I am a British history nerd; I love all things historical, especially anything that involves royal history, going back to the beginning of recorded history.
When a friend, who is a member of Netflix’s Stream Team, invited me to an advanced screening of The Crown (a show whose premiere I was already salivating over), my inner-nerd took over and I squealed. I tried hard to contain my excitement in front of my oh-so-cool friend, but inevitably messages like, “Hey, we’re still on for next week, right?” and “Hey!! Can’t wait until Tuesday!” along with the 28 missed phone calls on her cell gave me away.
Netflix’s new original show, The Crown, tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign after her father, King George VI, dies in 1952. The show begins with Elizabeth’s engagement to Phillip, the now-titled Duke of Edinburgh, and subsequent marriage. Shortly after the marriage, the King falls ill and Elizabeth takes on some of the royal duties, including a 6-month tour of the Commonwealth. While Elizabeth is away, the king dies and she returns to England as reigning monarch.
What’s interesting about this show, like most historical fiction, is the relationship nuances that are brought to life through the fictionalization of real-life people, and the unfolding of those relationships. Even though Elizabeth and her sister Margaret know Elizabeth is the heir presumptive, no one expects her to take the throne at 25. It’s interesting to see the family dynamic change once Elizabeth comes home as Queen.
There was an amazing Q & A with two of the shows stars, Jared Harris (King George VI) and Vanessa Kirby (Margaret Windsor). Asked if there had been any feedback on the show from the current royal family, Harris quipped, “Well, I haven’t been invited for a weekend!” The actors praised the royal family for allowing the actors room to interpret the characters without feedback or comment.
After the Q & A we sat down to a royalty-inspired dinner of spiced hen with saffron rice and crispy shallots, followed by a sorbet. Throughout the evening we were treated to a cocktail that was said to be the Queen’s favourite, and while gin isn’t my drink of choice, I tried this one and enjoyed a few. What’s good for the Queen is good for me.
I’m two episodes in and the show is living up to my expectations. My friends already know not to call me on Friday night and my partner knows this is his turn to put our preschooler to bed.
Queen’s Cocktail, anyone?
The Crown premieres on Netflix on Friday, November 4, 2016.
Image source: IMDB