The final installment of “The Crown Season 6” bids farewell to the monarchy, but not without leaving audiences with a sense of puzzlement and tepidity. The show, which once centered around the Queen, takes a daring shift towards the orbits of other royal figures, particularly focusing on the William-Kate romance. In this review, we delve into the highs and lows of the concluding episodes, exploring the themes of sacrifice, legacy, and the ever-present specter of change.
The Divergence from Royalty:
As the narrative unfolds through the late 1990s and early 2000s, the spotlight strays from the Queen, perplexing viewers. The sacrifice of individual royal members for the greater good of the monarchy has been a recurring theme, but the show takes an unexpected turn by sidelining the Queen herself. The gripping performances of Emma Corrin and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana overshadow the central character, adding a layer of sadness and vulnerability to the narrative.
A Grieving Legacy:
The concluding episodes grapple with the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death. Prince William, portrayed convincingly by Ed McVey, navigates the frosty relationship with his father, Prince Charles. The struggle with public attention and the monarchy’s existential crisis is palpable. The narrative unfolds against the backdrop of Tony Blair’s rising popularity, triggering introspection within the Queen about the monarchy’s role in a changing world.
Monarchy in Transition:
The show poignantly explores the tension between tradition and modernity. Tony Blair’s suggestions prompt the Queen to reconsider royal traditions, but her steadfast belief in their significance prevails. The struggle becomes a central anxiety, questioning how long the monarchy can maintain its course by clinging to age-old customs in the face of growing public disaffection.
William and Kate’s Courtship:
While the show explores the William-Kate romance during their St. Andrews years, the portrayal of Kate Middleton feels uninspired. The courtship, while sincere, lacks depth, and Kate’s character is thinly written, driven solely by her mother’s ambitions. These stretches, though momentarily lifted by the Princess Margaret episode, contribute to the overall dullness of the season.
Lesley Manville’s Show-Stealing Performance:
A shining moment in the midst of the mundane is Lesley Manville’s portrayal of Princess Margaret. Her extraordinary performance, depicting Margaret’s debilitating strokes, adds depth and heartbreak to the narrative. The tender scenes shared with Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth stand out, providing a poignant glimpse into the bond between the sisters.
“The Crown’s” final act raises thought-provoking questions about the Queen’s reign and the weight of duty. However, the season falls short of exploring darker considerations, especially those related to the Queen potentially passing the baton. The focus on the William-Kate romance overshadows these critical aspects, leaving the farewell of this beloved show strangely anaemic.