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Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee and Matthew Wrather discuss season 4 of Netflix’s The Crown: its range of references (get ready for some hot Midsummer Night’s Dream donkey action); its investigation of two alternate crowns in the form of Thatcher’s and Diana’s haircuts; its themes; and the 3 wonderful speeches in its final episodes.
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I’m six episodes in, and I must confess to experiencing a certain amount of Schadenfreude toward Charles and Diana.
For what it’s worth, my favorite Royal Wedding to date is the 2005 civil ceremony between Charles and Camilla. The two got married with a minimum amount of fuss (by Royal Wedding Standards) and Camilla wore an interesting hat/fascinator thing. The two have been quietly married for fifteen years without being too much of a bother to anyone that I’m aware of. Now there’s a happy ending I can get behind.
I find it significant that the only time we see the actual Crown since Season One is in the opening credits. Does this imply that the Crown itself is more an idea than an actual object that intersects with our experienced reality?
I’ve never understood the appeal of royal families, so I’m not following the show, and one of the reasons is exactly the mentioned “you’re not the important one.” The entire premise, after all, is that they’re all distant descendants of King David and a more recent ancestor was chosen by God to wear the fancy-pants hat on special occasions. So, of course, that’s one of those power dynamics you don’t get to really question, with rare exceptions like elected heads of state. It’s weird, and I have to pity anybody (like Diana) marrying into it without some secret plot to subvert the system and upend the remnants of the aristocracy.
Unrelated, at one point, didn’t the producers announce that this season wasn’t going to exist? I thought that would’ve been an odd choice, since, at least to most American audiences, the British Royal Family was (to my memory as a child) basically ignored until Diana showed up. So to not capitalize on that seemed like an awkward move.