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The Crown: The Greatest Soap Opera Ever Told

Dramas about the Royal Family exert fascination around the world. With the duration of Queen Elizabeth’s reign now outstripping that of Queen Victoria, the time has never been better to re-visit the start of our present monarch’s reign in 1952. Netflix has spent a reported £107 million on the series, which started on November 4th.

The Crown

Dramas about the Royal Family exert fascination around the world. With the duration of Queen Elizabeth’s reign now outstripping that of Queen Victoria, the time has never been better to re-visit the start of our present monarch’s reign in 1952. Netflix has spent a reported £107 million on the series, which started on November 4th.

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Claire Foy, as the young Queen, is no stranger to royal roles, having played Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall. The Crown encapsulates the abdication of the Queen’s uncle King Edward VIII, and the assumption of rule by the Queen’s father King George VI and his sudden death, thrusting the young Queen into the limelight.

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Matt Smith plays Prince Philip, scion of the Greek royal family and master of the faux pas. Smith is well-known for playing Dr Who on television and the embodiment of Skynet in Terminator: Genisys. Vanessa Kirby plays Princess Margaret, whose ill-fated relationship with Captain Peter Townsend counterpointed the dutiful life of her sister. Kirby is only 28 but has been hailed by Variety as ‘the outstanding stage actress of her generation.’

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Eileen Atkins, playing the dour Queen Mary brings a unique and venerable acting history to the role, and has also played the part before in 2002’s TV film: Bertie and Elizabeth. Victoria Hamilton plays Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Hamilton is a veteran of costume drama, having had supporting roles in three Jane Austen adaptations and played Queen Victoria in the 2001 TV series, Victoria and Albert, playing the monarch in her early years.

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Ben Miles plays Peter Townsend, Princess Margaret’s divorced, and eventually rejected, suitor. Jared Harris plays the Queen’s father King George, reluctantly accepting his duty after his brother abdicated. Distinguished stage and TV actress Lia Williams plays Wallis Simpson, for whom Edward sacrificed his throne. He is played by Alex Jennings, famous for playing another British institution, Alan Bennett.

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John Lithgow plays Winston Churchill, British prime minister at the time of the abdication and Elizabeth’s accession. These are all very talented actors, and whilst not exactly lookalikes, their acting prowess should see them inhabit their roles quickly.

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Writer Peter Morgan is no stranger to the Royals, having penned The Queen with Helen Mirren and the stage production of The Audience about the monarch’s relationship with her prime ministers, also starring Mirren. The Crown will doubtless make the most of the clothes and the pageantry of the time, whilst not stinting on the scandals of Edward and Wallis or Margaret and Peter.

Seen this week

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

The White Asparagus: SEEN Reviews

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Categories ArtPosted on

The Isokon Gallery and Walter Gropius

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Contemporaries: Art by Focus LDN

Tom Cox and Focus LDN have done it again with an exciting new exhibition, showcasing eight artists and their work in the Old Brompton Gallery from June 21st – 25th. Visitors to the gallery during the exhibition are promised live painting, collaborative works and other events to be announced.