to make this as spoiler-free as possible so that those reading who are intrigued can go into the show without much knowledge, although for those who have studied or know a lot about England’s history, this show is more of a dramatized version of that.

The Crown follows Queen Elizabeth II, along with the rest of the royal family, starting from the wedding between then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and progresses through events in chronological order from there. The first two seasons, starred by a younger portrayal of the queen, took place from 1947 to 1964, and seasons 3 and 4 starred a completely different set of cast members to show the aging of the Queen from 1964 to 1990. In my opinion, I found the cast in seasons 1 and 2 to be a bit more likable than that of seasons 3 and 4, with season 3 being the weakest of them all. Season 4, however, fixed the mistakes of the previous season, but perhaps that is due to the content and history during that specific time. 

Princess Diana, a newly introduced character in the show, adds tension to the already disjointed Royal Family, although the show does not come without some historical discrepancies. As I was watching, I would regularly search major plot points up to see whether or not they were fictitious or exaggerated, and while a lot of scenes were accurate, others were either mildly or extensively reshaped to make a scene more meaningful. One scene, acting out a phone call between Prince Charles and his father as they talked about the Prince’s future with Diana, made it seem like Charles had no choice but to marry her, but in reality, Prince Philip had given his son the choice to either “marry her or let her go.” Another scene portraying Michael Fagan, a man who had broken into the Palace and had gotten into the Queen’s bedroom, was found to my surprise to be very different from the actual event. In the episode, it showed that the man had a full-length conversation with the Queen, but in reality the second the Queen saw that a man had gotten into her room, she sprinted to security who immediately arrested Fagan.

Though, in the long run, these historical modifications do not delude the show’s consistent quality and above-average cinematography, and while season four starts to lag towards the end, it was still very enjoyable and I highly recommend anyone even slightly interested to watch it.