Last Friday Netflix released the second season of the critically acclaimed and highly anticipated series, The Crown, and we definitely think it was worth the wait. The second season started with the Suez Crisis in 1956 and moved into the retirement of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1963 following the Profumo affair political scandal.
The first three episodes focused primarily on Elizabeth and Philip’s turbulent marriage. The opening scene was a flash forward 5 months after Philip’s tour and the opening of the Olympic Games. Before Philip left their marriage seemed to have improved, however that was ruined when Elizabeth discovered a photo of a ballerina who she believes Philip had an affair with. From that moment Elizabeth’s mood shifts and the audience sees how heartbroken she is by the discovery. Claire Foy delivers the emotions perfectly and without uttering a single word. We see it in her eyes and it’s enough to tell us everything she is feeling.
However, this season we also couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. It’s very clear Elizabeth loves her husband. During his tour, Elizabeth watches him on the television and only has eyes for him. She looks lovingly at him because this is the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with and although she is hurt beyond words by his actions, she miss him terribly.
What differed from the first season was that season 1 focused heavily on Elizabeth becoming Queen. In Season 2, the focused shifted to include everyone equally. Now, despite this, Claire Foy may not have long scenes showcasing her brilliance, but she did have moments that outshone her Season 1 performance. It’s these quiet moments that show us why Claire Foy was once again nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Queen Elizabeth.
Throughout the season, we cheered for Elizabeth as she tackled every issue that appeared in her red box and it was amazing to see. The young queen has come along way from the young woman who was afraid to truly embrace her role as queen. At the end of the first season we started to see her become a force to be reckoned with and during this season, she is as strong as ever. When Prime Minister Eden colludes with Israel during the Suez Crisis, Elizabeth finds out and Eden is utterly speechless to learn that she is confronting him about. Thus proving that nothing gets away from the queen and that she will stand her ground as sovereign, in order to do her duty. Once again Claire Foy demonstrates how much Elizabeth has progressed by her tone and decisions.
With the focus of the season shifting some of the focus onto other characters, the audience was able to get a glimpse at Princess Margaret’s personal life. Following her break up from Peter Townsend, Princess Margaret lives her days partying and drinking feeling like she’s got nothing to live for since she’s not married. Vanessa Kirby is just as dazzling to watch as she was the first season as she delivers a great performance as the sister who is jealous her Elizabeth and her role as queen.
Kirby’s performance shines even brighter when Princess Margaret enters a relationship with society photographer, Tony Armstrong-Jones. Their relationship is, at first, depicted as sweet and the tension between the two makes you cheer for them. However, the audience quickly learns that Tony is not the man Margaret believes him to be. In the end, he only marries Margaret to please his disapproving mother and their relationship produces two children and tons of screaming matches to go with it. Needless to say, Season 3 should bring more intriguing moments for Princess Margaret.
In addition to Claire Foy and Vanessa Kirby’s performances Matt Smith gave a stunning one as Prince Philip. He made us feel a combination of hate and love for Philip as his behavior and attitude switched from loving husband to a whiny baby. Overall, Matt Smith ended his two season run giving everything he had and more to the performance.
By the season’s end, Executive Producer Peter Morgan had once again delivered a series that checks every box to a stunning series. The acting, directing, writing, costumes, set designs, and cinematography were a joy to watch. Claire Foy went from a relatively unknown actress to the woman who we can’t imagine not playing Queen Elizabeth. Her two season run as the queen has set the bar extremely high and quite frankly, we feel bad for Olivia Coleman who will take the reins from Foy for Seasons 3 and 4. However, we believe Coleman will stun fans just like Foy in portraying one of the most famous women in the world.
The Crown is nominated for two Golden Globes and two SAG Awards and we wish them all the best. The series can now be streamed on Netflix. For more news from CarterMatt on The Crown, be sure to visit this link.
This story was written by Samantha D’Amico. If you want to follow her on Twitter, you can do so at SAM_iamXO. (Photo: Netflix)