How monarchy deals with those who stray beyond acceptable conventions – the Diana Spencers and the Meghan Markles – The Crown Season 4 will look at life of the British royal family’s most famous dissident, helping make sense of the experience of the newest one.
“Something as important as the monarchy simply cannot be allowed to fail,”Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix’s The Crown
In what looks like another Emmy-worth breath-taking performance, Olivia Colman’s voice emphatically summarizes the show in a single sentence. The thirty-second teaser of The Crown Season 4 exemplifies the British Royal Family’s conviction to stay relevant, which helped them survive while other major European monarchies faded into history.
Diana’s Story In The Crown Season 4: The Consequences of Mavericks
The British Royal Family has been able to retain relevancy in their own country and are no doubt the most popular royals in the world. However, this has come at a cost. In the show, we see how the royal family cuts off the Queen’s uncle after his abdication and refuses to recognize his wife, Wallis Simpson. Another character we see in the show who fails to fall in line is Princess Margaret, who had to relinquish the person she loved in order to remain within the royal family. Helena Bonham Carter brilliantly portrayed Princess Margaret, a figure who, in reality, had to face a lot of cynicism and vilification.
If one looks closely, the Queen’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, is somewhat of a misfit as well. In the first two seasons of the show, we see multiple clashes between him, Elizabeth and the institution of the monarchy. The show depicts the ways in which Prince Philip had to sacrifice his career for his marriage and tone down aspects of his character.
All of this is undertaken to preserve the integrity of the monarchy. But it is a very tricky business, to say the least. In season 3, we saw Prince Charles grapple with the institution he is destined to inherit. This is where it must have gotten really tricky because you cannot remove, malign or muck around with the heir to the throne. If one looks at the history, Prince Charles doesn’t settle in his role for a long time, a process that comes to be overshadowed by other things; which brings us to Diana.
Let’s Play Quiz: Which Princess Diana Are You?
Striving to stay Royal and dealing with Diana and other Mavericks
Princess Diana was one of the most popular and controversial royals in history. It was feared that her growing popularity, she might eclipse the Royal family and the Queen in the eyes of the British as well as the global audience.
In order to understand the complex historical context, one needs to look at the events that fomented it. Prince Charles was in love with Camilla Parker Bowles, but couldn’t marry her due to her Catholic faith. Diana was brought in as a young and appealing substitute. Prince Charles’ marriage to a young and free-spirited Diana was perhaps the most glamourous, as well as the most unhappy, in recent royal history as we’ll see in The Crown Season 4.
The choice of who The Crown Season 4 makes the central character of the plot when divulging into the, broken from the offing, marriage would influence how the story is told. One might also wonder if we will get to see the situation from Diana’s perspective — a tumultuous marriage into an unreasonable set of ideas leading up to the eventual public divorce. Princess Diana’s complicated relationship with the Queen is something fans, critics and historians are all looking forward to exploring with The Crown Season 4.
Then there is Prince Charles’ alleged infidelity. The Crown previously hinted at Prince Philip being unfaithful, but this is entirely different as we are talking about the future of the monarchy, not the past.
Watch: Why Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage broke up
Prince Charles and Diana’s marriage didn’t just collapse, it ended in one of the most extraordinary divorces, most publicized in history. With Charles’ status as the apparent heir to the throne, it was earth-shattering for many. It should be noted that Henry VIII had to separate Church of England from the Vatican in order to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon and hence, changed the religious course of England forever. Charles marries Camilla, who is a divorcee. This is again extraordinary keeping in mind what happened to the Queen’s uncle when he tried to marry a divorcee.
Most anticipated aspects of The Crown Season 4
- Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana’s (played by Emma Corrin) complicated relationship
- Diana’s tumultuous marriage into the royal family and eventual divorce
- The scandal around alleged infidelity of Prince Charles (played by Josh O’Connor) and how Diana received it
- Interactions and ensuing chemistry between Margaret Thatcher (played by Gillian Anderson) and Olivia Colman’s Queen
- Clues about Meghan Markle’s royal family experience from Diana’s story in The Crown Season 4.
Onward to Meghan and Harry
The list of maverick royals can’t end without mentioning Meghan Markle. The Duchess of Sussex is in the headlines quite often. But unfortunately, there won’t be any Meghan-Harry drama on The Crown, as per the 20-year-rule rule followed by creator Peter Morgan. Meghan has been attacked by the British media since the moment she got engaged to Prince Harry.
These attacks have gone up since she and Prince Harry stepped down as senior royals. Many have speculated whether this step endangers the survival of the royal family. The critics have remained verbal despite Meghan and Harry now having started creating a new life away from the intricacies of The Crown.
Apart from the investment interests linked to the royal family in The Crown, Netflix has also signed a multi-million deal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to produce “content that gives hope” for the platform. The productions are expected to include plans for documentaries, kid’s programming and TV shows. The Netflix deal is expected to pay Harry and Meghan a signing on fee in the range of $50-100 million and their earning can end up reaching $250 million in the long run. While Meghan Markle will reportedly not return to acting, she and Harry are expected to be seen talking on camera in the documentaries as part of the Netflix deal.
The fans of the show and the family, have season 4 to look forward to. Releasing in November, The Crown Season 4 will certainly help comprehend the current state and future fate of the royals in a better way.