The Crown: Ruining the Royals

If Queen Elizabeth II was offended when prime minister Margaret Thatcher didn’t know the correct time to curtsy, I’m really going to scandalize her today. Don’t get me wrong; I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I watched The Crown. But the unknowing viewer, like me, would be shocked to discover the events portrayed in this series. In fact, the show made me wonder; did the royals do anything good? 

Netflix’s drama The Crown, now concluding season four, follows Queen Elizabeth II and her family. As a newbie to royal gawking, I was captured by the first two seasons starring Claire Foy, watching the Queen grow up, her sister Margaret left in the dust. A cast switch kicked off season three as well as my critiques of the royal family. Helena Bonham Carter emerged as Margaret, known to my generation as Bellatrix from Harry Potter and Olivia Colman as Elizabeth impressed. Seeing how the life of fame treats Margaret or watching the entrance of Elizabeth’s four children sparked my inner judge. It gave me something to turn my nose up at, to make me feel just a bit better than them.  

In season three, Prince Phillip says his wife’s “allowance” hasn’t been raised, and it is really having an effect because they had to downsize their castle (GoFundMe opportunity). The press, as expected, blew up with criticism and mockery. To prove his point, Philip hired a documentary crew to capture how the royals led similar lives to the general public. Because, like you and me, we all go for a daily horse trot at 2 o’clock. Here, I really started to see the spoiled-rottenness of the royal family, and as a warning, you might too. 

In season four, my image of perfect royals continued to shatter, as does the fantasy marriage between Diana and Prince Charles. Although Charles wishes to marry Camilla Shand, he can’t, and cue the drama. And I mean drama: fights behind closed doors, cheating, and separation threats. Most people know of their problems, but I had never imagined it was so bad. When I thought of Charles and Diana, I pictured a perfect couple, but The Crown makes me wonder how problematic their partnership was.
From Charles’ complaining, to The Queen Mother’s meddling and need for perfection, and with the endless scandals, The Crown painted the picture of an entitled and cruel family. If you are a fan of the royal family or a novice, you might be horrified at how the show makes such an exaggerated production of their lives. I would highly recommend this marvelous series for its drama and acting, but don’t be surprised if it ruins your perception of the royals.

Ila Bumagin

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