The Crown’s Farewell Challenge

The Crown is one of the phenomena of digital platforms, a series that was launched in 2016 with the proposal to cover the life of Queen Elizabeth II in power. With the monarch alive and (officially) healthy, the series was crucial in solidifying the image of the Queen of Pop, the Immortal Queen, and all the endearing references to her. The proposal was to cover decades of the life of Elizabeth of Windsor, from when she inherited the Crown, aged 25, and deliver until the Diamond Jubilee, in 2012, when she completed 60 years on the throne.

The plan was extremely well accepted and brought immense popularity to the Royal Family, especially when it came to Elizabeth’s first years in power, an image that more recent generations were unaware of or did not remember. Claire Foy and Matt Smith‘s charisma as young Elizabeth and Philip elevated the series into a phenomenon. However, life happens.

By shedding light on forgotten facts, or little highlighted, the series signed by Peter Morgan (who also signed the praised film The Queen) mixed intimate facts reported about the Windsors with the political context of the period, also portraying the Prime Ministers who led the Government British in each period. Of course, the distance in time alleviated some of the more sensitive facts (such as the marital crisis with Philip, the dramas with his sister, Princess Margaret, and the conflicts with his uncle Prince Edward, among others). Because with popularity the door to snooping has been flung open and if there’s drama, there’s the Royal Family.

The approach of the (until then) most delicate period in the trajectory of the reign of Elizabeth II – the entry of Diana Spencer into the family, her troubled marriage to Charles, and her tragic death) – gave shivers because they could not be avoided. At the same time, the personal lives of Diana’s children, especially that of Prince Harry, threatened not only to reinforce the difficult border of fiction, realism, or defamation that most critics complained about with each new season but even to overshadow the past. After all, his marriage to Meghan Markle united the most significant dramas in history: the abdication of his position for the love of an American divorcée (Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson), the oppression of being the steppe and not being able to follow his heart (Princess Margaret ) and finally, breaking with the Firm’s system by making embarrassing revelations about the domestic life of royalty (Princess Diana). We can conclude that Harry and Meghan trampled The Crown by making the content practically irrelevant.

The third season, which recounted Charles’ youth – spectacularly played by Josh O’Connor – and how his romance with Camilla Parker Bowles was made impossible by royal rules, reversed for the first time in more than 30 years the negative image that the public had of the current Queen consort. The empathy was short-lived as Emma Corrin‘s triumphant entry as young Diana seemed like a ghost of the true princess, reigniting the polarization of who was right or wrong in a relationship doomed from the start.

With the pandemic, production was delayed and what was supposed to end with the Platinum Jubilee, in 2022, is about to arrive in a year in which many question the future of the Monarchy (thanks to the drama of Harry and Meghan). It’s complicated to look at the story tragically concluded with Diana’s death compared to what is unfolding today. Even worse, with the series already reaching the 1990s, it directly affects people still alive and not happy with what The Crown shows, suggests, or makes people question their lives. Even worse, there’s a demand for the series to continue, such is the dependence (and confusion) that instead of fiction, it’s a reality show.

But perhaps under pressure or simply wanting to change the focus, Peter Morgan did not change plans. The last season will be the sixth, ending with the diamond jubilee, as imagined. And what does it mean? That William and Kate’s story will be part of history, but not Harry and Meghan’s. That’s right, let’s go to 2012, so with the marriage of the two having taken place in 2011, the couple will have a leading role in the farewell season, as shown by the recordings with actors Meg Bellamy and Ed McCvey, who will play Kate Middleton and Prince William.

In the last season, we will revisit the death of Diana – which Peter Morgan explored in The Queen – and the impact on the future of the monarchy in the person of William, the heir. It is uncertain how all of Harry’s scandals will be reported in the period (drugs, the Nazi costume, nude photos with prostitutes in Las Vegas), but they will certainly return to Kate’s “seduction” as a friend and later girlfriend of the future king.

The final season of The Crown was in the making until recently but was slated for the second half of 2023. It will be curious post-Charles coronation and family dramas about the event. I believe that it is really time to take a break from the series because the distance of time is crucial to evaluate the agendas of each piece of news and the closer to the people still in a prominent position, the more delicate everything is.

In my view, in view of the death of Elizabeth II in 2022, as well as that of Philip in 2021, they accelerate the urgency of a conclusion on the subject, unless they want to flirt with the inconsistencies of immediacy.

It’s too early to predict what will be shown (besides the obvious), but overall it will be an uncomfortable season and one that will determine – to a large extent – ​​how new generations will look at the British monarchy. A goal is far removed from the original, but still interesting.


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