‘The Crown’ season 4 royally surpasses expectations

New characters allows for more development of the story


Fair use from Netflix.

Sam Swisher

After finishing season three of Netflix’s historical drama “The Crown,” I was starting to lose interest in a show that aims to cover the over 65-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The main reason I felt disinterested was that the show seemed to dwell so much on Princess Margaret and her failing marriage and ensuing long line of suitors and relationship disappointments. Thinking that this new season would continue to cover the failed love lives of members of the family, my hopes were not high for this season.

The fourth season of Netflix’s “The Crown” takes place from the late seventies until the early nineties. The season starts with the election of Prime Minister Margarette Thatcher (Gillian Anderson). Arguably my favorite character this season, Thatcher brings a strict conservative persona to the show that has a hard time adapting to the queen and her family. The queen’s personality of a strict protocol follower is challenged with Thacher’s bold commitment to change England. The large and public disagreements between England’s first female prime minister and the Queen are a change in a relationship that the queen has kept cordial with all of her other prime ministers throughout her reign. The other aspect that I love is Thatcher’s detailed look into the story of the prime minister aside from their interaction with the queen. This season offers a look into the Thacher family, as well as Margaret Thatcher’s emotions that stem from inner family problems. 

A new shift in the cast that everyone will surely be talking about is the addition of Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki). From the beginning, it is obvious how profound Diana’s effect will be on the family and the series. Although I complained that season three seemed to end with a boring love drawl of Princess Margarette, I think Diana and her love affair or lack thereof with Prince Charles is the young electrifying love story that this show needed to revitalize its love component. Diana’s rise to prominence with the public and the media’s obsession with Charles and Diana is starkly reminiscent of the queen when she was young with Prince Phillip. The queen’s ability to harness the people into enthusiastic crowds on foreign tours is matched if not overtaken by Diana’s ability to do the same. 

The one complaint I do have about season four is that it felt like the director’s cut corners in order to save money. There are many examples of this, such as Diana and Charles’ wedding, the queen’s birthday celebration and the funeral of lord Mountbatten. Although these scenes were solved by simply alluding to it happening off-camera, it felt like these major events were cut out of a show that has a past of elaborate scenes that probably broke the bank.

Overall, this season was a true revitalization for “The Crown.” This is mainly due to other characters taking some of the queen’s spotlight such as Princess Diana, Prime Minister Thatcher, and Queen Elizabeth’s children. I am looking forward to the future of this series and I think they should continue to expand the spotlight beyond just the close royal family. 

“The Crown” season 4 ★★★★☆