Season 4 of The Crown is now here and covers the years 1977-1990, a tumultuous time for both the United Kingdom and the Royal Family which sees personal misery, social unrest and some huge personalities locking horns. So far, it’s said to be a big improvement on the (sometimes a bit dull) third season, and I can’t wait to check it out. But ever since the show began airing, fans have been wondering whether there’s anyone tuning in from Buckingham Palace.
Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is a big yes. According to multiple sources, the 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth is a regular viewer and while she hasn’t commented on the series directly, others have reported her opinions. This is all hearsay from “senior royal sources,” so take it with a pinch of salt, but apparently, she watches it with Prince Edward and his wife.
“They have a Netflix account and urged her to watch it with them. Happily, she really liked it, although obviously there were some depictions of events that she found too heavily dramatized.”
But while the first season seems to have gone down well, she had problems with the second and specifically, in the portrayal of her husband Prince Philip. A “senior courtier” told the Daily Express that:
“The Queen realizes that many who watch The Crown take it as an accurate portrayal of the royal family and she cannot change that. But I can convey that she was upset by the way Prince Philip is depicted as being a father insensitive to his son’s well-being. She was particularly annoyed at a scene in which Philip has no sympathy for a plainly upset Charles while he is flying him home from Scotland. That simply did not happen.”
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Other members of the Royal Family also reportedly tune in to The Crown to catch up on family gossip, though one notable exception is Prince Philip. Vanessa Kirby, who played Princess Margaret in seasons 1 and 2, said that he doesn’t watch it because “he can’t be bothered.” Fair enough.
Personally, I hope we get to hear the Queen’s reaction to the new episodes. Centerpiece events will be the ‘fairytale wedding’ of Charles and Diana (which behind-the-scenes was anything but), the violence and misery inflicted on Wales as a result of the Miners’ Strike, Elizabeth trying to deal with Margaret Thatcher’s egomania and the assassination of longtime family friend Lord Mountbatten by the IRA. Juicy stuff, and I can’t wait to dive in for myself later this week.