The Crown’s latest season: Seven lessons.

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By Creative Media News

Season five of Netflix’s The Crown has already produced its drama before its premiere on Wednesday, creating debate over its depiction of the royal family.

Netflix defended the show as a “fictional dramatization” after Sir John Major and Dame Judi Dench questioned its accuracy.

The crown
The crown's latest season: seven lessons.

It has also inserted a disclaimer to its promotion for the show, claiming it is “inspired by real-life incidents”.

I spent my Friday night binge-watching all 10 new episodes of this new series to determine its nature; here are my observations.

It’s hard to tell fact from fiction

The closer this story gets to the present day, the more the truth and the blurring of fact and fiction concerns.

This season is set in the 1990s, and the Queen, played by Imelda Staunton for the first time, is in her mid-60s. Her children’s marriages are failing and, controversially, the program claims a romance between Prince Phillip and Lady Rumsey, 32 years his junior.

The Duke of Edinburgh, played by Jonathan Pryce, denies it, but in a crucial scene, he tells the Queen of his “disenchantment” with the union. But The Crown is so convincing and so human that it’s always been impossible as a broad viewer to discern play from reality.

In the absence of royal-related truths that we will likely never know, this fabrication fills the hole and becomes the truth for many.

With so many of the characters still alive so soon after the Queen’s demise, this is harder to defend editorially.

John Major’s portrayal is a revelation

The former prime minister has criticized the series for implying that Prince Charles planned to force the Queen to abdicate. He has referred to this as “malicious drivel.”

But in The Crown, the politician, previously derided by Spitting Image for being dull and uninteresting (and eating peas), is anything but.

As brilliantly portrayed by Jonny Lee Miller on television, he is highly respected by the Queen as a wise voice of the people and a mediator in the turbulent divorce proceedings between Charles and Diana.

And when his wife Norma, portrayed by Flora Montgomery, brings him dinner in episode nine, there are no peas in sight.

It is a remarkable discovery.

Elizabeth Debicki steals the show

The voice (hesitant, breathy, the right side of posh), the dropped head as she stares up through her eyelashes, the hairstyle, the gestures, and, of course, the clothes; it’s all so Diana.

While Dominic West does his best to enter the character of (the then) Prince Charles, he’s too slick and too blatantly attractive to be convincing.

Debicki is perfect.

Money has been no object

The Crown is rumored to cost approximately £10 million per episode, however, creator and writer Peter Morgan has consistently refuted this.

Again, it appears that money has been no object in this series.

We are presented with lavish substitutes for royal mansions and palaces, a replica of the Hong Kong handover ceremony, and Her Majesty delivering her famous “annus horribilis” address in London’s Guildhall.

Throughout the series, the (fading) Royal Yacht Britannia becomes a metaphor for the Queen’s sense of becoming out of touch, outmoded, and unimportant.

I can see why the authors jumped on this story – the yacht was decommissioned in 1997, the first year of Tony Blair’s presidency. However, the analogies feel excessive, especially in light of the actual monarch’s subsequent lengthy and praised reign.

Does it show Britain stuck in the past?

The Crown influences how the rest of the world perceives Britain, but it likely merely confirms what people already believe.

The program’s Britain is aglow with regal splendor. We witness exquisite dinners and Eton classrooms; the English are depicted as game-hunting and etiquette enthusiasts.

For some, these depictions will cause us to be perceived as a country trapped in the past, while others will perceive us as a nation with a rich history.

Some of the issues in the fifth season revolve around whether the Queen or Prince Charles had a greater understanding of what modern Britain represented.

In actuality, the pomp and circumstance of Her Majesty’s funeral highlighted the nation to the globe. In its way, The Crown deserves praise for maintaining Britain’s presence on the international scene.

It mirrors our intricacies.

Humans are complex, and so are the characters in The Crown.

Much of the debate surrounding this series has centered on whether or not Prince, now King, Charles is represented unfairly in his relationship with Princess Diana and as he attempts to find his place as Prince of Wales.

After five seasons of The Crown, I believe that Peter Morgan’s talent is that he demonstrates the complexities of being human.

He can’t stop falling in love with his characters and imbuing them with genuine emotional depth.

Only the most ardent anti-monarchists would not reply.

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