How ‘The Crown’ Season 4 Challenges the Royal Family’s ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ Policy

by Jeremy Spirogis
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II and Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip in Netflix

The Crown Season Four has lastly arrived. The latest season of the Netflix drama hit the streaming platform on Nov. 15, and followers of the royal household are in for fairly the splashy season.

Previous seasons of the Emmy-winning sequence present the members of the royal household repressing their feelings typically to a fault. Season 4, nevertheless, permits its forged to lean into their emotions extra steadily than seasons previous, though they get expressed in reasonably tense, uncomfortable methods. Or, within the case of Olivia Colman’s Queen Elizabeth II, via completely timed pettiness.

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II and Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip in Netflix's 'The Crown' Season 4 | Liam Daniel/Netflix
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II and Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip in Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ Season 4 | Liam Daniel/Netflix

The royal household questions the deserves of the ‘stiff upper lip’ coverage in ‘The Crown’ Season 4

The royal household has a stiff higher lip coverage. It’s basically a strict perception in preserving your ideas and emotions to your self, it doesn’t matter what the world finds out about your non-public life. The household has subscribed to it since Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was queen, however Prince William has spoken out in opposition to it lately, saying that internalizing feelings can have an effect on an individual’s psychological well being.

While the “never explain, never complain” coverage is principally utilized to how the household responds to public dialog about their household, it’s simple to see the way it affected their private lives as effectively, and The Crown spends plenty of time specializing in it.

For starters, Princess Margaret goes to remedy on the suggestion of Charles, who additionally sees a therapist. In her classes, she admits that she and her household assume that processing emotions is a waste of beneficial time. But she additionally learns of a darkish household secret that her mom helped hold in that episode, which leads her to query the deserves of repressing emotions and burying fact with the intention to protect the monarchy.

Emma Corrin’s uncanny portrayal of the late Princess Diana additionally challenges the stiff higher lip mentality. The mom of William and Prince Harry wears her coronary heart on her sleeve—a trait that makes her wildly well-liked with the general public, however wildly unpopular along with her husband’s household.

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Elizabeth throws plenty of shade at Margaret Thatcher in ‘The Crown’ Season 4

While each character has their very own emotional breakdown this season (Prince Philip’s is available in Episode 1, Princess Anne has one in Episode 4, and Charles and Diana have one nearly each time they speak), Colman’s Elizabeth is essentially the most reluctant to confess how she feels. This shouldn’t come as a shock, on condition that Elizabeth’s lack of ability to attach with folks (particularly her kids) is repeatedly addressed all through the sequence.

Some of the shadiest Elizabeth moments are available her scenes with Margaret Thatcher, England’s first girl prime minister. Played by The X Files‘ Gillian Anderson, Elizabeth and Margaret have frequent verbal face-offs in Buckingham Palace throughout their conferences. Of course, these face-offs are within the type of thinly veiled shade, not precise yelling. (What, did you assume this was The Real Housewives?)

In truth, there’s a whole episode devoted to Elizabeth lastly giving Margaret a bit of her thoughts. In Season 4, Episode 8, “48:1,” Elizabeth can’t stand that Margaret is not going to conform to issuing sanctions in opposition to the apartheid regime in South Africa. After a lot of forwards and backwards between the monarch and the prime minister, Elizabeth—in an extremely uncommon transfer—permits a newspaper to report that she disapproves of Margaret.

To today, the queen and the royal household’s press group denies that she allowed the report back to be made, however clearly The Crown writers assume it actually occurred. Whether factual or not, “48:1” is among the few examples of Elizabeth chucking the stiff higher lip coverage to the wayside.

British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher(left), and Queen Elizabeth, chat at a party for the Heads of State gathered here for the Commonwealth Conference. Looking on in the rear are; Dr. Hasting Banda(left) of Malawi and Arap Moi of KenyaBritish Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher(left), and Queen Elizabeth, chat at a party for the Heads of State gathered here for the Commonwealth Conference. Looking on in the rear are; Dr. Hasting Banda(left) of Malawi and Arap Moi of Kenya
British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher(left), and Queen Elizabeth, chat at a celebration for the Heads of State gathered right here for the Commonwealth Conference. Looking on within the rear are; Dr. Hasting Banda(left) of Malawi and Arap Moi of Kenya | Getty Images

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Elizabeth sees Charles and Diana’s emotional struggles as infantile in ‘The Crown’

Outside of her rocky relationship with the prime minister, Elizabeth finds it reasonably foolish when folks attempt to join along with her (particularly Diana, whom she doesn’t dislike, however undoubtedly isn’t going to coddle). She particularly can’t stand it when Charles and Diana complain about their tough marriage.

Although an uncomfortable and unhappy second for Diana, followers will discover themselves laughing at Elizabeth’s sheer awkwardness at any time when the Princess of Wales tries to hug her and name her mother. It’s not for lack of take care of her daughter-in-law (reasonably, she steadily criticizes Charles for his mistreatment of her), however she’s simply the antithesis of Diana when it comes to emotional expression. And Colman’s distinctive comedic timing makes the temporary moments like this a few of her funniest of the 10-episode arc.

Outside of the comedic pettiness, the present does its characters a service by permitting them to essentially categorical their emotions this season. It’s made for the juiciest season of the present but, setting the stage for what’s sure to be a grippingly—and tragically, within the case of Diana—dramatic remaining season.

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