Alice Oscura, Featured Writer
For avid fans like myself of Netflix’s The Crown series we have been waiting patiently with bated breath for Season 4’s release. During this pandemic-stricken year, we have been assuaged with numerous trailers and speculations on how the Prince Charles and Princess Diana fiasco will be treated. Let’s face it, it’s been a hot topic ever since their engagement.
Season 4 deals with some extremely sensitive topics and in my opinion, they have been handled with the utmost respect without scandalisation. It has been reported that Prince William is not happy about the way that his parents’ relationship has been portrayed, and who’s to say that if it were my parents that I wouldn’t be singing a different tune. But for me it has been by far the most passionate and poignant season of The Crown to date.
So, without further ado, here’s my five reasons to watch Season 4 of Netflix’s The Crown:
Reason 5 – Princess Di the Fashion Icon
From her iconic puffy-sleeved wedding dress that looked like something straight out of a fairytale, to her smart suits and eye-catching modern evening gowns, this is one Princess who was determined to stand out from the institution. Her playful youthfulness and mischievousness have always been physically displayed through Diana’s sense of style, plus the use of simple pieces of jewelry when she was not required by state to wear the crown for formal occasions. Her little crooked have smile and twinkling aqua blue eyes managed to capture the hearts of many all over the world who dubbed her “The People’s Princess”.
Some of Diana’s most iconic fashion pieces have been recreated for the series and looked absolutely gorgeous on actress Emma Corin. I did notice however that for the Tour of Australia and New Zealand they chose to put the actress in a lot of red dresses. This was possibly to represent the youth and vibrance in Diana especially during still happier times with Prince Charles before the real disintegration of the marriage. It may have also been done to make the actress stand out in the crowded street scenes where the camera panned outwards to show the mania of people’s reactions to the Princess, and ultimately leaving Charles on the sidelines like the proverbial cheese standing alone. Corin’s deportment, body language plus the subtle head and eye angles are almost a freakish dead ringer for Diana, especially the actress’ stunning blue eyes. You do get the sense that she is a china doll walking over the precipice and Corin’s pixie-like look gives us that protective urge by wishing that she could get the help and guidance that she so badly needed due to her lack of maturity and experience.
Reason 4 – Prince Charles Painted the Villain and Ultimate Spoiled Brat of the Century
Josh O’Conner returns as Prince Charles in Season 4 which due to the timeline that it is set in brought numerous challenges to the actor. He has taken up a role that has proven not to be particularly popular with the public. It seems to me that Prince Charles has gone down in the books as one of the most hated royals. It’s no secret (unless you have been hiding under a rock all of this time) of his long-standing relationship/affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles all throughout his marriage to Diana. Camilla has since become his wife and the Duchess of Cornwall officially in April 2005, exactly eight years after the death of Diana. The Crown really did a number on Prince Charles in this season. He is portrayed as being so desperate to have his cake and eat it too where he goes out of his way to purchase a property mere minutes away from his mistress.
He is shown as having a terrible temperament towards Diana in not understanding her need for affection due to the trauma of her parents’ broken marriage and the intense loneliness suffered afterwards. Charles is also shown as complaining about Diana’s immaturity and physical weakness despite the fact that they do have a seventeen-year age gap and she was still literally a teenager when they first met. Then he shows his utter disdain for the public warming up to her more during their tour of Australia and New Zealand.
It was utterly disturbing to see this big man throw a tantrum by saying this is supposed to be “my tour”, boo hoo and stamp his feet because he didn’t get the attention that he wanted since he is the heir to the throne. Let’s just say that I don’t think his public relations is going to get any better after people have seen this version of Prince Charles especially for those hardcore fans of the deceased Princess Diana.
Reason 3 – The Hereditary Principle
This is actually the name of Episode 7 in the season. It brings to light a question that most analysts and historians have had on their lips about the Royal family – do they abandon family members who do not fit the mold? If you are born with a defect, do they simply write you off as being deceased or hide you away in a mental institution for the rest of your life? This episode highlights relatives of the Queen mother that were institutionalised from having mental development issues. To Princess Margaret’s horror whilst going through a depressing, melancholic period of her own she discovers the existence of these relatives that have been written off as being deceased when they were very much alive in a hospital.
Helena Bonham Carter reprised her role as Princess Margaret, and she does not disappoint. You make this journey with her on her unfulfilled love life and her declining health issues that scarily mimicked that of her father King George VI as she ended up having a part of her left lung removed to excessive smoking. With further removal of a senior title she is basically pushed aside in favour of Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest Son Prince Edward. It sends her down into an emotional pit of despair when she realises the monstrosity of the story behind the abandoned relatives.
You are left feeling quite sympathetic towards her because it must be quite a terrible and lonely feeling to have lived a life that is unfulfilled. Is the Royal Family devoid of compassion for their own family members? Do they really tread over their young and toss them aside if they refuse to conform? It ties back into their treatment of Princess Diana when she did plead with the Queen on numerous occasions to help her to cope with Prince Charles. However, it is just shown that she should toughen up and get over it. The institution may not be able to survive modern society where everything is connected to emotions especially when the rules are constantly changing in terms how the future Royal children are to be reared.
Reason 4 – A Desperate Man’s Attempt to Get the Queen’s Attention
One of my favourite episodes of the Season is five entitled “Fagan” which is based on the incident where Michael Fagan successfully breaks into the Queen’s bedroom in Buckingham Palace in 1982. With unemployment at an all time high due to measures implemented by then Prime Minister Thatcher, Fagan becomes desperate to have his plea heard after being ignored by his MP on the horrors that the working class have been suffering due to the unemployment situation. Fagan a painter/decorator by trade begins to get mentally agitated and lashes out at his ex-wife’s new partner.
Eventually he takes a chance to speak to the Queen who is horrified at first (rightly so)to find this strange man in her bedroom. But she is shown to be sympathetic to Fagan when she realises that he means no harm to her. Fagan brings to her attention that Thatcher took his job and that she is gunning for the Queen’s next. It showed that maybe there was a lack of awareness by the Royal Family in the true goings-on in the economy. Are they or have they really become so detached from society that they don’t seem to understand a working man’s plight? It boggles the mind.
Fagan was not charged with a criminal offence but instead sent for psychiatric evaluation and released six months afterwards. It wasn’t until 2007 that it became a criminal offence to trespass on the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
Reason 1 – Gillian Anderson’s Thatcher is Emmy Award-worthy
Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of ex-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is scarily on point so much so that I forgot it was Gillian. I do not know how she did that thing with her voice but my goodness if you closed your eyes and just listened to her speaking you would swear that it was the real Thatcher! The actress’s makeup, hair style and wardrobe choices were the perfect combination to her acting chops. She successfully managed to project Thatcher’s moniker of being “The Iron Lady”: not wanting to back down in the face of opposition; working with such diligence and dedication in her role as Prime Minister that she constantly made enemies; and even managing to butt heads with the Queen herself on several occasions. But in the end of her 11 and a half years in office she suffered the ultimate betrayal by key members of her political party and was forced to step down.
However, even Queen Elizabeth II was forced to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the first female British Prime Minister and chose to honour Thatcher with the Order of Merit upon her exit. Thatcher is shown as having the utmost respect for the working class who build their way slowly up the success ladder much like her father once did. She is depicted as having an immense admiration for her father’s hard work and his utmost respect for the Monarchy. Her relationship with her children is strained but her husband Denis is understanding of her position and is extremely supportive. I really enjoyed whenever she was onscreen, and I hope that Anderson at least gets nominated for an Emmy. She deserves it!
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this Season of The Crown with old and new cast members holding firm to their roles. I believe that there will be some backlash to be seen, especially with the portrayal of Princess Diana and her battle with the eating disorder bulimia, her toxic marriage to Prince Charles, and ultimate affairs plus the kind of heartless representation of certain aspects of the Royal family, including the lack of warmth and love that Princess Diana experienced. But hey, The Crown never professed to be an accurate description of these events, it’s all up to the interpretation of the viewer. All in all, a very solid season and I am looking excitedly towards Season 5 where we are expected to get major cast changes again due to ageing of major characters.
Alice’s Season Score: 9 out 10
So what did you think of The Crown Season 4? For my Top 5 Reasons to Binge Netflix Romance Series Sweet Magnolias you can click here. And for more cool TV reviews you can like and follow Redmangoreviews on Facebook here.
Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump.
I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook, my Instagram is alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For more on me you can click here.