Every girl has dreamed of being a princess, although we mostly only consider the Disney fairy tale ones; #Netflix's The Crown brings us an actual royal princess and her struggle to make her proverbial shoes fit, as the British crown suddenly passes on to her. The present day Queen of United Kingdom, Elizabeth II, is the princess in question. Her childhood and adolescence, along with her ascension to the throne and her first years as a queen, are the core of The Crown Season 1.
As Netflix's most expensive series to date, The Crown brings all the glamour and lure of the British royalty to the screen, offering some excellent reasons for the absolute fascination we have for all things royal. Here are merely 5 reasons why you should watch The Crown — but, as you do, you'll find a million more.
It's Pretty Historically Accurate
If you're a history buff like me, then you'll find that watching The Crown is like reading history books. From Edward VIII's abdication to Elizabeth's marriage and coronation and more, the show paints a realistic and truthful picture of English history. For instance, for Princess Elizabeth's wedding dress, costume designer Michele Clapton and her teams (yes, that's a plural) spent 6-8 weeks to recreate Norman Hartnell's original design.
Of course, not everything about the royal family — and more specifically the Queen — is publicly documented, so series creator and scriptwriter Peter Morgan had to make some educated guesses at certain points. In an interview with IndieWire, Morgan — who is also the screenwriter for the play The Queen, which originated the 2006 movie — is honest about having to connect the dots where the Queen's private life was concerned. Truth is, his guesses make it possible for viewers to get some insight into the life of a woman many would like to be privy to. In Morgan's own words:
It's Contemporary, And Yet Untouchable
One reason for our fascination with the lives of the royal family is that they are people just like us, but that somehow remain untouchable for the rest of the world — much like those princesses in fairytales. #Queen Elizabeth herself says time and again in The Crown that the people don't want the royals to be approachable; they need them to represent something bigger, an ideal never to be tarnished.
The Crown does a pretty good job of making Elizabeth a perfect and almost flawless wife, mother and queen, while offering some upstairs-downstairs perspective from some staff members and non-royal characters. Even Princess Margaret's heart-breaking romance with Peter Townsend is written in a way that makes us privy to it, rather than watching it from afar.
It's Got Amazing Performances
If being a queen is no easy task, playing one might be just as hard — especially if the queen you're playing is very much alive and can watch your performance at any time. Claire Foy was no stranger to being royalty, as she plays Anne Boleyn in BBC's Wolf Hall, but her likeness to young Elizabeth is uncanny in The Crown.
The Crown offers great performances all around, but Jeremy Northam as PM Anthony Eden and John Lithgow as PM Winston Churchill are particularly fascinating to watch. Honestly, it took me a while to recognize them both, as they look so much like their characters — Winston in particular.
It Has A Fair Dose Of Drama
Drama, royal or otherwise, is what makes good TV; and The Crown offers a great deal of it. Two storylines are particularly enticing and intriguing enough to keep your binge going: the Margaret/Townsend love story and Prince Phillip's struggle with his role. A non-Briton myself, I confess I've always seen Phillip Mountbatten as a quiet, characterless sidekick to the queen, but The Crown has made me reconsider that impression. Phillip gives Elizabeth some rough times with his constant complaining and the difficulty he shows in accepting his lesser role — which I'm hoping changes next season.
Princess Margaret and her star-crossed love story with Group Captain Townsend also take center stage at times during Season 1 of The Crown. After King George VI died and Elizabeth ascended, Margaret felt alone and broken-hearted, and eventually found comfort in the arms of the captain. There's one particular scene that strikes out among the many great exchanges between the sisters — when both Elizabeth and Margaret finally acknowledge they wished their roles had been reversed — in which we can't help but feel Margaret's pain.
This one seems quite self-explanatory, but I'll try and elaborate for you. As The Crown follows Queen Elizabeth's life up-close, you'll have a first-row seat to her secretly shared kisses with Prince Phillip, her 24-hour practice on how to walk with the heavy crown on her head prior to her coronation, her private fashion shows where she chose 100 different dresses, her desire to learn more so that she could debate with US president Eisenhower, her passion for horses and dogs, her stolen glances at her kids playing with their father and her declaration of love to her one and only Prince Phillip. Plus, because it's a TV show, you don't feel guilty about stalking the queen through it all!
More on #TheCrown:
- One Simply Must Study The True Story Behind Netflix's New Royal Drama 'The Crown'
- 'The Crown': Where Was The Expensive New Drama Filmed?
- Crushes, Corgis And Crackin' Credits: The Internet Bows Down To New Netflix Series 'The Crown'
The Crown's complete ten-episode first season was just released on Netflix last week, and a second was already commissioned before the first even aired, which should give you around ten hours of wonderful binge-watching. The show should span for six seasons, each covering a period in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the longest reigning monarch in history. If it's this great now, I can't wait till it gets to Princess Diana, Will and Kate and all the juicy stuff!