“The Crown” is a genius form of royal voyeurism
My list of other royal movies worth watching
My Facebook and Twitter feeds seem in agreement that Netflix’s “The Crown,” which peers into the inner-drama of the House of Windsor and the politics of its time, is worth viewing.
It’s also a grand reminder that we are all Princess Margaret?
The second season of Peter Morgan’s series (he was nominated for an Academy Award for his 2006 Elizabethan biopic “The Queen”) has kept many a friend away from me, choosing this weekend to binge on this particularly novel form of royal voyeurism.
“The Crown” has succeeded in educating many Americans on royal basics — that regnant kings and queens are majesties, princes and princesses are highnesses, and such titles are awarded at the sovereign’s discretion.
Americans learned what many Anglophiles already know, that Clarence House is the preferred residence of royals over the stuffy Buckingham Palace, that royals are rather prisoners of custom and constitution (showing political partiality can cost you your throne and the prime minister’s cabinet can cut you off from doing many things), and that it’s actually quite unpleasant to be the sovereign or in his or her immediate circle. Just ask the Duke of Edinburgh and the Princess Margaret.
Audiences have learned that the kings and queens might ascend the throne with such innocence and naivete, but how they meet their events, their circumstances, their mistakes, determine how great they become. There are actually only a handful of well-made docu-dramas worth watching that express this becoming-of-greatness.
Here is my list of other must-watch historical royal movies:
- “The King’s Speech” (2010)
- “The Young Victoria” (2009)
- “Victoria” by Masterpiece Theatre (2016)
- “Victoria and Abdul” (2017)
- “Elizabeth” (1998)
- “The Queen” (2006)
- “The Madness of King George” (1994)
- “Mrs. Brown” (1997)
- “Elizabeth I” by HBO (2005)
- “The Lost Prince” by BBC (2003)
- “W.E.” (2011)
Here is a list of must-watch historical British political movies:
- “Darkest Hour” (2017)
- “Amazing Grace” (2006)
- “The Iron Lady” (2011)
- “The Deal” (2003)
- “The Special Relationship” (2010)
Here is a list of must-watch, but fictional, British political series:
- “The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard” by BBC (2006)
- “House of Cards” by BBC (1990)
- “House of Cards: To Play the King” by BBC (1993)
- “House of Cards: The Final Cut” by BBC (1995)
- “Yes, Prime Minister” by BBC (1980)