The Crown: The Debate Surrounding The Series and The Monarchy
by Cansu GÜLBAHAR & İdil ÇAKMUT
The Crown, one of Netflix's most successful series of all time, has evolved into a classic over the years. With its exquisite cast, costumes, and music, the production had won 68 different awards and had 178 nominations since 2016. The series’ main plot is the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Beginning from the 1940s, starting from the Queen’s accession, it depicts the era’s political rivalries, personal relationships, and significant events. We watch the Queen’s relationship with the Duke of Edinburgh, her Prime Ministers, and also her children. As announced by Peter Morgan, the creator of The Crown, the series will last for 6 seasons. By November 2020, 4 seasons are now available on Netflix. Well, a great majority is looking forward to the last two seasons of this unique project, however, their release dates remain unknown.
The series shows how the royal members care about the image and the illusion of the monarchy rather than the state of the country and that there is no limit to what they can do in order to protect it. However, their constant desire to attract attention and maintain their perfect image created a disconnection among the Royal family. Based on the royal family, it also displays how indifferent parents can inflict wounds on the child's personality. It describes the disappearance of the original identities of the members of the royal family and how lonely and lost each of them actually felt. The last season touches upon the subject of the relationship between Diana and the royal family. The series shows us the childish and innocent side of Diana, while the royal family, especially her husband Prince Charles, is portrayed as they continue to be cold-blooded against her charm, unlike the public. Still, The Crown tells what it wants to say by empathizing, not criticizing.
On the other hand, according to some close royal sources, the Queen liked the first season, but the second season made her a bit angry. She said that Prince Philip was portrayed as a very extreme person and that it was far from reality. Moreover, Prince William did not watch the show and even found it a bit disturbing according to some. Some British audiences loved watching the series, some did not like it - just like any other group of people anywhere. The general audience, even though they did not witness the events that occurred in the first seasons, say that the series adds aspects to what they already knew. Some people have seen it as an indignity to watch the show. They are concerned it would try to be a bit too scandalous and embarrass or ridicule the Monarchs. The actress' and actors' speech is considered boring by a part, even though most of the audience liked the acting and the sets. The Crown is a drama series based on real stories but especially when the series focused on Lady Diana’s story in season 4, it received many criticisms because Netflix hasn’t warned the viewers about the series being fictional. Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport of the United Kingdom, said that Netflix needs to make it immediately clear to viewers that "The Crown" is a work of fiction, not a by-the-book history lesson. Also, many Crown historians and crown members are not pleased with it. They submitted that the relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first female prime minister, was not as broken in real life as shown in the series.
Well, Britain’s monarchy is one of the most long-lasting kingships not only in Europe but also in the entire world. While all the monarchies around the world were collapsing, the United Kingdom succeeded to preserve its own. Throughout all these years, they increased their popularity around the world. Their lives, marriages, divorces… They all became the news everyone goes mad for. Today, obviously, they are more famous than ever. Especially, The Crown was and still is a magnificent advertisement for them, expanding the interest day after day. However, there are ongoing debates on a question: Is monarchy still a necessity or just a waste of sources? Well, when we look at the polls about what the British think, we see that a great percentage is in favor of the monarchy, regardless of their ideology. According to a poll by YouGov in 2018, only 21% of the British society opposes the regime. Supporters believe that the royals bring a huge income and are beneficial for the country’s advertising while the opposers defend that no one can be privileged just because of their family.
Since the royal family is highly admired by millions not only in the UK, they will likely maintain their duties in the upcoming years. The media doesn’t seem to be losing their interest in the Royals. They will keep on catching news, writing critiques… On the other hand, change is inevitable. Time changes, so as people, so as traditions. As years go by, the crown might not be as charming as it is at the moment. Although such a decrease in their popularity is not anticipated, there are no certainties. Only time will show.