It’s easy to see how the schedule for a fifth season of The crown who skewers, mocks or revels in the scandals of the British royal family could be embarrassing only a few months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II and her son became King Charles III. It is easy to understand how this could lead to consternation and complaint.
But this is not the version of The crown That we have.
The crown has always drawn complaints that it’s not literally accurate in its detail – in fact, creator Peter Morgan has always acknowledged that it’s an imaginary version of what would happen behind the scenes . But with the fifth season came new condemnations and a call from no less than Dame Judi Dench for Netflix to add a disclaimer to every episode that it’s fiction. (Netflix did not do this.)
In particular, former Prime Minister John Major objected to a scene in the first episode of the season in which Charles, now played by Dominic West, comes to Major, played by Jonny Lee Miller, to talk about something sensitive. . What he wants to talk about is the idea that his mother has been queen long enough, and maybe it’s time to think about a change in the interests of the country. In other words, he wants Major to explore the possibility of pushing her to step down so Charles can become king. (Keep in mind that this would have happened around 1991, so he would have to wait another 30 years to become king. If he had tried to speed things up, it didn’t work.) Major says that this meeting n ever happened, never would have happened or could have happened, and to invent it is “malicious”.
Obviously, given that Charles eventually became king upon his mother’s death, it’s embarrassing to suggest he was impatient. But his eagerness is presented, at least in part, as part of a wider interest in modernizing the monarchy and a fear that by the time he becomes king the institution could be damaged.
Regardless of this individual scene, the overall tone of The crown has always been sympathetic, especially to Elizabeth and Prince Philip, whose romance anchored its first season, but in fact to the whole family. They are constantly portrayed as people whose lives are devoted to duty in a way that is largely beyond their control, and the focus on their emotions and motivations distracts from institutional issues such as cost and colonialism. which are not necessarily about whether people are nice or in love with each other. The very fact of seeing their feelings as the most important thing about these people flatters them.
Plus, even when it comes to the “scandals” that are covered in this season, including the breakdown of Charles and Diana’s marriage, the depictions are pretty mild. Charles and Camilla’s romance is given a warm, heartfelt glow of cursed frustration, and the invasion of their privacy when the recordings of their phone calls are released outweighs any sense of sensationalism. Diana is not sanctified; she is shown to be loving towards her sons but sometimes petulant and unreasonable, foolish and myopic. Elizabeth Debicki’s performance is very strong on those notes and in general, but the only place she might miss a bit is carrying Diana’s ability to at least appear warm in public. (In fairness, of course, this is the section of the story where everyone started to look a little bad.)
Surely if you are a pure royalist who believes the right way to deal with this family is as untouchable and divine, entitled to power without a doubt, then The crown will disturb you. If you think of them as awful people living at the public’s expense, it’s actually a sales pitch that they’re better than that and more deserving of the public’s understanding. Morgan settles into a kind of “flawed decent humans like everyone else, born into circumstances they didn’t choose”. It’s humanizing, for lack of a better term. And whether you think that’s too little or too much sympathy mainly depends on what you’re looking for in royalty – and if you’re looking for anything.
#Heavy #doesnt #Crown