This week on Bluray/DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the amazing series covering the sovereign from 1964 to 1977 with THE CROWN: The Complete Third Season.
It is now 1964 and Harold Wilson (Jason Watkins) is the new Prime Minister, yet the Queen (Olivia Colman) hears from Winston Churchill (John Lithgow) that he is working for the KGB. It would not be until after Churchill passes does the truth come to light and Philip (Tobias Menzies) discovers the Profumo affair.
A year later, Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter) is making her way through the United States with her husband Tony (Ben Daniels) on his book tour. Knowing that the Queen needs help from the American President Lyndon B. Johnson (Clancy Brown), she goes to the White House and manages to do what the royals have not upsetting Philip.
Aberfan would prove to be the most heartbreaking event to happen to the Queen’s country when the coal mountain behind the town explodes killing a schoolhouse of children. Philip is the first to arrive. Attending the services, the Queen tries to maintain her composure with flowers and seeing the grief of the families.
In a new family matter, Princess Alice of Athens, Philips mother, is in danger as Elizabeth gets her back to Buckingham Palace. Philip makes it plain that does not want it to happen and when a documentary on the royal family doesn’t go over very well, Phillip arranges an interview with Princess Anne but instead it is Alice that is interviewed.
When the King meets with Lord Mountbatten (Charles Dance), they speak about Wilson’s decision on the money of the country. All of this while the Queen and Porchey (Sam Phillips) are in France looking at horses. Once she returns, chaos brings the Queen to hear what Wilson and Mountbatten have to say and repair any damage done.
Charles is not a happy prince when the Queen removes him from school and sends him to Wales. Becoming the investiture as Prince of Wales, he becomes friends with a Welsh national and decides to stand up for their plight. The Queen is furious and refusing to back down returns to do a play at school where Anne sits watching.
Prince Philip is beside himself watching the moon landing and thrilled with the astronauts come to Buckingham Palace. Sharing with them his thoughts on living in the palace, Elizabeth learns of his unhappiness with the Dean of Windsor. The Queen decide to bring in Robin Woods as the new Dean who invites Philip to become part of academia.
Now the family matters are more out in the open than the Queen would like when Prince Charles becomes involved with Camilla Shand (Emerald Fennell), who is involved with Andrew Parker Bowles (Andrew Buchan) and Princess Anne’s (Erin Doherty) involvement. She also deals with seeing the Duke of Windsor (Derek Jacobi) one more time and learns of letters Charles has been receiving through the years.
Back to being a Queen instead of a mother, she deals with a Miners’ Strike at the same time as trying everything to stop the relationships between Charles and Camilla. Rushing a wedding between Bowles and Shand, the Queen understands his feelings but feels she is doing what is best for her son.
Margaret begins to have her own marital problems and has an affair. Almost immediately a picture taken of the two makes its way to the newspapers. Feeling the pressure of what she has done takes its toll on Margaret and Elizabeth knows she must make things right between the two of them. Waiting for Elizabeth is the Silver Jubilee marking her 25th year as the monarch of the United Kingdom.
Colman as the Queen gives us the stature of a woman who has grown into an unexpected reign. Clearly it does not get easier but with each step she takes, it is not only her decisions that the people of her country rely on but keeping an eye on her family. Constantly cleaning up relationship messes, this is a Queen who also is a wife and mother and consistently trying to keep them all separate which does not always work. Colman is everything I wanted to see portrayed and stepping in to play the next part of Queen Elizabeth’s life, it has all proved to be a series I have watched a time or two waiting for the new season.
Menzies as Prince Philip comes from his time on the series THE OUTLANDER into the shoes of a royal. This actor has the presence and, at times, gives moments of humanity that are endearing. Then he goes back to being a little bit narcissistic to my way of thinking. All in all I have to say I loved watching Menzies take on this role and make it his own (still made at you for making Jamie and Claire’s life miserable but willing to let it go!).
Carter as Princess Margaret takes on the role of a woman who clearly does not know who to be or how to be in the royal family. Jumping from affair to affair not only sets her farther apart from her family but gives her a reputation that the people of the U.K. are not happy about. I love Carter’s ability to take a wild character and show a side that we would not expect. Her scenes with Colman are rich and filled with emotions that can not openly share because heavy is the head that wears the crown – even for a princess.
O’Connor as Prince Charles does not have an easy time playing this role. With the history clearly out on the table now, showing it with any perspective can be difficult. That being said, O’Connor does give us a glimpse behind the curtain regarding the story being he and Camilla Parker Bowles. It is messy and it has all the makings of a soap opera. Doherty as Princess Anne seems to have picked up a few things from Auntie Margaret. Showing that she has a willful spirit, she also wants to do what she can for the family when things get difficult.
Dance as Mountbatten can sit and read a phone book and I am all in. I have been a fan for so many years and to watch his craft still be full of surprised is a delight for me. As Mountbatten, he believes he knows what is best and makes sure the Queen is aware of it.
Geraldine Chaplin as Wallis, Duchess of Windsor is an actress that I have come to enjoy more as she keeps finding interesting roles to play. This is definetly an interesting role to take on and think it would make a great series on its own. Jacobi as the Duke of Windsor is Elizabeth’s uncle who abdicated the throne for love. Always at a distance, he has one more chance to connect with his niece and makes every attempt to do so.
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The Episodes include Olding, Margaretology, Aberfan, Bubbikins, Coup, Tywysog Cymru, Moondust, Dangling Man, Imbroglio and Cri de Coeur.
The Bonus Materials include Behind the Crown: The Making of Season 3, Charles’ Investiture: Growing Up Royal, Royal Fabrics: A Look at the Costumes and Majestic Comparison: A Photo Gallery.
THE CROWN: The Complete Third Season brings new faces but slip in with the elegance needed to keep the story on track and our attention riveted. The series has managed to do both, and the thrill of the new season is already here.
It has to be said that the cinematography is absolutely stunning, and I am a firm believer that wardrobe is another character within a series or film. THE CROWN is no exception to my belief! From hairstyles to costuming, the series pulls us in to an era of family, loyalty, pressure, decisions and yes, even love for one another.
The cast is one of actors that are certainly portraying the royal family but, they also are portraying a family that has their own lives that are under constant scrutiny both within the family and the public. Before the internet they could manage to keep their lives more or less out of the newspapers, but a time came when controlling that was uncontrollable.
Catch up on the third season of THE CROWN in time for the fourth season!
In the end – it is the era of a Queen!