The reign of Queen Elizabeth II is legendary. It started while she was very young and continues now into her 90s. Elizabeth (played by Claire Foy) grew up watching her father, George VI (played by Jared Harris), rule and expected his brother Edward, Duke of Windsor (played by Alex Jennings) to assume the throne. When he abdicates in order to married divorced American Wallis Simpson (played by Lia Williams), Elizabeth becomes the Queen of England.
She has married Philip (played by Matt Smith), who she names the Duke of Edinburgh. Assuming the throne at a tumultuous time would be trying for anyone. The world and England is in a time of war with World War II going on. She and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (played by John Lithgow) try their best to lead the people. Elizabeth also has to deal with a husband who is not happy with his lack of a role and a sister, Princess Margaret (played by Vanessa Kirby), who is having an affair with a married man.
A continuation of the series that brings the viewer on the journey of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. While due to the dramatic license that most films/series of this type take, this should not be assumed to be factual it is still gives you a window into the country’s longest reigning monarch and is bloody entertaining to boot!
Continuation of season one and the final one for lead actress Claire Foy (I cannot imagine anyone else doing a better job in the role, but we will see), season two is another well acted and written body of work. It covers the time in which England is fighting an illegal war in Egypt and Elizabeth is having to deal with a scandal of Prime Minister Harold MacMillan (played by Anton Lesser). Philip (played by Matt Smith) is having just as many problems with his role and how he fits in in his wife’s life. Princess Margaret (played by Vanessa Kirby) is also suffering through some more romantic/personal “issues”.
Season two does tend to focus on relationships that these people engage in. Matt Smith is given more to do this year and rewards the faith shown in him by fleshing out a Philip who should be easy to dislike, but you can’t always. Largely because Smith gives such a good performance fleshing out the man who has to stand in the huge shadow of his wife. You also have to take into context the time. This is how men behaved back then. As for Foy as Elizabeth, she continues playing the woman as someone incredibly controlled and even reticent at times. A woman who has completely the herculean task she has been assigned by virtue of birth. Buying totally into it and service to her country.
Where the show does not make a strong stance is on its view of the royal family. It never really calls out their behaviour. No matter how bad it gets. They just seem to accept the fact that this is how it was at the time. As such at times I felt that season two was less courageous and fell more flat than season one. Still remains highly watchable, however.
-Tea Time Trivia
-Fact or Fiction with Robert Lacey
-The Royal Rules of Etiquette
-Horses & Hounds: The Queens Companions