In case you were worried that you may not like The Crown as much if they changed the actors, have no fear. It is just as good – maybe better – with the addition of the brilliant Olivia Coleman (who I have loved since Hot Fuzz), Tobias Menzies, the divine Helena Bonham Carter and new characters such as the grown-up Princess Anne and Prince Charles. As usual, the series makes me realize that I don’t actually WANT to be Queen. The family is not like any other, but they have serious family struggles. There is the hard-working Queen Elizabeth, who out-lasts her Prime Ministers, worries about her loved ones, and wishes that she had a different occupation; Prince Phillip who struggles with mid-life, not realizing the mark he has made in the world; Princess Margaret who seems to have everything but is desperately unhappy; the young Prince whose “duties” pull him away from the love of his life (we all know it works out in the end) and breaks his heart; and the lively Princess who – one realizes – has the strength and wisdom to be a great Queen but will never have that chance. Initially, I found the series in season 1 & 2 to be slow-moving and it still is but has a great deal of depth and lessons on how to lead and act when everything in you desires to do or be something else. You grow to appreciate the daily sacrifices of the Queen and often, feel very sorry for the Royal Family. The historical references will once again have you Googling and learning or relearning the events you did not know or have forgotten – the tragic deaths of children in a coal-mining town, the Moon Landing, and you may look at President LBJ a bit differently if you did not know of his personality. You will also wonder if any of the private conversations ever really happened. I think that the only questionable casting was young Camilla. The actress was good, but only her hairstyle favored young Camilla who, in photographs, looked a great deal sportier. When I reached the end of the series, I wished there was more. I was hoping we’d have a glimpse of Diana, but I was happy with the new cast, particularly Olivia Coleman and Helena Bonham Carter and look forward to even more seasons of The Crown.
The Council Rules: Stream it with tea and crumpets!