As the 1970s are drawing to a close, Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and her family find themselves preoccupied with safeguarding the line of succession by securing an appropriate bride for Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor), who is still unmarried at 30. As the nation begins to feel the impact of divisive policies introduced by Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), tensions arise between her and the Queen which only grow worse as Thatcher leads the country into the Falklands War, generating conflict within the Commonwealth. While Charles’ romance with a young Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) provides a much-needed fairytale to unite the British people, behind closed doors, the Royal family is becoming increasingly divided.
From the moment the season opens, the drama is electric. As the Queen slowly comes out on horseback to greet a huge crowd outside of Buckingham Palace, the look on her face says it all. If you think previous seasons have been dramatic, brace yourselves for what’s to come.
Not only does this season introduce us to Princess Diana, we also meet Lady Thatcher.
So, where to start? First up, Lady Thatcher. Played sensationally by Gillian Anderson, the resemblance is incredible. You’ll hang on to every word delivered, not least when she’s in the company of the Queen, who is hardly any match for the Iron Lady. In the early episodes, you’ll see MT reshuffle her cabinet, attend the most hideously uncomfortable Royal Family holiday in Balmoral and we gain a candid insight into her relationship with husband Dennis.
Thatcher alone would be enough to electrify this season but then they add Diana into the mix. Like Anderson, Emma Corin’s performance is awards-worthy. You’ll instantly believe in her, and again, her on-screen chemistry with Charles will have you gripped to your seat. Wait until you see how Princess Margaret speaks to her, and later, the most uncomfortable lunch date imaginable with Camilla.
This is The Crown on acid – everything has been ramped up. The Queen, Prince Phillip, Anne, Margaret, Charles… they’re just as you remember them from season 3, but it feels like everything about them has been ramped up to the max here.
On top of ALL of that, there’s also the small matter of the IRA to deal with, and there are scenes which play out which are fascinating to watch.
If it wasn’t based on real events, you wouldn’t believe it. So far, we’ve only watched 3 out of 10 episodes but already, we can tell you this is THE drama of the year.
The Crown streams on Netflix from Friday.