All generations can find entertainment and history in “The Crown”


Emily Lotito

All generations can watch the drama and learn the secrets of the Royal Family in “The Crown”.

by Emily Lotito, Managing Editor

If you haven’t watched the first three seasons of The Crown. You can skip right to Season 4 and not be lost. That’s what I did because I wanted to see what all the December 2020 fuss was about.  Season 4 is filled with scenes that include the late Princess Diana and her life leading to and being a part of the Royal Family. The show gives insight into what could have, and probably did, run through Diana’s mind.

The main reason so many people are watching the Crown is because it’s not just an inside look into the Royal Family’s life but also into the people they interacted with. It’s exciting to watch (or re-watch the re-creations of) the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II and the death of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. These are big moments in the United Kingdom’s history that we never got to witness only read or hear about.

That’s what Season 4 is for me. Season 4 is filled with scenes of Princess Diana and her life in the Royal Family. She had died before I was even born, but she is an icon to me and many my age. Watching the series really got me to see a different side of her: the younger Diana, her life in the palace which not many people got to see, and her life after her divorce from Prince Charles. 

Watching this series with my mom, Shari Lotito, has been a lot of fun. My mom grew up seeing Diana in the news–her wedding, her new motherhood. She also witnessed the divorce and the heartbreaking death of Diana.

It’s fun to watch with my mom and after every episode I always ask, “Did this really happen?”

She acts as my fact checker!

Most of the time I’m watching The Crown, I’m Googling the photos and stories of what happened.

Episode One is an introduction to the 1970’s to when Prince Charles and Diana first meet. Viewers get to watch as Diana runs into Prince Charles at her family estate. What throws people off is that Diana is only 16 years old and Prince Charles is 28. It’s a little weird that an older man has such interest in a young girl.  Oh, and Prince Charles is dating Diana’s sister, Sarah Spencer, at the time. 

The early stages of Prince Charles and Diana’s relationship is disturbing to many viewers. Diana is nothing but respectful and Prince Charles soaks it up. Everyone knows about his affair with his now wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. But what really is disturbing at the end of Episode 1, years after first meeting Diana,  Charles calls Sarah Spencer for Diana’s number. Diana is now 18 living in London cleaning her sister’s house and working at a school. Charles is now 30. As a viewer nearly the same age as Diana, I am creeped out that she is dating a 30-year-old. 

My mother and immediately watched the next episode because you just get drawn in by the weirdness of the relationship being created between Diana and Charles. 

In Episode 2, Charles is with his family, including his sister Princess Anne and her husband. One scene lets viewers see Charles on the phone with Camilla telling her how bored he is and that she should come to the estate to be with him. But at this time, Camilla is married. She suggests to Charles to invite Diana to the estate to entertain him; that is exactly what he does. Charles invited Diana to the estate and introduces her officially to the family. 

The whole weekend, Diana shows how ladylike she is and how well she would fit into the family.Formal dinners with games after are held every night. Even Queen Elizabeth is captured by Diana’s ability to make the whole room pay attention to her without even trying. Diana strikes up conversations easily and even helps Prince Phillip, the Queen’s husband, get a prize winning elk to hang on the wall at the estate. 

I enjoyed seeing Diana fit into the family and capture the family’s attention. 

Before you know it, the announcement of the engagement is made. It’s interesting to see what the interview was like. Diana had her head down a lot which showed she didn’t like the attention. She kept glancing at Charles, but the two rarely made eye contact. Charles did say he loved her. He said, “Whatever that means.” Viewers are already on Diana’s side.

A few days after their engagement, Charles leaves for a royal trip and Diana stays in the palace. Being bored, Diana goes to Charles office and finds a design for a bracelet. She finds that two “C” are to be carved into the bracelet. Well guess who’s name starts with a C, Charles old friend Camilla. Diana becomes furious, as she should be. She tries to call the Queen and starts yelling that this marriage can’t happen. 

It’s sad watching Diana develop an eating disorder and having a fiance still in love with another. She didn’t deserve to be put in that position nor should anyone in that matter. Now, almost 40 years later, the palace secrets seem wrong–we are so much more open about seeking medical attention and getting help.

According to this Netflix version, even Charles wanted to call off this wedding. One scene shows Charles and his mother talking about him wanting to leave this marriage. Queen Elizabeth said to him that his great great grandparents were in a position just like he is. They hated each other but grew to love another and had a happy and long marriage. 

The emphasis, of course, is on The Crown.  Every season has struggles about love and desire in conflict with what is best for the monarchy.

Queen Elizabeth’s decision makes the viewers angry. 

“How could you do that to your child? He’s crying about not wanting to be married and you know about his love for Camilla. They barely spent time together,” Shari Lotito said. 

It’s disappointing that the director didn’t add in scenes from Diana’s and Charles’ wedding. They show Diana in her dress, and that’s it. It would’ve been really cool to see the two at their wedding and see when they were bound together. 

Another disappointing part is that the director left out moments from the honeymoon and just cut straight to when Charles and Diana are living in their home with Diana pregnant.

Queen Elizabeth visits the house to see them both but Diana stays in her room and Charles is screaming at her to come out. Over lunch, Charles tells the Queen all about how Diana doesn’t leave her room and barely interacts with the guests he brings to the house. 

No scenes show Diana and Charles when Prince William is born. It goes straight into their Australian Tour in 1983. Viewers will watch scenes of Charles and Diana walking the streets of Australia with the people shouting her name. Diana was loved by the crowds, which made Charles jealous. It’s described by the Queen and Charles that the tour was to make him look good, not his wife. 

Diana was a different type of royal. She spoke to the public one on one and even took pictures with them during the tour. She would hug people and have short conversations with them while walking the streets. You could see how frustrated Charles was about Diana getting all the attention. She is not “stuffy” like other royals as many Australians said in the show. She brings youth to the kingdom.

It’s sad that these two were so mismatched. There is plenty more to see in Season 4, but the politics didn’t interest me as much as the match-making. 

At the end of the season, Diana had a solo trip to New York where she visited lower sides of Brooklyn. She touched the souls of the people there and showed her love to the Americans there. Back in England, Camilla and Charles are hiding their love for each other but seeing Diana in New York changed the mindset of Camilla. Camilla tells Charles that if he really loves her, to continue his marriage with Diana. The people love Diana, but Camilla knows she will be hated if she and Charles show their affection towards each other.

If the situation was different, I would feel bad for Camilla and Charles but I don’t. Charles knew what he was getting into when he had asked Diana to marry him long ago. He still had strong feelings for Camilla which should’ve been an alarm to Diana. After the announcement of Diana and Charles divorce, it was made public the love Charles and Camilla have for each other.

As the years go on, Diana sadly dies in 1997, a year after her divorce from Charles. Camilla and Charles get married in April of 2005. Camilla has received hatred over the years. I do feel bad for her that she had to experience hate but I feel that this show allows viewers to see a side of her relationship with Charles that the public may have never seen before. The secrecy that was in their relationship but also the love that was there.

I totally recommend this show to anyone who loves history but also who love drama. This season was filled with ups and downs in the Charles and Diana relationship that the public may have never seem before until now. I absolutely love this show and can’t wait until season 5.