The extravagance! The opulence! The pomp! Netflix just released its new series The Crown and it is delicious.
The Crown is based on the life of Queen Elizabeth II, the current Queen of the United Kingdom, and the longest currently-reigning monarch, having served as the Queen since 1952.
Netflix’s The Crown starts when Elizabeth, still a princess, is married to Philip, then the Prince of Greece and Denmark. We see the dynamics between the Royal Family: her grandmother Queen Mary, her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and her sister Princess Margaret. There’s also the imposing Winston Churchill, the prime minister of the United Kingdom.
Because of Netflix’s tradition of keeping their seasons short, tragedy strikes early. King George VI dies of coronary thrombosis in episode two, which means Elizabeth will take the throne as Queen Elizabeth II.
The ascension sets the tone for the entire series: family drama (especially with the arrival of King George’s brother Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne to be with the American socialite Wallis Simpson), Prince Philip’s feelings of emasculation having to serve his Queen wife, and the secret deals people make to grab or keep power.
I’ve seen up to The Crown’s episode three, and I’m impressed at how Netflix distills this great upheaval in British history in 10 episodes. I don’t know if it’s the “British-ness” of the whole thing, but the series is elegantly-told, like the blooming of the first flower in spring.
Claire Foy is beautiful as Queen Elizabeth. Her large eyes are expressive, and reveals vulnerability and hesitation at a single glance. Don’t let her innocence fool you. Remember, she has been Queen since 1952. Matt Smith as the frustrated Prince Philip is believable, too. Other standouts include Eileen Atkins as Queen Mary, Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, Ben Miles as the equerry Peter Townsend, and Jared Harris as King George VI.
The superb acting is matched by the gorgeous wardrobe and production design. No stone has been left unturned, and the show has become the most expensive TV series to date.
So many events happened during the Queen’s reign. In fact, Churchill said it himself: “Great things have happened to this country under the scepters of her queens.” I’m excited to see all these unfold in the coming episodes.
All of The Crown’s episodes are available for streaming at Netflix. Enjoy Netflix on Globe Broadband by subscribing to Plan 1299, which will give you six months free access to award-winning Netflix originals, high-definition quality TV shows and movies, and your favorite flicks on your TV, computer at speeds of up to 10 mbps. Find out more here.