Although the United Kingdom mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth after her longstanding regime, the Queen still lives in the Netflix show, The Crown, which is yet to air its fifth and sixth seasons.
Created by Peter Morgan, this show is one of the most polarizing ones on Netflix, inviting debates, discussion and dissent from the Royal family itself. As it covers the various decades of the Queen’s reign, not only does the landscape keep changing, but also the actors. Olivia Colman replaced Claire Foy as a young Queen, who played Elizabeth’s middle-aged version. Colman, in turn, has been replaced by Imelda Staunton to play the current version of the Queen.
The fifth season is scheduled to arrive on November 9th, 2022. The fifth and the sixth season will focus on the darkest years of the Queen’s regime and will provide an intimate insight into the royal family against the ever-changing landscape and socio-political backdrop.
Starring Imelda Staunton as the Queen, Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Dominic West as Charles, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles, and Humayun Saeed as Dr Hasnat Khan, among others, the upcoming season is highly anticipated among fans.
While we wait with bated breath to see Staunton as the Queen, here are some of the best moments from the Queen on The Crown, as demonstrated by Colman and Foy:
The five best moments from The Queen on ‘The Crown’
The Queen’s victory over the Iron Lady
Queen Elizabeth was known for maintaining an apolitical status. However, this episode strengthens the idea that the Queen was not on good terms with Margaret Thatcher, the controversial British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. In this episode, the Queen objected to Thatcher, aka Iron Lady’s refusal to join other commonwealth nations to impose economic sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Both Olivia Colman and Gillian Anderson deliver brilliant performances as the Queen and the Iron Lady, respectively, in moments of quiet confrontation and disagreement. But in the end, the Queen cleverly wins as her ministers announce, “It is a victory for the commonwealth, a victory for humanity and most importantly, a victory for you!”
The Queen’s pointed remarks at Anthony Blunt
In season three, as the Royal family mourns the death of Winston Churchill, the Labour Party candidate Harold Wilson takes over the title. The Queen’s art curator, Anthony Blunt, tries to convince her that Wilson is actually a Soviet spy before the truth comes to light. In a very dignified yet pointed speech, the Queen makes Blunt aware of her knowledge regarding the situation.
Colman’s chemistry with Samuel West as Blunt is brilliant. She is graceful and poised as she outs the man and says, “Well, I think I speak for everyone here when I say none of us will be able to trust or look at anything in the same way, ever again.” Interestingly, West reprised the same role in a four-part BBC series called Cambridge Spies.
A rare emotional moment for the Queen
The Aberfan tragedy in Wales took place in 1966, killing 144 people, of whom 116 were children. Queen Elizabeth II notoriously delayed her visit to the Welsh town by eight days before going there, which still remained one of her greatest regrets.
The Crown episode shows Olivia Colman representing a rare emotional moment as the Queen as she exposes how she maintains a hard exterior. Delicate and heartbreaking, the episode records a harrowing tragedy and the effect it had on the Queen.
The Queen’s coronation
In season one, the showrunners meticulously recreate the Queen’s coronation scene but not without introducing the dramatic tension that continues across the seasons. As Elizabeth gears up to ascend the throne, she constantly battles with her sense of self, family and duty. Tension is on high as Phillip and Elizabeth argue over the process of the coronation before recreating the historic moment on-screen.
Both Claire Foy and Matt Smith are phenomenal in the episode. It shows her transitioning into a bigger and more powerful role that has high stakes. Her grandmother’s ominous speech rings in our ears: “While you mourn your father, you must also mourn someone else. Elizabeth Mountbatten. For she has now been replaced by another person, Elizabeth Regina. The two Elizabeths will frequently be in conflict with one another. The fact is, the crown must win. Must always win.”
The Queen meets the man who broke into the palace
In 1982, Michael Fagan broke into the Queen’s palace twice, actually managing to talk to her the second time. In this highly fictionalized episode in season four which is loosely based on true events, Tom Brooke plays Michael Fagan, who breaks into Queen Elizabeth’s chambers to have an open conversation about the dwindling state of Britain under Margaret Thatcher’s regime.
Still, one of the best episodes in the show, which focuses on the current socio-economic condition with unemployment on the rise, it gives the rare perspective of a working-class man and shows the queen’s empathy as she gives his problems a patient ear. She ends with a promising “I shall bear in mind what you said”, which instils hope regarding her being a true queen of the people.