I have just finished watching The Crown on Netflix. It was only released a few days ago but I binged-watched all ten episodes. One of those ‘just one more episode’ things where I ended up going to bed in the early hours of the morning.
It was not action-packed or particularly fast moving, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am not a monarchist but I find monarchy very interesting. This series gave an accurate overview of the history and events of that time from the point of view of both the politicians and of the regent.
The costuming in general – and the jewellery in particular – was outstanding. I love royal jewellery, especially tiaras and coronation regalia, and they really worked hard at reproducing the real thing, right down to the small details like earrings, as you can see in the photo below. Not always worn exactly when they originally were but close enough for me.
I liked Queen Mary, played by Eileen Atkins. The look she gives the new Queen Elizabeth as she curtseys to her sent shivers down my spine. I also loved John Lithgow (one of my favourite actors – brilliant in 3rd Rock from the Sun) as Winston Churchill. I imagine the casting of an American actor to play him was a little controversial, given the large selection of British actors that would probably have really wanted the role. But he is fantastic. A little hammy at times but I was glued to the screen every time he was on – what a huge character Lithgow’s Churchill was. I loved him!!! I also particularly liked Matt Smith as Prince Phillip. He looks a lot like Prince Phillip but he has the character down as well. Special mention to Jared Harris as King George VI. He brilliantly portrayed the kind, shy, stuttering, unassuming second brother who had the crown thrust upon him after the abdication of his older brother.
Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II did not really stand out for me. I am not sure whether it is because she was not outstanding, or because I was so fascinated by all the characters around her. Even when it comes to the history of Henry VIII, I have always been more interested in the people around him and their machinations. I would be interested to hear what any of my readers who have seen this series think of Claire as HM Queen Elizabeth II.
The aim of this series (the writer, Peter Morgan, who also wrote The Queen and The Audience) is to trace the life of Queen Elizabeth II right to the present day, over six seasons, so the cast will change over time. I cannot wait to see the second season.