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The Crown/Netflix

Largely out of curiosity I watched the first two episodes of The Crown.  

I was particularly curious to see whether my recollection of events tallied with those of the series.

In one event, the murder of Prince Louis Mountbatten (played by Charles Dance), they did not.

I recall feeling a deep sense of outrage that the Prince should be murdered by the IRA together with his grandson and others in his boat.

This was represented  differently.

The murder was sandwiched between the Royals out hunting for deer as if this the murder was itself equated to blood sport.

The funeral service was over-scored by an IRA bulletin referring to deaths in Ireland at the hands of the British army notably Bloody Sunday.

I cannot imagine the Royal family watch the series but if they did they would be much hurt and offended.

Perhaps it’s the painting Monarch of the Glen but The Queen and The Crown seemed almost obsessed by the stalking of deer.

The second episode when Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Andersen) came to Balmoral illustrated the coldness in every sense of a country house weekend and one can imagine the relationship between Queen (Olivia Colman) and Prime Minister would be strained.

On a different level we saw the beginnings of Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) courting Princess Diana – more or less accurate.

Yet for all the voices and hair accuracies, I felt a lack of credibility between the actors and their roles.

Olivia Colman was too cuddly for the Queen, Gillian Andersen too glamourous, only Princess Anne was the real deal with her self-confidence though Emma Corrin  as the young Diana certainly looked the part.

Aside from the accuracy of the representations I also had a problem being convinced by the content of private meetings.

For example, there was one scene between the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles in which the former was jealous of the close relationship between Prince Louis Mountbatten and the latter which the Duke once had.

How do we know such a meeting ever took place, let alone what was said? Is it fact or fiction, documentary or drama? The lines are blurred.

I also wonder whether the Royals should be fair dramatic game.

They are still held by many in awe and respect , especially the Queen.

It’s not been a good year for them with the Epstein scandal tainting Andrew and Harry and Meghan resigning royal  duties.

One can imagine fashionable east coast American dinner parties to which Meghan is invited regaling the guests of her own experiences and commenting on the accuracy of the drama.

I guess the average age of a Netflix viewer would be 30 which means he/she – unlike me – would have no recollection of the dramatised events.

It makes for good television and the production worked hard on accent, clothes and hairdos to create verisimilitude.

But was  it like this ? Not as far  as I recall.

About Henry Elkins

A keen researcher of family ancestors, Henry will be reporting on the centenary of World War One. More Posts

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