Open Post: ‘The Crown’ Season 2

Open Post: ‘The Crown’ Season 2

Season 2 of The Crown dropped on Netflix yesterday. Instead of waiting until I’m finished with the season to write a post it (I haven’t had a chance to watch any of it yet), I am creating an open post here where we can discuss the show as we watch it (if you choose to watch it).

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This is the last season we will see Claire Foy and Matt Smith star in The Crown. For seasons 3 and 4, Olivia Colman (Broadchurch, The Night Manager) will pick up the mantle as Queen Elizabeth II.

The header photo is Claire Foy and Matt Smith at the season 2 premiere on November 21 in London; and the below photo is the two at the Build Studio on December 4 in New York City.

I quite love Matt Smith as Prince Philip, but seeing this shirt reminds me that I’m so glad he’s not The Doctor anymore.

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110 thoughts on “Open Post: ‘The Crown’ Season 2

  1. “I quite love Matt Smith as Prince Philip, but seeing this shirt reminds me that I’m so glad he’s not The Doctor anymore.”

    lol and +1 KMR
    Matt is my least favourite Doctor.
    Bring back David Tennant I say.
    I am looking forward to seeing Olivia Colman in her new role.
    She and David were a winning team in Broadchurch. (imo)

    1. I think Peter Capaldi was provided dismal scripts to work with. There were moments of something great, but often the plots were silly and I could never really get into Clara.
      I will give the new Doctor a shot since she was on Broadchurch with Tennant as well. (I would have preferred Olivia Coleman for this role as well but she probably was already lined up for the Crown)

      As for the Crown… so far it’s the Phillip show… not sure if I am into that.

    2. I’m secretly in love with David Tennant, lol, and totally agree that he and Olivia Colman were an incredible pairing.

      I’ve tried and tried to watch Season 1 of The Crown and simply can’t get into it at all, as much as I have enjoyed Claire Foy’s other work. Actually, boredom with The Crown is what led me to watch Broadchurch (and David Tennant), so for that I am grateful.

  2. Is the a Crown open post or Doctor post?!!?? It’s a bit like a Bond you have to have a favourite even if you don’t watch.

    I’m on episode 3 and with 2 weeks of ironing to do I’ll be watching more today! So far it is very much the Philip show, while he goes solo on his world tour. Maybe this should be billed as the first holi-tour. He certainly has a lot of hmm hmm ‘fun’, but also seems to mature and understand his role better. Not sure if that’s historically true though.

    1. As great as Matt Smith is as Philip, I still don’t like Philip. But the show is doing a great job of delving deeply into each character.

      Why all the hate towards marriage? Is this the viewpoint of the aristocracy or the times? So many characters are bitter, really bitter, and not just the RF. I haven’t found a single character likeable this season.

    2. Birdy, the sheer fact you iron and in massive amounts is very endearing. My mother used to iron everything and I absolutely love ironing and watching television. For some reason it is so soothing.

      1. LoriB: my Latina mamacita loves to listen to up-beat music when she’s ironing. Sometimes, she’ll take a break if a song she *really* likes comes on. 🙂

  3. I can’t wait to watch the second season. What I find hilarious is, that some people really believe that because the series picked up on some rumours that they are true and proven now. They seem to forget that this is not a documentary but to entertain.
    They did a good job though. It is not too imaginative and I enjoy the costumes tremendously!

    1. Caroline I cannot wait too! Serie1 was beyond good. The acting, the drama, the costumes, the dialogues and locations were breath-taking. Victoria1&2 come very close though. I had thought nothing would match Marco Polo1&2. Clare Foy is impeccable but Vanessa Kirby, Matt Smith and Churchill character walk away with the plaudits in season1. British school of acting rules. Hats off! I had thought nothing would match Marco Polo1&2. Thanks Heaven I was wrong. The revival of British acting is absolutely vital to the film industry right now, so long as they can avoid Hollywood. I watched recently a US prod casting Henry Cavill. Awful! What was Cavill thinking?! I watched also once Jon Rhys-Meyer in a US prod. Awful. The two of them in the ‘Tudors’ were passing the test with flying colours!

      1. I love Matt Smith as Philip. I wasn’t totally convinced, but he has the mannerisms all of it on point.

        He is Superman, right, so he is thinking $$$$. (Watch The Man From UNCLE. He was delightful in that film.)

        1. He is a horrible Superman, but a lot of that blame goes to Zack Snyder for changing him into a brooding and dark character. I’ve never seen Cavill in anything else for me to judge his acting.

          1. Here’s a clip from it. He and Armie Hammer are great. Wonderful comedic timing and playing off one another. I was surprised Cavill was this funny, as he comes across as a bit of a shy introvert imo.

            You should watch it. It’s a fun 1960s spy comedy romp. 🙂

        2. I like what you say, Ellie! Matt is tailored for composition roles, the seal of the very greats. He masters the art of body-language in the same breath as scintillating Highness such as Daniel Day-Lewis or Jeremy Irons. He is that good!

  4. I’m only about 15 minutes in so far to the first episode. I’m enjoying it more than the first season at this point, which was too much Churchill for me. Probably because HM is such a… well, dull character.

        1. I’m enjoying it….not taking it all too seriously but it is fun. Looking forward to hitting the sixties I thought the Queen looked wonderful in that era.

          1. I love most of her outfits, but her dress for Margaret’s wedding, at least as portrayed in the film, is hideous. And the dress for the Kennedy dinner seriously needs to lose the straps. Like much of what I see in real life I’m more of a fan of the Queen when she’s dressed down. But I adore my cashmere sweaters so it’s not a surprise I guess.

  5. I’m a bit behind everyone and only just ordered season one today. Looking forward to seeing the fabulous 1950s fashions, not looking forward to the inaccurate parts.

  6. Off topic, sorry…

    This is message for Queen Lauri and any readers in California. I hope you and your loved ones are far away from the fires?

    Keep safe and I’m hoping no fires come near where you are.

    1. A lot of the fires are beginning to die down, thankfully. I’m quite close to one of them and know some people who were displaced. 🙁 It is so awful.

      Any other CA KMR readers I hope you are okay! The air quality is dreadful but the winds have finally died down, thank God.

        1. Glad to hear you’re all relatively safe. I had friends who had to evacuate during our Gorge fire this fall and it was dreadful, not knowing if their house would survive. It did, thank goodness.

          1. Thanks! I’m glad you’re okay too Leah. These fires are so frightening but I’m glad they seem to be settling down. I know people who lost their homes, in some cases, just bought and now… it’s gone. 🙁

    2. I am in Northern California, near Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. We are all clear but are so worried about our Southern friends. At work, I had someone in Santa Barbara ask forgiveness for not being able to send back a contract promptly. He apologized and said, “You see, everyone has been evacuated from their homes and it is really difficult to get into the office to finish this up.” I felt so sorry for all of them. Please keep our state in your prayers as there is no rain in the forecast for us for a while.

  7. Oh my tissues…..Princess Margaret. It’s just heartbreaking watching her life through this. ?

    I know its a drama but I never really thought too much about how pitiful and tragic her life story was.

    1. I agree…hope Harry doesn’t go the same way…which makes me even more delighted he now has Meghan and things have changed so much.

      1. I think in the end, Diana really made a change for her sons.That is what is left of her.It lives in her sons and everyone who liked her so much.
        Margaret could have done something similiar, make an impact, but she chose not to.

    2. Do you think Margaret would have been happier with her life if she enjoyed the charity work that the royals do now? It seems she wasn’t expected to do anything with her life.

    3. The more I learn about Margaret, the more amazing I find it that her children turned out so relatively normal and grounded–from what little I know about them, anyways.

    4. Margaret was clearly not a happy person. Vanessa Kirby is a fantastic actress, originally I was skeptical about her as Margaret but she’s proven me very wrong. The sizzling sexual tension between her and Matthew Goode is amazing and I haven’t even gotten to them getting together, just the photography bits. *fans self*

  8. I don’t know much about Margaret’s life. It is heartbreaking watching Margaret go through all these emotions. I know that from reading the paper, Margarita Armstrong Jones curtsied to the Queen after the flypast at the reception afterwards. Enchanted, the Queen curtsied back to her.

  9. I haven’t finished it (on episode 2) but, as we all know, Margaret did not have a happy life (as she got older, she seemed to get more bitter and it showed in her appearance) but I think we can all agree that it started when she was in her twenties (or even a bit younger).

    Do you think Margaret would’ve been unhappy even if she’d been allowed to marry Peter Townsend or would she always have been that way regardless of whom she married? Do you think she was just programed to wind up this way or do you feel it was the traditional “little sister jealous of big sister” but on a grander scale because of who they were/are and their positions?

    I promise, I’m not trying to put Margaret in a bad light. I’m genuinely curious about your thoughts on this!

    1. I think Margaret’s marriage to Tony was such an unqualified disaster. In the show, he challenged her sense of superiority, but in life he was cruel to her. She was spoilt and undisciplined — she had been raised that way– and her natural intelligence neglected so that only a superficial wit remained. She did, however, have a sense of duty to crown and country which Tony did not understand. I don’t know that Townsend would have been the right man for her, but Tony certainly wasn’t. The right man would have mitigated the mistakes of her upbringing and allowed her to be the vivacious, yet dutiful and disciplined princess.

      So I guess to answer your question, she would have been bored by Townsend but not miserable. He would have helped to see and do her duty probably including charity patronage. If he cheated, it would be seldom and discretely done. But she would never be encouraged to stretch her intellectual horizons.

    2. I don’t think she would have any happier with Townsend, who seemed to have a thing for young women. His second wife was quite young when he met her, too.

      Part of the problem was that she was always going to be the “bad” princess because the papers couldn’t overtly criticize Elizabeth, and Margaret decided to live up to the description. And she was terribly spoiled. Would have helped if she could have gone to school and mixed with others as a child. I worry a bit that Meghan will be cast as the “bad” princess to Kate’s “good” one.

      1. Fifi there’s no chance for that to happen. Meghan seems to have a personality; she’s a self-made woman; she seems to be in her element in regards to charity work. She will win people’s hearts effortlessly. On the other hand, based on what I have read on this block or elsewhere through the years gone by regarding Catherine, the damage seems to be done irreversibly. You can measure the effect of it anytime the Middletons come into frame, for instance. Meghan is a huge asset for the RF, no question about that.

    3. Graymatters juxtaposition is interesting— unchallenged by Peter but settled, challenged by Antony but rattled. I think she still would have chafed at not being #1 but all in all would have had a more enduring… peace? Feeling of support? Her children might not have been neglected so much, competing for attention with the glitz ant glamour (and affairs and drugs). I find it so fascinating that Lady Sarah is reportedly so close to the Queen when with her own children, at least the older two, she was so reserved emotionally.

    4. I find it interesting that the people one step away are more snobbish and insist on all the niceties they think they are owed just by virtue of birth, but don’t do anything to earn it. Thinking of Margaret and Andrew here.

      I think Margaret had some disappointments early in life, but she let them eat her away to nothing. In that way I understand her, but I’m not quite sure where Andrew gets his attitude.

    5. I think marrying Peter Townsend would have been a disaster. Men need to know they are loved so maybe that is what went wrong with Tony Armstrong Jones.

  10. I have always been a bit intrigued by what Margaret was saying to the queen while the family waited for the gun carriage carrying Diana’s coffin to come past. Lip reading would be a useful skill at times.

        1. To be honest, I think both Margaret and the Queen Mother were horrified and puzzled by the public mourning over Diana.

          Was Margaret patron of any charities at all? Maybe that would have kept her busy.

          1. Margaret actually visited AIDS patients before Diana did. Diana’s publicity is what really drew attention to the cause and eased the stigma, but Margaret went there first.

      1. She adored her at the beginning and hated her by the end. Just some of the stories were PM’s fury about having to break her holiday in Italy to come back for the funeral. And she complained about the floral tributes left at KP under her windows. She was adamant a statue wouldn’t go there in her lifetime.

        They were really close in the beginning. Shared loved of ballet and music, both played the piano well. But the Morton book, Panorama etc turned PM against Diana.

          1. There was talk about a memorial statue to her from more of less after she died. PM’s opposition is one of the main reasons they went with the water memorial. A physical statue was the preferred choice of Diana’s mother who felt the water feature and the children’s playground lacked gravitas. It took 20 years to get the actual statue signed off and that was due to William & Harry.

            And yes it was interesting as once again it was Windsor v Spencer

          1. At the start it was warm and very supportive. Even when troubles started in the marriage she was determined to stay friends with Diana but when she betrayed HMTQ by talking out of school there was no way back.

            But PM was absolutely vile to Sarah York when her marriage broke down. The things she is reported to have said (in Sarah’s autobiography) would have floored a lesser man. And were somewhat hypocritical given her past. Funnily enough it’s Sarah Armstrong-Jones that Sarah York says held her and showed the most kindness and support when the scandalous photos were published and she was at Balmoral with all the family. Xxx

          2. Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones/Chatto was only 28 years old when the photo scandal came out so that might explain her kindness towards Sarah York.

        1. Margaret seemed a very cold, spoilt woman who couldn’t care for anyone but herself, despite her glamour and beauty. It’s a sad story as she seems quite intelligent and far more interesting than her sister, and always thrown into the category of bad vs good with her sister (kinda like Bad Harry vs Good William).

          1. There are stories of her being the dinner guest from hell. If food was served she didn’t like she would smoke while people were eating and then grind her cigarettes out in the food.

            TBH she sounds like she was utterly vile but people aren’t, on the whole, utterly vile without a reason. Yes she was spoilt and pampered but I suspect her life went into decline after her Father died, her sister’s ascension to the throne, then Townsend palava and never really recovered.

            There is a saying in life, Coco Chanel I think…..Nature gives you the face you have at twenty. Life shapes the face you have at thirty. But at fifty you get the face you deserve. I think there is no face truer than that expression than in PM.

  11. I loved it (I’m recovering still and so I binged yesterday and today). I know much of the actual moments between characters are all supposition; as someone (?) said above it’s certainly not a documentary. But at least based on the information that we do have— Charles detesting Gordonstoun and Phillip’s on the record adoration of it, the initial thrall of Margaret and Antony and then her anger as he didn’t worship her constantly, and of course various telling of actual events in Elizabeth and Phillip’s life— I can see how much of what they portrayed would be natural human reactions to those situations. Elizabeth would have always had a stiff, if not passive aggressive reaction to Phillip, and I can imagine wanting to just carry on and never really confront things; if I were PhillipnI can imagine all that resentment simmering under the surface often, particularly given his upbringing and natural yearning for some semblance of control. Unlike some I love the quiet nuance of Claire Foy’s portrayal. And Vanessa Kirby is pure magic to me. I also live both Jeremy Northam and Matthew Goode as actors in general so I loved their inclusion. It’s difficult for me to imagine another cast but I can’t wait to get the chance.

    1. Vanessa Kirby is a good portrayal of Margaret. In the last series you could see the paternal daughter bond with Margaret and the king. I think the way Margaret in the Crown is treated concentrates more on her flaws than anything else. Margaret went through a lot more it seems than Elizabeth. It is good to see more of Philip’s character especially his background but he is cruel. There is a kind of control about his marriage, which I find uncomfortable. I adored Jeremy Northam in ‘Emma’.

      1. I think it is more support. I don’t know the details but how much support did each of them have? I don’t think anyone apart from those concerned knows. A support system is crucial outside a relationship. Making the relationship public too soon didn’t help either. Everybody took sides. The decks were stacked against them from the start, I am sad to say. It is funny an old teacher said we tend not to speak ill of the people who pass away. Margaret may have misbehaved but it was clear that she needed help. Elizabeth and Margaret very close. It was good of Margaret in the series to change the subject when Philip complimented her.

    1. They really are.

      Imagine if the plan worked. David as king of a Hitler-backed Britain. Or Britain basically as Germany’s puppet, ruled by David…

      1. He would be a puppet. He was a weak man from what we have seen historically.
        I know they won’t officially say this, but I really think he was forced out because of his behaviour with the Nazis and using Wallis and the divorce was a convenient cover.

        1. I’ve read that elsewhere (wish I could remember where) and it makes sense. I’ve also read that Wallis never wanted to be Queen; she would have preferred being the King’s mistress.

        2. Govt papers were released some time ago.

          We now know that Wallus was just a convenient cover to force him out AND to sell his abdication / smooth path for new King to the public.

          The real reason was his dereliction of duty whereby he would get out of them if he could, not read govt papers and tgus not sign them thus delaying govt business and or pasding them round to his mates at dinner or just simpky leaving them lying around carelessly, his opposition to most govt plans, his habit of discussing govt plans with anyone and everybody without noting their allegience or masters be they govt agents or foreign agents.

          The Nazi accusation is something of the pot calling the kettle black because entire British establishment except for Churchill were pro-Nazis.

          During that era, the big bad wolf was communism and the tjreat of Bolshevikism across Europe. Everyone was afraid of it. At best, the Establishment thought they could control Hitler and most admired hus results.

          Many in the British establishment visited Hitler to see his work programmes – nevermind how those work programmes were really achieved. The only person who refused to meet him was Churchill.

          It was much later during WW2 that Nazism itself became the big bad wolf. After that was defeated, communism became the big bad wolf again, but not to the degree that Nazism was abhorred. Stalin killed 10times more people than Hitler, but the latter stands as the bogeyman of the century.

          And it’s incredible how much the establishment worked to whitewash themselves so that it appears thst they were always against Nazism. There is actual footage of the Queenmother larking about in the gardensbof her home teaching her young daughters,no older than 8yrs old, to do the Nazi salute.

          David and Wallis were one of the *unlucky few whose reputation wasn’t whitewashed. Infact, it suited the govt to blacken their name as much as possible to make the new royal family look like beacons of moral standing.

          *depending on viewpoint

          In 200yrs or more, this stuff will be openly known, but for now establishment gaslighting still holds.

          1. If “ dereliction of duty” was why they forced him out, it certainly suggests that William could end up in the same boat if he doesn’t pick things up.

          2. There is a difference between being an appeaser and giving classified documents to an enemy you are officially at war with. Similarly there is a difference between being an appeaser and encouraging the enemy to kill your people.

            Many of the establishment were appeasers and didn’t want war. They didn’t go on to commit treason, nor did Bertie ever inform parliament that they must continue being appeasers or he would abdicate and create a crisis.

  12. I have been waiting. It feels like a long for this. I’ve only watched almost the entire first episode. I love it. I can’t wait to get deeper in the dynamics of them all. I think everyone has been cast perfectly in their roles.

    The restlessness that Matt Smith portrays as Philip is brilliant. The Wild spirit that cannot be tamed. Claire as Elizabeth is always top notch. Her love for him and pain at the same time is heartbreaking. Defined by they’re positions in monarchy and as humans. A constant struggle of duty over self.

  13. I guess I’ll say it; I don’t care for Philip and his trash family combined with his constant whining and racial superiority complex. I find him the most distasteful HRH, even after Margaret and Charles (in his adulthood).

  14. I fact checked a lot of what I saw and a lot was true with a bit of dramatic expansion. It made me dislike Philip, but created sympathy for Charles.

    1. Charles was really too sensitive and emotionally abused at Gordonstoun. And by his father, I think, though he and Anne are one in the same so Anne never had that heaped on her and the younger two were a part of a separate sort of life for HM and Philip…

    2. I’m on episode 9, the Gordonstoun episode, and any sympathy I had for Phillip vanished here. He is a jerk husband and father. I’m a little annoyed the show started with their engagement. I’d like to see how they fell in love. I can’t see tough-guy Phillip falling for reserved Princess Elizabeth.

      1. A lot of that behavior and treatment of Charles is true. It is no wonder to me Charles ended up so messed up because he is so sensitive and his mum never stood up for him. Philip had rule of the roost, because HM felt guilty.

        1. Leah….it depends which angle you see the footage because I always thought that and then I saw the footage taken from left to right which is not normally how it’s shown and there is actually a small, but perceptible nod of her head. Not a great statement nod like HMTQ but a small gesture nevertheless.

          1. Are you supposed to bow your head out of respect because the person is dead (so the RF would bow their heads at any passing hearse) or is it for respect for Diana’s station/position?

          2. Most people in U.K. would take their hats off or nod at a passing hearse even if they didn’t know the person inside just as a matter of respect. All the RF nodded to Diana’s coffin as she passed BP I suspect as the ultimate mark of respect but also because of what the public atmosphere was towards them that week too. It would have been awful if her coffin had passed them and they’d done nothing. They even allowed Sarah York to join their ranks for that moment.

  15. Just finished it and LOVED it. I think it was better than season 1. Claire Foy brings Elizabeth to life, which IMO is very hard because QE2 to me is…well just someone who I think much ado is made of for very slim reasons.

    What I loved was the focus on Prince Philip, especially the backstory on his life. He drove me crazy through this season but Matt Smith played him with such humanity. I think the show does a good job of showing how the “role” they both play (Queen and consort) strained their life and marriage, but they never lost sight of the relationship between the two, even when we do not see Philip and QE2 in scenes for a bit together. What the show is really about, more than anything IMO, is their marriage. I thought the ending scene at Balmoral was so well done and so finely acted.

    I also loved the Margaret storyline! Kirby and Goode were absolutely sizzling. Actually, Goode was just so magnetic which is weird because I usually don’t think much of him. But my favorite part was the relationship between Elizabeth and Margaret. I frankly only find Elizabeth interesting because of those relationships in the show. The scene where they are arguing after Andrew’s birth is riveting. I loved Elizabeth calling Margaret out on her delusion and Margaret calling out Elizabeth on her passivity.

    The scenery was again top notch and the costume design!! OMG, just so stunning.

    Some critiques:

    I despised the whole Kennedy episode. It was so badly written and probably the most seemingly OOC of all the characterizations.

    I feel like the show is doing a fairly good show of showing how…incurious Elizabeth was/is. I am not sure if that it their intention, but I felt like there were so many moments where she just seemed…dumb? This is very different than the way she was written in season 1 IMO. I was extremely annoyed that when the Suez Canal situation was happening she seemed to be only care about if her husband was screwing around and not about the war brewing. It just made her seems insular and petty.

    Some of the CGI was over the top at times.

    I wish they would add 2-3 more episodes per season. Some very interesting crises and things do not go fully explored because the show moves on so quickly.

    Despite the fact that I just said it moves too quickly between events (lol), I also find the pace tries to be meditative but ends up being sluggish at times. I think the show focuses too much on certain small details and loses the big picture. So definitely need to work on pace more.

    I am very excited for the next few seasons!

    1. Trouble is we wait a year and then watch it in a weeken!!1 I’m on episode 6 and have decided to save the rest for another weekend.

      1. I’m in the same boat. I’m part way trough episode 6, and have decided to save the rest for next weekend.

    2. I would never say dumb; she seems like a people pleaser. She’s clearly working overtime to keep her petty husband happy. Not surprising since the monarch’s family life being together and stable is extremely important in a constitutional monarchy. A divorced woman monarch isn’t a good look especially in that time period.

  16. For those interested in Snowdon – the older but semi-authorised biography by Anne de Courcy gives a very good picture of what a nasty little man he was not just to Margaret but to all his women. A very interesting read.

    Margaret was miserably spoilt and just miserable a lot of the time. I believe Townsend would have done better because he was in the palace as an equerry and understood how to handle royals. But it’s quite right, she probably could have married him if she had given up her income – that was the deal stuck.

    I haven’t had time to see the show but it sounds like Edward VIII is given more importance than he had at that time and I agree with the historian – Vickers – that it’s beyond tacky to put blame on Philip for the loss of his sister even in a small way. Her husband was fanatic about flying and pushed her to go to the wedding of his brother by all reports. More tragedy followed with the death of their only surviving child a few years later that was adopted by the brother.

    I liked the Crown the first years except for that Churchill secretary nonsense with the fogs, but I’m not so sure about what I’m hearing about this year. Why put Jackie in a strapless dress when pictures show plainly she didn’t wear one.

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