Until now The Crown has been pretty good PR for the Royals – viewers cried for Margaret, cheered on the fearlessly feisty Anne, and were charmed by Charles. Now season four comes along and this latest instalment of Peter Morgan’s Royal epic is sure to set Windsor tongues wagging.
But come on, this was always bound to happen. As the series reaches the late 1970s, two of Britain’s most talked about women are making their entrance. Gillian Anderson marches in as Maggie Thatcher, hair alarmingly bouffed and eyebrows working overtime, whilst Emma Corrin’s coy Diana peers at her soon-to-be (adulterous) husband from behind a bush. We’ve all been waiting for this. And the pair don’t disappoint: Corrin, fresh out of university, delivers a heart-breaking and heartbroken Diana, whilst skirt-suited Anderson frowns her way to an uncanny resemblance. But the real drama comes in the portrayal of Charles’ betrayal – Diana is shown to be the blameless victim of a deceitful husband and lacking-in-love in-laws, with Morgan really going in on the “People’s Princess” idea. And the depiction of her suffering with bulimia nervosa is so real it comes with a “viewer discretion” warning. So, it’s not a great season for Charles or Her Maj, who coldly watches over all these shenanigans. But, that’s why this season is even better than the rest. The show’s 73 million viewers have been waiting for these salacious scandals for 30 episodes, and they don’t disappoint.
Carol Midgley in The Times agrees “the new series of The Crown is the best yet” despite admitting “that the opener was not a five-star episode.” The Telegraph’s Anita Singh says of the new additions, “the casting is perfect,” and that “It all makes for a riveting soap opera.” Ed Power in The Independent says of Corrin and Anderson: “So dazzling are these performances that the real historical events that serve as raw materials for The Crown often feel like an afterthought.”
First shown November 2016. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here: