Entertainment

The Crown Season 4: Did It Live Up To Expectations?

Sarah Harris

The newest season of the crown was probably one of the most highly anticipated yet, due to the addition of Emma Corrin who played the beloved Princess Diana, and Sex Education Icon, Gillian Anderson who took on the role of former Prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.

I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m as obsessed with the royal family as a lot of Britons seem to be. I mean, I watched both royal weddings solely for the purpose of seeing what Kate and Megan would wear and whether anyone would trip up whilst walking down the aisle (much to my dismay, they didn’t). So, when the first season of The Crown came out in 2016, I was hesitant to watch it, thinking it would be a shrine to the monarchy.

The casting director couldn’t have done a better job in choosing actors to take on these roles

I was pleasantly surprised however, when I realised that this Netflix Original did not just delve into the highs of the current Royal family, but also into their lows – and the latest season was no exception. If there is one thing I’ve learnt from watching the series, it’s that the Royal Family and the whole institution in general is heavily flawed.

But this isn’t about the mishaps of Liz and the rest of the gang, it’s about the wonderful actors who did a sublime job in portraying them. From Olivia Coleman, who played the sovereign, to Josh O’Connor who took on the role of the Prince of Wales for another season, it’s safe to say that the casting director couldn’t have done a better job in choosing actors to take on these roles.

It’s clear that Corrin was born to take on the role of the Princess of Wales and I’m excited to see what the future has in hold for her

In particular, Emma Corrin was able to represent Diana’s naivety and vulnerability with effortlessness. Maybe it was because her own features were so similar to the doe-eyed 19-year-old that Diana was when she first began dating Charles, or maybe it’s because her own upbringing and time at Cambridge University left her surrounded by those similar to the Royal’s. Either way, it’s clear that Corrin was born to take on the role of the Princess of Wales and I’m excited to see what the future has in hold for her.

Anderson’s take on the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, was equally as talented. Even I, a hardcore labour supporter, found myself sympathising with the former PM on more than one occasion. Anderson allowed us to have an exclusive glimpse in to the life of a women in a heavily male-centric industry and see what life was really like for the first female PM.

One character I felt did not get enough time in the spotlight was Princess Margaret, who was played by Helena Bonham Carter. It’s important to note, for those of you who haven’t yet delved into this series, that every 2 seasons the cast changes in order to paint an accurate picture of what the royal family and other characters would have looked like at the time. We learnt early on that Margaret was very much the black sheep of the family, with Bonham Carter’s character perfectly depicting the eccentric nature of the Countess of Snowdon in this season and the last. But given that this season centred heavily on newcomers Diana and Thatcher, it was difficult to find time to fit the other character’s stories into the 10-episodes.

Whether it’s reality or fiction, it did make for good watching

However, producers did manage to make time for the story of Michael Fagan, who was played by Tom Brooke. Fagan was a painter and decorator from London, who somehow managed to break into Buckingham Palace and find his way into the Queen’s bedroom in 1982. We can’t be sure what actually went on in the 30 minutes that Fagan had an audience with Queen Elizabeth, but if we’re to go by anything The Crown depicted in this latest season, it’s clear that there was a deeper meaning to Fagan’s break-in than was made aware to the public at the time.

As someone who wasn’t around when all of these events were taking place, it was pretty interesting to see the history of the royal family played out for us. But those who were around at the time did not find it as enlightening, with some, including members of the royal family itself stating that the Netflix series is not an accurate portrayal of events.

Either way, whether it’s reality or fiction, it did make for good watching and although it may not have been as gripping as previous seasons, Corrin and Anderson bought a certain oomph that had been lacking with the current cast. I know I for one, will definitely miss them as the new cast takes on their roles for future seasons.

Sarah Harris

Featured image courtesy of  Pro Church Media via Unsplash. Image use license found here. No changes made to this image.

In article video courtesy of Netflix via YouTube.

In article image courtesy of @thecrownnetflix via Instagram. No changes made to this image.

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