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The top 10 brilliant moments from 'The Crown'

Created by Peter Morgan, the 2016 series The Crown prevails as one of Netflix’s most polarising and popular dramas that delves deeper into the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and explores political and social events, royal family secrets, scandals and much more!

The release of The Crown’s fifth season seems so far away and having to wait until November 15th, 2022 is a big ask for most of us. The first four seasons of the award-winning show have proven itself to be a classic historical drama that will be watched in years to come.

With season five expected to circulate more around the fall of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, it’s likely that the viewership of the Netflix show will skyrocket toward even more success. 

However, as we find it within our constitution to try and wait for the new season to arrive, below we have ten of the best moments from the previous four season as a reminder of what we’re waiting for.

10 best moments from ‘The Crown’

“Long live Queen Elizabeth”

Episode two of the first season proves to be one of the best that The Crown has offered, particularly with one iconic scene. When Elizabeth returns to England after learning of her father’s death, the idea of her being next in line to the throne isn’t something that she is focussing on. Instead, she’s asked what she would like her regal name to be, as her father chose Albert. “Well, then, let’s not overcomplicate matters unnecessarily. My name is Elizabeth.” To which Martin responds with, “long live Queen Elizabeth,” which stops her in her tracks as she exits the room.

It is at this point that she realises her world will no longer be the same. She is about the lose Martin, her loyal attendant, and will soon be Sovereign. Perhaps one of the best lines from the entire show.  

Prince Phillip’s obsession with space  

Throughout the first two seasons, Matt Smiths portrayal of Prince Phillip perfectly showcases his ambition and need to become a pilot. The seventh episode of season three shows that everyone, including the royal family, was extremely excited about the moon landing in 1969.

The excitement from Phillip, played by Tobias Menzies at this point, turns underwhelming after he meets the men who experienced spaceship flight. Despite the times we’ve felt sorry for the Prince before, it’s here where we can truly sympathise with him. Phillip is longing for some sort of worth and belonging, having lost his career with the Royal Navy as a result of his marriage.  

The Prince Charles and Princess Diana argument  

The build-up we see of Charles and Diana’s relationship throughout season four finally exploded in this scene. Josh O’Connor’s portrayal of Prince Charles makes the scene so memorable, and takes the crown, if you will.

In spite of everything Prince Charles has done to Princess Diana, we can slightly sympathize with him. Yes, he committed adultery, flew off on tour after his engagement, and embarrassed Diana publicly, but he was in love with someone else, and was essentially forced to marry Diana out of convenience. The emotion of O’Connor’s portrayal in this scene accurately highlights what his character has felt up until now.  

Princess Margaret’s divorce 

In the royal family, divorce was not a regular occurrence. It played a huge role in preventing Margaret from marrying Peter Townsend, who she fell in love with, because he had been divorced previously. She later married Antony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdown, in 1960.

It was and wasn’t a shock for audiences when Princess Margaret divorced him 18 years later in 1978. There were rumours of affairs on both sides of the marriage, and perhaps the only shocking part here was that the divorce actually happened.  

Princess Margaret played by Helena Bonham Carter

Prince Charles and his love for Wales

The sixth episode of season three sees Charles being unwillingly sent off to boarding school in Cambridge where he eventually starts settling in. He is eventually made to leave in order to learn Welsh at the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth to help settle political upset.

Ahead of his speech, Charles decides to speak in Welsh, which pleases Welsh people but causes unrest with his mother. He asks her, “Am I listened to in this family? Am I seen for who or what I am? No.” 

Prince Phillip bows at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation  

Prince Phillip has a pride issue when he is asked to bow to Queen Elizabeth at her coronation. As an audience, we can understand his difficulty to bow – Elizabeth is his wife, isn’t it a little weird for him to bow to her? As Elizabeth is Queen though, of course, he should. If roles were reversed, the Queen would be expected to bow to the King.

“Are you my wife or my queen?”, to which Elizabeth responds powerfully with “I am both, and a strong man would be able to kneel to both.” Eventually, Phillip bows in the ceremony, but it is a fantastic moment where we see Queen act like a Queen.  

Queen Mary bows to the new Queen Elizabeth  

In another bowing scene, days after her father’s death Elizabeth is acknowledged as the Queen, including her father’s mother, Queen Mary. At her father’s funeral, Mary approaches Elizabeth with countless others watching and proceeds to bow to a stunned new Queen.

In this scene, no dialogue is needed, as the actions of Mary are powerful enough to easily carry it.  

Prince Phillip’s traumatic childhood 

Unbeknownst to many, Phillip had a particularly traumatic childhood that shaped his character into the seemingly strong figure he’s known for. If you weren’t aware of what happened when Phillip was a young boy, the flashback scenes in The Crown were truly shocking and saddening.

Viewers learn that he had a particularly difficult relationship with his mother, Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark, who was institutionalised after suffering from schizophrenia. He also lost his sister Cecile in a tragic aeroplane accident at Ostend. These flashbacks help highlight that Phillip isn’t the strong character he makes out to be. 

Queen Elizabeth and Aberfan  

Queen Elizabeth’s initial lack of response to the Aberfan disaster caused some serious unrest between Wales and the royal family. The Welsh and many others considered her to be cold and emotionless as she didn’t even consider visiting the epicentre of the tragedy until she was encouraged to do so. She visited eight days later which caused more upset due to the lateness of the visit.

In real life, the Queen had said that not visiting immediately after was “her biggest regret”.  

Winston Churchill delays the coronation 

In an attempt to hold onto whatever power he had left, Churchill delayed the coronation by 16 months in the show. He made excuses to Elizabeth talking about the current economic state, and that a coronation so soon could cripple the economy. In reality, however, waiting periods for coronations are normally this long, particularly if the previous monarch had died.

There are mourning periods and some serious planning to do, so there isn’t much accuracy with this storyline in The Crown. However, the truly iconic moment is when Queen Elizabeth learns of Churchill’s true intentions behind the delay – we see the true power of the new monarch.  

Check out the trailer for season four of The Crown below.