Hugo Vickers Critiques The Crown’s Swan Song: A Controversial Finale
Esteemed author and royal expert, Hugo Vickers, fearlessly evaluates the concluding season of Netflix’s global sensation, The Crown. From the distressing portrayal of Prince Philip to the dubious depiction of historical events, Vickers meticulously analyzes the series. As the curtain descends on this celebrated drama, Vickers navigates through the commendable moments and the questionable choices made by the producers.
The filmmakers took a critical stance against Prince Philip, venturing into areas of tastelessness and cruelty in the episode ‘Paterfamilias’ (S2E9) set at his alma mater, Gordonstoun. The portrayal of young Prince Charles enduring misery, with rain pouring onto his bed and being subjected to arduous cross-country runs, suggested a deliberate narrative choice aiming to cast Prince Philip in a negative light. It appears that in crafting the episode, there was an intentional effort to highlight Prince Philip’s supposed aversion to his son by depicting him as someone who would send him to such a challenging school.
In a series of flashbacks, viewers witness the Prince Philip character as a boy punching another boy, resulting in the cancellation of his half-term break. The consequence is depicted as tragic when his sister, Princess Cecilie, arrives in England and meets her demise in a lurid scene of disaster as her plane collides with a chimney in Ostend, resulting in the loss of all on board. The portrayal takes a vile turn when Prince Philip’s father, during the funeral in Darmstadt, points at him and exclaims, “You’re the reason we’re all here, burying my favorite child.”
The reality, however, differs significantly. There was no reported fight, no cancellation of a half-term break (if such a break even existed), and Prince Philip would not have traveled to Darmstadt. His sister was, in fact, en route to London for her brother-in-law’s wedding. Tragically, the plane did collide with a chimney, resulting in the deaths of Princess Cecilie, her husband, two sons, mother-in-law, and the entourage. Adding to the sorrow, Princess Cecilie was pregnant, and her baby perished in the crash over Belgium in thick fog. When Prince Philip’s mother’s biographer spoke to his archivist, it was revealed that the most devastating moment in Prince Philip’s life was when he was summoned to his headmaster’s study to learn of his sister’s tragic demise, made even more bitter by the revelation of her pregnancy.
Unveiling Prince Philip’s Discomfort
Vickers discloses that a specific scene in The Crown deeply wounded Prince Philip, leading him to seek legal counsel. Fortunately, Vickers seized the opportunity to rectify the narrative on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, providing a sense of solace to the Prince.
Assorted Reviews: Applause and Critique
While not holding back his dissatisfaction with the series, Vickers recognizes the standout performance of Claire Foy as young Queen Elizabeth II. Commending Foy’s exceptional acting prowess and her ability to capture the Queen’s theatrical timing, Vickers gives credit where it’s due.
Generational Shift: Reflections and Controversy
Vickers points out the series’ unique aspect, introducing a younger generation to the notion that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were once young, burdened with the responsibilities on Princess Elizabeth’s shoulders. However, as the narrative progresses, Vickers notes a decline in quality, with depictions of recent events drawing criticism.
The article delves into perceived errors in The Crown, spanning from historical inaccuracies to questionable creative decisions. Vickers expresses dismay that the portrayal of the 1950s is considered less offensive than later storylines involving Prince Charles, Diana, and Camilla.
Diana’s Storyline: The Stirring Controversy
Vickers raises concerns about the distressing portrayal of Diana’s fatal car accident as a central element in Series 6. The inclusion of her reported reappearance as a ghost is regarded by Vickers as a nadir, prompting questions about the ethical decisions made by the producers.
Historical Distortions and Caution for Examiners
Vickers accuses The Crown of distorting historical facts, cautioning future history examiners about potential misinformation derived from the series. He contends that while fiction can illuminate truth, The Crown distorts facts, presenting a skewed version of history.
Farewell on a Critical Note
As the series concludes, Vickers wraps up with a critical stance, expressing relief that it has come to an end. Despite acknowledging commendable performances, his overall sentiment towards The Crown’s final chapters is one of disappointment and disapproval.
This article was initially published in the January 2024 issue of [Magazine Name], available from Thursday, December 7.