The Crown Season 4 Review: Emma Corrin's Diana And Gillian Anderson's Margaret Thatcher Deserve Applause But It's Josh O'Connor's Prince Charles That Keeps It Humane (LatestLY Exclusive)

Moumita Bhattacharjee
·6-min read

The Crown season 4 review: The Crown is an almost honest portrayal of the Royal British Family or the empire that once upon a time ruled major parts of the world. Since the first season, the chinks to that armour were getting clearer in the background while the family went from one monarch to another. Similar unrest continues in the fourth season as well with Ireland going to violent levels for freedom and so does Argentina. That's the thing about The Crown. Peter Morgan's smart storytelling always seamlessly blends England's political situations with the Royal family's turbulence without letting it snatch the focus away from the tassels and tiaras. The Crown Season 4 Review: Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Emma Corrin, Josh O’Connor’s Netflix Drama Is A Royal Treat, Say Critics

Also Read | The Crown Season 4: Emma Corrin Is Perfect As Princess Diana, Say Twitterati!

But season 4 is markedly promoted as the tragic story of Diana Spencer, Princess Of Wales and Prince Charles' first wife. Emma Corrin steps into her shoes. Apart from that, it also shows the story of yet another powerful figure of British history, Margaret Thatcher, the country's first female Prime Minister. Gillian Anderson portrays the strong women politician in the series which makes season 4 easily the most happening of all the seasons because all this while it was all about Queen Elizabeth II. But now it's about the future of the throne.

The new season starts with Margaret Thatcher winning the elections and forming the government in Queen Elizabeth II's (Olivia Colman) name. The two strong women belonging to two different backgrounds and lifestyles find an unlikely connection. Prince Charles' (Josh O'Connor) wedding to Lady Diana also forms a crucial part of the story here with the Prince's visible reluctance and Diana's confused feelings about being a royal wife under the constant shadow of Camilla Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennell).

Also Read | The Crown Season 4: Royal Experts Slam the Netflix Show for Showing Princess Diana’s ‘Graphic’ Bulimia Scenes

The new set of 10 episodes of The Crown found even more takers than before because of Diana's story. She is one of the most loved commoner-royalty England has ever seen. But never does the series try to paint one wrong in favour of the others. Prince Charles is shown as a man trying hard to make his family understand that his heart lies somewhere else. For years, the Prince has been seen in slight contempt because of all the stories that we read on British tabloids about his closeness to Camilla and how it affected Diana. It keeps it balanced showing what the Prince felt while going through a loveless wedding and marriage. It doesn't want you to sympathise with the man but also see his side of the story for a change. That makes the series quite humane.

What outscores everything else is the investment of time and space on the characters. The Crown has always done a fantastic job in establishing a particular character and it continues here too. Be it Gillian Anderson's Thatcher or Prince Philip, played by Tobias Menzies, they are beautifully defined and portrayed. What's even more brilliant are the ironies that the characters keep throwing at you. Thatcher is shown as someone who is a force of nature as a PM but is extremely prejudiced towards her own gender. She holds High Office but is averse to the idea of having women in her cabinet because they get 'emotional'. She also feels it's a wife's job to unpack her husband's suitcase! Again, it makes the series more humane and real rather than being a fantasy.

There are certain sequences in the series that proves why this series has a loyal fanbase. The scene where Prince Philip realises Lord Mountbatten has been a father figure to Prince Charles like him. But their circumstances are different, as Charles had to look for father's love elsewhere despite having one. Philip was fatherless when Lord Mountbatten guided him. There's one more when Queen Elizabeth II comes to the realisation that her children didn't grow up the way she imagined. All these sequences are nuanced and felt.

Check Out The Trailer Of The Crown Season 4 here

The series however plays highly safe with the Diana story. It almost shows her as a manipulative woman who loved media attention. The eating disorder she suffered from finds a mention as well with a disclaimer at the start of that particular episode. Post that, the character doesn't really get too much room to bloom. After the initial episodes, she is hardly seen or heard. The writer quite cleverly leaves the conclusion to its viewers whether to consider her as the victim of the Royal snub or of her own doings. Charles and Di's meet-cute seems like a scene straight out of many romantic movies that we have watched. Guess that's why their love story or lack thereof was painted as a fairy tale by the press! The Crown Season 4: Royal Experts Slam the Netflix Show for Showing Princess Diana’s ‘Graphic’ Bulimia Scenes

Speaking about performances, Coleman, who joined the series in Season 3 as the Queen will bow out now to make way for Imelda Staunton. So this is her last of the series and she has done a remarkable job. The transition from Claire Foy to Coleman was pretty seamless and in the fourth season, she has only added even more panache to her act. Anderson as Thatcher does get the imagery right of the great politician but doesn't make any attempts to emulate her to the T. She adds some originality of her own to the character. Emma Corrin looks lovely and shines as the young, naive Princess Diana. But the series didn't give her much chance to make her character remain etched in mind.

But it's Josh O' Connor's vulnerable portrayal of Prince Charles that leaves you extremely impressed. He keeps the act subdued and effective, giving you a peek into the inside of a Prince who also received a lot of flak. It comes across as one of the most sincere and honest portrayals.

Yay!

-Fantastic storytelling

-Defined characters

_Superlative performances

Nay!

-Too less of Lady Diana

Final Thoughts

If you are watching The Crown season 4 with a mind to know about the sour love story of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, it may not be the right approach. Watch it for the thrill to know about the Royals and their less-than-charming lives, you won't be disappointed at all like the previous seasons.