Opinion | ‘The Crown’ Gets One Thing About the Royal Family Exactly Right

Over time, such stories have helped us understand that the actions of the royals affect not just their world but also our own, which may explain both our perpetual curiosity about the family and the intensity of our emotions as we litigate their choices. Many prestige cable shows have insightfully examined the dynamics of a marriage — take Tony and Carmela Soprano, — but when “The Crown” dissects Charles and Diana’s doomed marriage, it is re-enacting a pivotal moment in history that informed how many modern couples think about marital obligation and what we owe our partners and ourselves.

The final season of “The Crown” — and, in many ways, the modern story of the Windsors — has been haunted by the ghost of Diana, a figure who perhaps understood this dynamic between perception and obligation better than anyone. We may remember Diana first for her outfits and her sudden renown but she went on to do humanitarian work that benefited AIDS patients, spoke openly about her bulimia, pursued solutions to homelessness and campaigned for land mine removal in Bosnia and Angola.

In different but no less powerful ways, King Charles III is currently trying to use his influence to help mitigate the impact of climate change. At the core of these efforts is an acknowledgment that, whatever their political role, royals can, and should, have consequence. But their actions also reflect a recognizable human urge to shape the world around us and take control of our circumstances. That’s why we can see so much of ourselves in the royals when they strive for control — and often fail to achieve it.

Of course, the royals can still seem clueless and out of touch. Take their halting and awkward attempts to reckon with the role their ancestors played in shoring up a brutal empire. Centuries ago, monarchs funded the slave trade and Queen Victoria and her descendants provided symbolic glue for the British Empire and Commonwealth realms. The royal family is still tethered to that imperial past. The Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Kate, received significant public criticism during a 2022 royal tour of the Caribbean when some suggested they failed to adopt a sufficiently apologetic stance toward Britain’s colonial past. King Charles fared better on his recent visit to Kenya by acknowledging Britain’s violent response to the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s. Even so, the royals are navigating what the British journalist Afua Hirsch described last year as “a clamoring chorus of global trauma” led by “those colonized in the name of the British crown.”

But what history teaches us — and The Crown” artfully conveys — is that the royal family can embrace change when forced to. The show has always been most successful when it’s not just penetrating the royal bubble but puncturing it. Yes, we’ve followed the Windsors, but we’ve also entered the homes of the grieving mining families of Aberfan following the sudden collapse of a colliery spoil tip. We’ve observed the Bahamian-born valet Sydney Johnson lovingly care for the exiled Duke of Windsor. And in the final seasons we’ve watched the Egyptian businessman Mohamed al-Fayed and his son Dodi make tragic efforts to recast themselves as British elites. The exploits of the monarch are never just about the monarch. They are also, inevitably, about us. When the queen encounters her subjects, she often comes away changed. Though it could still be improved and modernized, the monarchy we see now, under King Charles, is a far cry from the one in 1947 captured on “The Crown” when it began.

Check out our Latest News and Follow us at Facebook

Original Source

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *