The Crown Delivers on the Diana Fever We’ve Been Waiting for in Season 4 Teaser
The show that Netflix actually won’t cancel early, The Crown released a teaser trailer for its upcoming season, giving us peeks of Gillian Anderson as the milk snatcher herself, Margaret Thatcher (casting that I’m sure has confused the loins of many), and Emma Corrin as Lady Diana Spencer, the future Princess of Wales.
— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) August 20, 2020
Season four of The Crown will take us through the period of Thatcher making history as the first female Prime Minister of England, Michael Fagan’s Buckingham Palace break-in, the wedding between Diana and Charles, the birth of Princes William and Harry, and likely all wrapped up in budding tensions within Charles and Diana’s marriage. (I’m sure they will find time for a midlife crisis Philip episode, as well.)
I’m very interested in how the show will choose to approach Thatcher. Overall, the series does lean fairly conservative, and I’m sure there will be much ado over what it meant to have a queen and the first female Prime Minister at the same time. However, it is totally possible to address whatever sexism Thatcher faced while also highlighting the fact that she was a tyrannical monster whose reputation as garbage has only grown since the day she died.
To quote from David Freeman’s biography of Thatcher:
Margaret Thatcher was not merely the first woman and the longest-serving Prime Minister of modern times, but the most admired, most hated, most idolised and most vilified public figure of the second half of the twentieth century. To some she was the saviour of her country who … created a vigorous enterprise economy which twenty years later was still outperforming the more regulated economies of the Continent. To others, she was a narrow ideologue whose hard-faced policies legitimised greed, deliberately increased inequality … and destroyed the nation’s sense of solidarity and civic pride. There is no reconciling these views: yet both are true.
Bringing all that to life is no easy task, especially on a program in which she is not the main focus, but I hope that The Crown will not depict Thatcher as some sort of feminist girl-boss because I will launch my shoe across the room in disgust if that becomes the case.
Still, the star of the show will be Diana. Diana is also a complex figure to bring to the screen because, in retrospect, she is a tragic martyr, but during her life, she was heavily vilified and hounded by the press for everything she did. Her popularity was in the things that made her seen as “difficult,” but she wasn’t a saint, either. She was a teenager pushed into a political marriage with a much older man, only to find out how hollow a crown could be.
The Crown returns November 15th. My milk and I will be watching.
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