7 episodes of The Crown to (re) watch to remember Elizabeth II

7 episodes of The Crown to (re) watch to remember Elizabeth II

Impossible to understand the English monarchy without The Crown. In these days following the death of Elizabeth II, much has been said about her life, her long reign and the imprint she left on people all over the world. But this imprint would not have been so widespread and transversal outside the United Kingdom, probably, without this TV series: from a historical figure, thanks to the Netflix production of Peter Morgan, the queen has also become a recognizable character, suspended between universal and personal history, between myth and reality, between fairytale and everyday life, further consolidating its status as a pop icon. If many have a positive and nostalgic impression of the newly deceased sovereign, it is also because all the spectators of these episodes seem to know her well, in the most intimate details and several times - despite the evident social and age distance - yes he is tempted to identify with his psyche and experiences.

And for those who have not yet started the journey of The Crown, whose fifth season will arrive in November on Netflix, or for those who simply want to do a dense review, here are some episodes that, even in the context of fiction , allow us to cast our gaze into the deeper dimension of this character (played by Claire Foy, Olivia Colman and soon by Imelda Staunton) and, above all, of this person.

Hyde Park Corner

Alex Bailey / NetflixAll the opening episodes of the series are crucial to fully delving into the life of Queen Elizabeth, especially for the many spectators born decades after the events. But perhaps it is the second of the first season that gives us a good idea of ​​the fundamental passage that occurred for Elizabeth with the death of her father George VI (Jared Harris): the news of the death of the king reaches his heir and Prince Philip in a representative trip to South Africa. Immediately the young woman must put aside the pain of her father's death and show the "strength and leadership" that her people need from her: "The fact is that the Crown has to win. She must always win ", writes her grandmother Mary of Teck.

Smoke in the eyes

Alex Bailey / Netflix It is not known when we will see the coronation of King Charles III: the previous one in history of Great Britain was precisely that of the mother on June 2, 1953, more than a year after the death of King George. The fifth episode of the first season of The Crown tells us the behind the scenes of this momentous event, which for the first time was also shown live on television all over the world. The episode expertly shows not only the complexity of such an organization but also the personal and political conflicts that every fact of the Royal House always triggers, from the first disagreements with Filippo (Matt Smith), in charge of keeping busy the organizing committee, to the return of the former King Edward with his pretensions.


Alex Bailey / NetflixThe first season ends with a kind of apotheosis: the transformation journey from Elizabeth Mountbatten (her original name) to Elizabeth Regina (her royal insignia), cultivated for all these episodes, reaches its peak not only with a famous portrait of Cecil Beaton but also with the decision to prevent the marriage of her sister Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) with Captain Peter Townsend, already divorced. The attachment but also the rivalry of the two sisters is a common thread of the entire series and reflects the tension that really existed between the two: with her decision to put the safeguard of the Crown before the happiness of her sister, we understand that Elizabeth has finally understood what it takes to truly become queen.


Alex Bailey / Netflix In the fifth episode of the second season we are witnessing a truly momentous, albeit perhaps misunderstood, moment for the British monarchy: a speech that the queen gave in 1956 in a Jaguar factory. Her detached and unconsciously classist words sparked the reaction of Lord Altrincham, who wrote that, in a world where many monarchies were abolished, the Crown had to adjust to the new post-war world. Very impressed, Elizabeth invited Altrincham to court by being persuaded to modernize her style of communication with her subjects, for example by filming the usual Christmas message on TV and opening the Debutante's Ball to non-nobles.


Des Willie / Netflix Can a queen show her feelings? There are many cases in which we wonder watching The Crown but the most striking case is certainly the one represented by the third episode of the third season, the one that tells the terrible disaster that occurred in the mining town of Aberfan in 1966, when an avalanche of mud and coal buried entire schools. Elizabeth II went to the place only a week after the event, sparking criticism for her insensitivity. The episode's dialogues between her and Prime Minister Wilson (Jason Watkins) imagine the queen as still unaware of the power her image of her has in comforting people. A bit of a counterbalance to what is happening today with rivers of moved people who go to greet his coffin in Westminster.

Tywysog Cymru

Des Willie / Netflix After decades of waiting and , it is assumed, in preparation, Prince Charles became King Charles. The series does not hesitate to show the complicated relationship between him and Elizabeth II, suspended between the desire to be a good mother and the duties of a queen. Significantly in the sixth episode of the third season, Carlo (Josh O'Connor) is sent to Wales to reconnect with local representatives but also to get away from his love for Camilla Parker Bowles, frowned upon by the Crown as she was already married. After berating him for a subtly critical public speech ("It's not about choices, it's about duty"), Queen Elizabeth appoints Charles as Prince of Wales. This same title, now that he is king, has passed to his son William, although the investiture ceremony has yet to take place.


Meaghan Darwish Most of the episodes of The Crown are aimed at showing how in the life of the queen and her family, public and private life are always interconnected and of the price to be pay to maintain or bear this balance. This does not mean that there may also be room for more funny or bizarre episodes, such as the one told in the fifth episode of the fourth season. It tells of the double infraction of Michael Fagan, a house painter who sneaked into Buckingham Palace twice in 1982, the second even meeting the queen in her bedroom. The scene that is portrayed (although almost certainly dissimilar to how the facts went) show an impassive and almost amused queen in front of the unexpected guest. A gash in the protocol that, as usual, lets us imagine the truest Elizabeth.

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