Aaj English TV

Tuesday, July 23, 2024  
16 Muharram 1446  

The Crown: A Regal Finish

In the last season, it was seen how Queen Elizabeth bravely sought advice from the then-popular Prime Minister, Tony Blair

Drama, emotion, glamour, history - a sophisticated bit of everything is what the Netflix series, The Crown is all about. With the release of its last season, the life of the longest-serving monarch in modern history has been superbly documented and dramatised.

What is more, despite showing the struggles and the shadows that have haunted the British monarchy, and its human side which they choose to hide under the cover of duty and regality, The Crown still proves to be a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II and her family. Even the most controversial incidents of the ‘company’ or the ‘system’ as they call it, would not make you stop loving each one of the characters, each in a different way.

The last season has been released with a total of 10 episodes in two different time intervals. It’s amazing how the directors and writers have attempted to assess what we can call behind-the-scenes sentiments of the royal family on various occasions. We don’t know if these exactly happened the way they have been portrayed, but comparing the characters with their lives spent in reality, it can be safely assumed that this is the closest to what may have happened actually.

In the episode which showed the funeral arrangements of Lady Diana, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth seem to have brief conversations with Diana as if she was sitting right in front of them. The two scenes were beautifully portrayed, showing a possible guilt both may have had about Diana. Many critics found these scenes too far-fetched, but I think that it was more of a cinematic tool with profound effect to assuage the sentiments Charles and Queen Elizabeth may have had in those moments.

Next was an episode that showed William’s struggle to cope with his mother’s death and his anger towards his father. How each family member handled the issue and played their role to lessen the grief as well as patch up the relationship between the two future heirs to the throne was touching, to say the least.

Another episode showed how Queen Elizabeth bravely sought advice from the then-popular Prime Minister, Tony Blair, as to how to reform the monarchy. Upon his suggestion, she meets those of her staff members, who were deemed to be holding unnecessary posts, like a Keeper of the Swan, whose responsibility entailed looking after the well-being of the swans’ population in the state, with swans having been a delicacy in medieval cuisine. But this very interaction brought her back with more confidence when she shared with Tony that each member is carrying a legacy, a rare skill, passed on to generations, the custodian of which is the monarchy. “Sometimes modernity is not the answer, antiquity is also important”.

The last season also shows the blossoming of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s romance under the careful maneuvering of Kate’s mother, in contrast to the meddlesome domination of Al-Fayed over his son Dodi so that he wins over Diana’s heart.

It is also interesting to note what an uncanny physical resemblance most actors have with the characters they played, of course owing also to the visual and makeup artists combined with some great acting skills. In particular, it seemed as if Lady Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki, had come alive to play her part on the screen, while actors playing Prince William, played by Ed McVey showed uncanny resemblance between himself and the heir to the British throne. Mrs. Middleton (Meg Bellamy, the unknown actress who plays Kate Middleton) and Tony Blair, played by Bertie Carvel also looked remarkably similar to their characters in real life.

Like any other cinematic rendition, The Crown also faces its share of criticism. With being written off as ‘A Royal Mess’ to ‘having strayed too far from reality for its good’, the last season has been criticised for being dull and not ‘juicy’ enough and delving too much into fiction and imagination, especially in the case of Diana’s encounters with Dodi or memories of a young Elizabeth’s innocent escapades.

The conversations between each of the characters would indeed be a figment of the author’s imagination since there is no way to figure out the private details of a family heavily guarded at all times. Perhaps, the team took the liberty of creating dialogues and decisions based on the characters it built throughout and what it expected them to deliver. However, the accuracy of the historical events that happened, and the minute details of the interior, costumes, and personal habits of most characters cannot be denied, showing comprehensive research.

The season ends with Prince Philip addressing himself and Queen Elizabeth as ‘a dying breed’ referring to the next generation having a lack of dedication and devotion to duty, compared to their own. In the ending dialogues, the writers of the series do not mince words or seem to have no regret when they indicate the lack of faith in the future monarchs, which is no match to the legacy Queen Elizabeth left behind her. Also, the series may be a portrayal of her and her family, but it leaves a strong work ethic for all its viewers: “Life spent in service is not a burden, it’s an honour.”

For the latest news, follow us on Twitter @Aaj_Urdu. We are also on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Lady Diana

The Crown season

The Crown last season

Netflix season crown

Kate Middleton and William

The royals