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REVIEW: ‘The Crown’ brings British royalty to reality

by Jean Donaldson

In “The Crown,” Netflix’s most recent original production, political drama, history, and the royalty all collide to create a 10-episode season that watches more like a movie than a television series.

(Photo provided)

(Photo provided)

It has been documented as Netflix’s most expensive production, but the extra dollars were well spent. “The Crown” showcases exquisite costumes, gorgeous views of the African safari and a cast that captures the essences of the characters they embody, which is crucial since they are representing one of the most prominent families in the world. Actors including Matt Smith (Dr. Who), John Lithgow (Interstellar) and Vanessa Kirby (Me Before You) all play leading roles as the Duke of Edinbrugh, Winston Churchill, and Margaret Windsor, respectively. However, it is Claire Foy, who is known for her British television acting, who steals the show and captures the grace, beauty, and ferocity of Queen Elizabeth.

The show follows the young Queen Elizabeth from princess to coronation and beyond, highlighting the struggles she faces balancing family and love with duty to the crown. The dynamic between the queen and Churchill is a central theme, and Lithgow captures the role of this iconic leader with ease. Strong women are central to the show, from the queen to Churchill’s secretary, most of the women are strong willed and determined.

However important the queen is to the show, at times it felt as though she was not at the center of the show. There were episodes that focused on Churchill as prime minister or dilemmas with the queen’s sister rather than another day in the life of the queen, but it managed to tie all of these storylines together through their relation to Queen Elizabeth.

(Photo provided)

(Photo provided)

If you don’t know the details of the royal family and English peerage, it might be worth catching up on because ‘The Crown’ doesn’t take much time to introduce you to who is who and the significance of people’s various ranks, which would make some specific crises less significant to the ill-informed viewer. Even if you aren’t familiar, the show will captivate you with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, and that’s all you really need to enjoy it.

‘The Crown’ is chock full of powerful and moving statements about the importance of the crown, the war between royal worlds and the strength Queen Elizabeth required as a woman filling one of the highest roles in the British Empire. Historical accuracy or inaccuracy aside, ‘The Crown’ is a political drama done with utmost class.

 

 

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