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Is 'The Crown' Season 4 (About Diana) Royally Worthy Of The Buzz?

The Crown Diana Spencer Emma Corrin Netflix
Des Willie / Netflix

If you live for dramas and are as curious about the English royals as yours truly is, then “The Crown” has undoubtedly caught your fancy. The Netflix series recently released Season 4, delivering on a much-anticipated chapter in the Windsor family dynasty: the arrival of Princess Diana. By now, you have heard the buzz. Thus, begging the question of if “The Crown” is worthy of it.

In short, the answer is an enthusiastic “yes.” Having missed the second and third season, this first-season viewer of “The Crown” knew that what waited in Season 4 was worth skipping ahead to see. Princess Diana’s arrival had been at the fore of anticipation since the show began and the Netflix series more than delivers on delving deep into her “reign.”

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If you missed two seasons or simply want to dig right in, “The Crown” does not punish you for it. Season 4 seamlessly allows viewers to dive in without confusion. That said, if you have even the slightest understanding regarding England’s royal family, you will have more of an edge in the proceedings, although you will survive without one.

For those who are fully aware of what lies ahead for Princess Diana following her ascent into global icon status, there will be an added sense of doom to things. Newcomer Emma Corrin is a revelation as the young, tender, naive, and beloved Princess Diana, who is presented as Taylor Swift on steroids. See for yourself thanks to Netflix’s YouTube channel:

As “The Crown” depicts, Princess Diana was a woman whose warmth and personality were a lightning rod that the world remains in shock and awe of to this day. It is an awesome thing to see get portrayed, and the Netflix series does mighty work in conveying Diana’s startlingly easy rapport with the average person, while her husband gives her the cold shoulder.

In Season 4, Prince Charles is portrayed as being jealous of his beautiful, young wife as she enchants those around him. Prince Charles does not share in the public sentiment and is utterly bewildered by her effect. Instead, “The Crown” portrays Charles preferring to tell a hideously crude joke alongside his Camilla then sit in the company of the wife he envies.

For the Windsors, the shadow of Princess Diana looms large without a series spotlighting her troubled marriage to Prince Charles. Interestingly, it is the Season 4 episode that sees the couple make tremendously hopeful strides with each other and their relationship that “The Crown” shines the brightest.

Episode 6 (entitled “Terra Nullius”) shows a young couple weathering Prince Charles’ jealousy of Princess Diana’s place in people’s hearts and the monstrous wedge it drives between them. Even though I know how their marriage unfolded in real-life, the romantic in me watched somehow hoping an alternate ending would play out with them remaining a couple. A feeling credited to showrunner/creator Peter Morgan and the cast.

The Crown Prince Charles Josh O'Connor Princess Diana Emma Corrin Netflix
Des Willie / Netflix

Emma Corrin and Josh O’Conner never strike a false note in Season 4, Episode 3 (and beyond), as they portray a sense of tenderness and fraught nerves that seem capable of connecting, if even for a moment. What might have been had there been better counseling? If “The Crown” is to be believed, Prince Charles letting go of his “A Star Is Born” ego would have been all it took.

Sadly, it was not meant to be. So, viewers “The Crown” are left to watch Princess Diana re-imagined into life as a gloomy cloud hangs over her head. Those of us alive at the time undoubtedly recall the marital drama that unfolded under the scrutiny of the public eye and the even more tragic ending that lied ahead for Princess Diana.

Whether it is “The White Queen” (or its sequel series), there is no shortage of intrigue surrounding England and its royals. The theme continues in modern times as the Windsors have recently grabbed more than a few headlines of late thanks to Princess Diana’s sons, their wives, and their young families.

In Season 4, “The Crown” shifts gears back to when Princess Diana came upon the scene, shaking it up with her earth-shattering popularity. A bit of her magic is brought back to life in “The Crown,” or at least an ode to it. England’s royal history has witnessed its share of towering figures.

As far back as it goes, it is tough to imagine Princess Diana getting surpassed by any of them, and Season 4 provides a stellar insight into why. Like Queen Victoria, some are born to take a throne, while others are given one by the people. In the end, a seat given instead of one taken tends to have the highest currency.

Rating: 8.5/10

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