Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Crown TV Series

Clair Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix series.
Fair Use image from Netflix.
It is a lavish production and historians have generally given it high marks for historical accuracy.  It covers the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and is projected to go multiple seasons.  Season 1 is on Netflix now.  The producers plan on addressing the aging problem by switching out the lead actors every two seasons.

What I’ve seen so far -- few thoughts.

Monarchies have gone from one extreme (absolutism - not portrayed here but part of the backstory) to the other extreme that is depicted here. In one scene Churchill declares that the government controls every aspect of the royals’ life and Elizabeth knuckles under and accepts that. For example, she considers it a victory when the cabinet grants permission for Phillip to take flying lessons “though no loops or rolls”. The family and by extension the entire system looks ridiculous. Assuming that the Netflix’s story is accurate, I wish that Elizabeth had shown a little more spunk and insisted on control of her family’s private life. While this might have provoked a Charles-I-kind of a row, she would have been on solid ground and if the monarchy had fallen as a result of that, at least it would have been for something noble.

As it is, the series makes her look weak and ridiculous. It could be because that is what she was.

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