The British series ”The Crown” by Peter Morgan now showing with two seasons at Netflix is to be highly recommended to watch during the coming holidays. It is rare to watch a movie or a series that manages to capture life in all its complexity and in ”The Crown” I must say that I am full of admiration for Peter Morgan´s obviously very deep knowledge and understanding about humans and about life´s existential dimensions.
By watching these episodes mirroring the life of Queen Elizabeth throughout her long reign, we learn a lot about 20th century history and what has shaped the time and the society in which we live. The characters are magnificently mirrored by great actors who picture the complexity of man’s timeless search for meaning, the quest for recognition and the thirst for what is perceived as an authentic life. We learn about values and morals, about freedom and duty about life and death.
Even though it´s difficult to highlight one episode above the others since they are all great leaving you with a sense of fascination and fulfilment, the portrait of Princess Margaret, the queens younger sister, has specifically stayed in my mind. Being an outsider, in the forefront of the modern time and still kept in the structures of tradition made her vulnerable and perceived as neurotic and lost by the public while in reality her depressions and anxiety´s were in fact to a large extent caused by a deep clash between her deeper needs and the surrounding structures and people in her life. Princess Margaret’s life shows the tragedy of life and that not everything will be fine at the end. For some people there are fatal moments when choices will define the rest of the journey even though it may lead to destruction. For all who feel lost, suffer from depression or anxiety blaming themselves for being insufficient and unworthy, the respectful and deeply comprehensive picture of Princess Margaret in the Crown, is of great comfort
Also the in-depth picture of Prince Philip, the queens husband, is worth mentioning since his search for identity and meaning as a man of his time, can inspire men of today who at a collective level are dealing with identity confusion in the light of #metoo and a rapidly changing world. For Prince Philip, now approaching 97 years of age, living in the shadow of a strong and powerful wife and yet managing to convey an image of himself as being independent in thought and action, “The Crown” is a comforting reminder that life is a circle and that the existential questions are beyond time and place.
The portrait of the Queen herself as the main character is last but not least a masterpiece. Peter Morgan manages to portrait a picture of a woman who was taught to let go of her authentic self to become the queen and to serve her country with duty as an icon above human emotions. As time goes by the world is changing and the very same criteria’s that she was once taught to follow, later threaten her very existence as a queen and as a person. Through the long life of Queen Elisabeth, now approaching 92 years of age, the evolvement in the western society from de-humanisation and self-control of emotions as the main virtue, to a society where being true and authentic and to show who you truly are, what you think and what you feel – and to share it with others – is the way to go and to be in phase with time.