The Crown has slipped: how the Netflix epic captures our relationship with the royals

The Crown has slipped: how the Netflix epic captures our relationship with the royalsDecember 2, 2020

While the fourth series has come under fire for factual inaccuracy, it is just one of many series to reflect the royals long history of mythmaking

‘Let’s get it over with,” sighs Prince Philip as he reluctantly prepares to venture towards a crowd of adoring subjects. On the one hand, this moment in The Crown has the ring of truth: realistically, why would members of the royal family be enthusiastic about meeting yet another mob of curtsying, awestruck plebs? It must be tremendously boring. And yet, on the other hand, how dare they? Who pays their wages?

A few things have become clear during the fourth season of Peter Morgan’s Netflix epic. Firstly, it’s just as well The Crown isn’t on the BBC. Because if it was, the nation’s enraged rightwing culture warriors would have descended upon Broadcasting House and stormed it. Secondly, this is a portrait of managed decline. And finally, The Crown means The Queen. But Olivia Colman’s Elizabeth II is more Canute than Britannia – not ruling the waves but nobly, if eventually absurdly, trying to hold them back.

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