The royal yacht Britannia, the BBC public service TV, weddings, the carriage: all the metaphors of the English monarchy in crisis in the explanation of the finale of The Crown 5, a season that has never been so circular for the Netflix serial jewel.
Perhaps The Crown 5 it was the least successful season of the series Netflix, as we explained in our review, but it is also true that it offered the most varied metaphors related to the English Crown in the moment told by the new ten episodes. We are in the 90s, during the storm linked to the shipwreck of the marriage between Charles and Diana, the Princes of Wales, and the downward spiral which then (and perhaps even today) had reached the English monarchy as an institution in the eyes of the people, for a world that desperately needed to move forward and a symbol that was perhaps hopelessly left behind. As Charles says to his mother Elizabeth II at one point, afraid of inheriting a kingdom over which he will be able to do little to save it from falling into the abyss and oblivion. At the same time the season has a structure that has never been so circular and always through a metaphor, as we will analyze in this one of ours The Crown 5 ending explained.
There fifth season of The Crown begins and ends with Britannia, the royal yacht, conceived and launched by the recently crowned Elizabeth herself (a Claire Foy that fans are always happy to see again, as happened in the seasons starring Olivia Colman). One of the few elements that she, by the admission of Imelda Staunton’s “new” Elizabeth herself, was able to create on her own without inheriting it from someone previously. The yacht is now showing important signs of yielding, so much so that her very sense of existence is called into question. Should you be restored at very high cost to the people and taxpayers, as an imperishable symbol of the British monarchy, or abandoned forever? It’s a question Elizabeth finds herself asking new Prime Minister John Major (Johnny Lee Miller), emphasizing how she has never made any demands for what she cared about. Filippo and the royal family obviously would like to keep it at all costs, but at the end of the season they will find themselves having to abandon it, understanding despite themselves that the request to pass the costs on to the state coffers was extremely out of place, in a period of economic crisis and above all of ideals. Britannia also turns out to be the site of the “clandestine” meeting between Dominic West’s Charles and Bertie Carvel’s Tony Blair (another Prime Minister), during his “holiday” with his new wife Camilla Parker-Bowles (Olivia Williams ). Seat and symbol of Elisabetta’s definitive choice to be the last to take a trip on board before she is definitively retired. Image with which she leaves us the season, together with Elizabeth Debicki’s Diana who is on another yacht, that of the Al-Fayeds, and therefore there will be only a few weeks left until her tragic death.
The Crown 5, the review: the least successful season of the Netflix series, but still flying high
Television and the BBC
The other great metaphor that runs through it all The Crown 5 is that of the English public service television, the BBC, consideration of our RAI, which in those years experienced a period of profound change at the top management. Leaders who want to look at the new rather than the old and perhaps oxidized, choosing to broadcast the exclusive interview with the Princess of Wales after her separation from Charles, in which she would have exposed the monarchy to the lie, rather than a tribute to the Queen, to thank her for what done so far in his more than 40-year reign. Just like the historic cathode ray tube in the Buckingham Palace drawing room, which Elizabeth is fond of, accustomed like the ancient Queen Mother to that one channel, precisely the BBC, which has always punctuated their days at the palace and the news of the day. But now there is a world that is making its way, between satellite channels such as Channel 4 and ITV, or even the one dedicated to horse racing, which could excite the Queen.
The opposing vision of the old and new management of the BBC is incredibly mirrored by that of Elizabeth and Charles, who will find themselves clashing on this several times during the season. Television also becomes the perfect counterpoint of the royal family: if initially it had been the megaphone of the coronation of Elizabeth (1953), strongly desired by Philip, in a BBC commentary, of the love between Charles and Diana, with their marriage broadcast on TV with record ratings (1981), as well as years before that between Princess Margaret and the photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones (1960), later becomes the mirror of their fracture. Not only the crisis of the monarchy as an institution and as a symbol (a State officially leaves the Commonwealth without many compliments), but also of the marriages just mentioned: Charles and Diana are once again protagonists on TV, but with their respective public interviews released at different times , almost as if they had been each other’s revenge. Speaking of royal marriages, it is through the divorce court, in which they are treated like any other civil union, that their deep crisis is shown: not only Charles and Diana, but also Anna and Mark Phillips, Andrea and Sarah Ferguson .
The Crown 5, Imelda Staunton: “I started to worry when I felt comfortable in the royal clothes”
After no longer being able to play polo, his favorite sport, due to an accident, Jonathan Pryce’s elderly Philip finds new vigor and energy thanks to his passion for carriages, learning to restore them, take care of them and drive them around together with the horses. A passion that he tries to convey to his godson’s wife, Penny Knatchbull (Natascha McElhone), left without her only five-year-old daughter, who tragically died of cancer. Their relationship, never made explicit as a real betrayal in the series, but which represents the reinvigoration of the passion of the Duke of Edinburgh, despite the age difference or perhaps precisely because of that, since this Elizabeth of The Crown 5 instead she is tired, tried, would like some serenity and instead becomes a pawn at the mercy of the events that happen around her. The two royal spouses, in a comparison-summary of the previous seasons, make explicit the so few interests they have in common together with the diametrically opposite nature, that of Philip desperately looking for new stimuli also due to his role as eternal submissive to his wife, increasingly inclined to lower his head. The jolts that the royal family suffers in the 90s and therefore in this fifth season are perfectly represented by the journeys in the carriage, full of shocks, bad roads and last minute changes of route. The carriage that Filippo decides to renovate rather than dispose of, to give it to Penny and teach her to drive it, to be able to pass on something as an inheritance, is a metaphor similar to Britannia but more underlying, and in the end it will really shine with new life. Not all means of transportation, like characters, like people in real life, will have the same fate. For this we are waiting for the sixth and final season of The Crown.