Tag Archives: Buckingham Palace

The Crown Season 4 Review

Sometimes a writer does not need to look too far back into the past for inspiration.

The 4th season of The Crown premiered yesterday on Netflix. The season follows the lives of the British royals from 1979-1989. Coming back from season 3 are Olivia Coleman (Queen Elizabeth), Tobias Menzies (Prince Philip), Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles), Erin Doherty (Princess Anne), Helena Bonham-Carter (Princess Margaret), and Marion Bailey (the Queen Mother). Adding new levels of drama and intrigue are Emma Corrin (Princess Diana) and Gillian Anderson (Margaret Thatcher).

In addition to the internal family drama, there is political and economic upheaval beyond the walls of Buckingham Palace.

I binge watched a good chunk of the new season last night. It is nothing short of fantastic. I loved the new additions to the cast. Corrin brings a humanity to her role and adds to the mystique of the real woman behind the character.

If there is one actor among the main players who deserves an award for her work, it is Gillian Anderson. I am the first to admit that my knowledge of Thatcher’s work as Prime Minister is limited. But I know enough to know that then and now, she is a polarizing figure. As the character, Anderson plays a ball busting, glass ceiling shattering woman who is as formidable as the Queen.

The thing I really enjoyed so far is the complete 180 of how Charles is viewed. Last season, he was a young man trying to out who he was as a human being while dealing with burden of responsibility placed upon his shoulders. This season, he still draws empathy, but not as much as did during season 3.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

The Crown is available for streaming on Netlflix.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Netflix, Politics

Victoria Book Review

To be a King is extra-ordinary. To be a Queen is extra-extra-ordinary.

Queen Victoria ruled from 1837 until 1901. When we picture her, we see a stern, moral and regal monarch who knows who she is and her place in the world.

But before she was that Victoria, she was another Victoria. She was young, impressionable, a bit naive, a bit temperamental, but she also knew her destiny. Daisy Goodwin’s new novel, Victoria, takes the reader back to 1837. A short time after her 18th birthday, a messenger from Buckingham Palace has arrived. Her uncle, the King is dead and she is now Queen. The first thing she does is break the shackles that her widowed mother, The Duchess Of Kent and her mother’s adviser, Sir John Conroy have kept her in.

Victoria finds an ally in Lord Melbourne, but many fear that he has a Svengali like hold on the young Queen. Given her age, her previously sheltered life and her lack of experience, there are concerns that Victoria may be too blind with the first blush of infatuation to see Melbourne as others do. Enter her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Their relationship is destined to be one of the most romantic relationships of the ages. But before the happily ever after can commence, Victoria’s dislike of her cousin has to turn into love.

I have been eagerly waiting for this book for months. The wait was well worth it. Writing fiction is a difficult endeavor to begin with. But to write historical fiction about real people who are still in the public consciousness, whether living or dead is a herculean task. The thing that grounds the book and the characterization of Queen Victoria is that at that stage of her life, she was an 18 year girl. Yes, she was also a Queen, but she was also 18, growing up and unfortunately, as we all do at that age, making painful mistakes along the way.

I absolutely recommend it.

P.S. My review of the first episode of the television series Victoria is up. It will be airing on PBS early next year and it is good.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, History