‘The Crown’ – Season One of a Netflix Multi-Season Presentation

John Thomas

The sound of his deadly cough bounces off the tiled walls of a darkened bathroom. Clutching a handkerchief to his face, the man stares at his image in the mirror–what to do? He glances down to see his drops of blood sliding down the inside of the basin towards the drain.

Troubled by what he sees, he considers his future. He has a fragile elderly mother, a loving supportive wife, two daughters he adores and, thanks to his older brother, a position of great responsibility. After all, he is King George of England.

Following his death, and without a son, the governance of the British Empire will be granted to his eldest daughter Elizabeth. He ponders, “Will she be properly educated and prepared for such a role, have the support of the people she is to serve and the help of the ministers who advise the monarchy?”

His mother, Mary, suggests she be educated in the protocols befitting a female member of the royal household. His wife, Elizabeth, feels her daughter should be schooled in the history of the United Kingdom. The prime minister, Winston Churchill, is more concerned with his own position to much care. There is no mention of providing her with a general education.

At the age of 26, Elizabeth is crowned Queen of England. Her husband, Phillip, and her sister, Margaret, sense a change forthcoming in their relationships with the new Queen. The Queen’s schedule is filled with governing responsibilities, public appearances and tours to Commonwealth members scattered throughout the world.

As these responsibilities increase, she relies more heavily on her husband for support. He, however, has his own interests. Her sister wants to “spread her liberal wings,” much to the dismay of everyone in the palace–especially Queen Elizabeth II.

Ruling the empire in the 20th century is a burdensome task but one that Elizabeth handles with aplomb. Her children grow up and marry, her grandmother dies, there is a plethora of new cabinet minister and heads of state with which to deal. She manages these challenges and her family with grace and dignity–at least so it appears on the media.

The interworking of the monarchy, the inherent secrets, conspiracies and intrigues rampant behind the closed gates and doors to Buckingham Palace, are rarely if even seen. Americans semi-love affair with England and things English is ever present.

The Crown provides fans of the British monarchy – especially the royals – an inside glimpse into their fascinating lives. Some characters in this season will not reappear. In future seasons, however, one has for sure Diana Spencer to look forward to.

Directed by Benjamin Caron, The Crown is a “must-see” presentation in nine episodes.



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