spoilers ahead for season two of the crown
Once again, Netflix and The Crown have absolutely made my December. I feel in love with this show last year, and season two has not disappointed at all. I finished watching the season in less than a week (that’s binge watching by my standards) and I am still thinking about it.
My favorite episode was episode five, titled “Marionettes” when Lord Altrincham convinces the British public, and eventually the Queen herself, that the monarchy must change and adapt for the greater good of post-war Britain. He cites a botched speech by the Queen as an example of how out-of-touch the monarchy is with the public, but his critique comes without warning in the local paper and thus catches the Elizabeth completely by surprise. I had no idea that she would agree to meet with him, let alone to listen to his ideas of what changes she should make in the monarchy. He quickly moved from a critic to an adviser of sorts to the Queen and she ultimately chose to implement some of his ideas, such as televising her annual Christmas message to the public rather than broadcasting it on radio. You can really get a sense of how difficult it was for Elizabeth to be willing and open to change within the monarchy. You can see how conflicted it makes her to go against what her family would have traditionally done, although she recognizes that things are very different than they used to be and that she has to be the trailblazer for the sake of the rest of Britain.
And of course, episode eight “Dear Mrs. Kennedy” is the one everyone has been talking about – and for good reason! This was cool to watch because up until now we have really only seen the British side of things, not so much the American depiction of what was going on in the world during this time period in the show. Having the Kennedy’s visit was pure gold. Mrs. Kennedy’s presence pushed Elizabeth, and really, everyone at Buckingham palace, to new places and brought something new out of their characters. The pressure which Elizabeth felt was very real and struck a chord within her; yet the pressures Mrs. Kennedy felt were also real, foreign to Elizabeth, but not enough that she couldn’t relate to her on some level. In the end, the women have more in common than they realized, but the tragedy of Kennedy’s death makes Elizabeth pause considerably.
Prince Philip is my least favorite character. I didn’t like him in season one, and I hated him more with each episode of season two. Episode nine just about killed me with the way he treated Charles when it was so obvious that he was hurting. Philip had his own complicated past with his family, and he may have thought that being at Gordonstoun school made him stronger and ultimately helped him, but “toughening up” isn’t something that works with especially sensitive kids – Elizabeth tried to tell this to Philip but his twisted mind prevented him from seeing the truth. I had to Google it to make sure it wasn’t really as bad as depicted, and it doesn’t sound like it was thankfully, but this episode definitely concluded his character for me.
Margaret’s storyline didn’t hit me as hard this time as it did in season one, but I know that it’s been popular with many other viewers. She is such a foil to Elizabeth and it is fun to see their interactions together, which so distinctly define each of their characters and personalities. Overall, it’s such an aesthetically pleasing show and I have so loved watching it on these cold December nights – it definitely wouldn’t be the same watching in the summertime.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have set their wedding date for May 19, 2018! More reasons to look forward to the new year! PLUS the new royal baby, who is expected in April. I know a lot of people dislike the attention that surrounds the royal family, but I think you have to really go out of your way to have that attitude, because when it comes down to it, it’s just a bridal announcement, or engagement/birth announcement; you don’t have to pledge allegiance to the Queen just to admit that you like to see pictures of Prince George and Princess Charlotte every now and then 😉