REVIEW: Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher give ‘The Crown’ a run for its jewels

By | November 14, 2020

The Crown S4

Gillian Anderson plays Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of “The Crown.”

“The Crown” has finally reached the Diana years and it’s easy to see why she felt like such an outsider.

The Royal Family isn’t interested in theater and ballet. It’s steeped in horses, hunting and parlor games.

As Diana (Emma Corrin) edges into their world, it’s clear Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Camilla (Emerald Fennell) are still hot and heavy. The relationship, however, doesn’t have the same public relations value as a Diana/Charles marriage. And so the dance begins.

In the fourth season, Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) also gets a partner – Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), a syrupy prime minister who has nothing in common but the country.

When she lopes into Elizabeth’s world, it’s clear this is not going to be an easy friendship. Maggie bows and scrapes, then badmouths the royals behind their backs. When Elizabeth takes her out into the country, the twain do not meet.

The Crown S4

Emma Corrin stars as Diana, Princess of Wales, in “The Crown.”

Anderson, a favorite in British theater, shows American audiences yet another nuanced take that manages to nudge even Colman’s performance. She’s as unctuous as she is calculated. And when she’s delivering news to the queen, it’s impossible to believe. Look for Anderson to count among “The Crown’s” next flock of Emmy nominees. She’s as watchable as her wig.

A conflicted Charles, meanwhile, loses his surrogate father, Lord Mountbatten (Charles Dance), and has to deal with a demanding father and a family eager to shove him to the altar.

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