I’m pretty sure I said this when I did the review for season 1 of the Crown but there is no way I’d be able to do the show justice with one post because it is difficult to summarise my thoughts on the show properly in 750 or so words. I feel the same way about season 2 but I’ll try anyway. What I’ll do is pick out a few key things that stood out for me. After almost every episode, I went down my rabbit hole and tried to find out what was fact and what was fiction and I noticed some people taking the distinction of fact and fiction and the portrayal of certain events waaay to seriously. I mean it’s a drama at the end of the day not a documentary.
Top things that stood out
Who didn’t love Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret? I read an article in GQ detailing why her performance is reason enough to watch the crown and I can’t say that I disagree. She was so unconventional. Prince Harry is definitely cut from the same cloth as her. I paid particular attention to her story with Group Captain Townsend in season 1 and went to read all about her life. Unsurprisingly, things started to fall apart in her marriage soon after which in a way is unsurprising because the way they got together was so unusual, they shouldn’t have been anything more than lovers in the first place. They were too similar and I understand that they eventually started seeing other people and her husband even fathered a kid out of wedlock. As you probably guesses, the marriage hit the skids soon after. Fun (well maybe not so fun) fact, the two kids Princess Margaret had died within 10 or so months of each other in 1993 and 1994. The Earl himself died early last year. Another fun fact, Season 3 of the crown will chronicle the breakdown of Princess Margaret’s marriage. Sadly though, Vanessa Kirby will be replaced.
Harold Wilson’s wife really had a lover and Harold Wilson knew about it but chose not to get a divorce because he didn’t want negative attention. Excuse me but what kind of rubbish is that? I think the hardest thing to put yourself through is to remain with someone who doesn’t really want to be with you. It’s one thing if the person begs for forgiveness and doesn’t carry on whatever they were doing but when they continue and you remain? I think it is equal parts stupid and courageous. Even after his reign as Prime Minister ended, he still remained with her. Harold Wilson was a bit of a wuss anyway and he chickened out towards the end of his Premiership
It will be interesting to know if Jackie Kennedy really looked down on the queen and the English establishment. Whatever the case, it seems like the make members if the Queen’s establishment were absolutely smitten by Jackie and the queen struggled to see what the fuss was about. There is inconclusive evidence about whether this happened in real life and whether Jackie made that grovelling apology in real life.
One of the few things that happened almost exactly as described was the dance between the queen and Kwame Nkrumah. (Although by all accounts, they doctored the timing to fit in with the Jackie Kennedy story (who cares, it’s television). A part of me was jealous that they did not depict anything to do with Nigeria. I guess it was a reflection of the times. Ghana seemed to have their ducks in a row and were more progressive. In Nigeria, we were busy squabbling over tribalism.
Another thing that caught my eye was Prince Phillips family background. I suspect it is something that was portrayed in season 1, episode 1 (I distinctly remember not paying attention to any of the shenanigans that happened during the wedding) but majority of his sisters took up with Nazi’s. in season 2, his favourite sister dies in a plane crash. His dad sort of resents him after all this. All that grief must live in him somewhere and I kept paying close attention and apart from him singlehandedly building the school gate on his own and being a bit belligerent at school, there really wasn’t any manifestation of that grief. Even those two things were related to his sister dying and wasn’t symptomatic of long standing grief.
All in all, I enjoyed this season. Can’t wait to see what they have lined up for season 3. I also hope the new actors make the show as endearing as the old ones did.