Fair warning: Possible spoilers - read at your own risk.
When I was a child, I remember hearing a rumor about my Great Aunt Daisy and her obsession with the British royal family. There was talk that someone in our family traced our ancestry and found a line to Queen Elizabeth the first. Is it true? Probably not. But that little nugget of information got stuck in my head, and I find myself reading and watching everything I can about 16th, 17th, and 18th century royal women. I'm fascinated by their lives, their passions, and their ability to rule and scheme behind the backs of the men they served.
When season one of "The Crown" debuted on Netflix, I was immediately hooked and binged every season as soon as it was released. Season four, however, was disappointing from the moment I hit play.
This isn't a popular opinion, but I'm unhappy with how Princess Diana is portrayed. The actress, Emma Corrin, does a beautiful job in mimicking Diana's mannerisms and speech patterns. She's incredibly believable, but overall the essence of who Diana was seems overly simplified and she was far from simple.
As someone who watched every moment of that royal wedding on live television, and as someone who remembers exactly where I was when Diana died, I'm not buying it.
My memory of Diana is that she was a strong, beautiful, and kind woman. A woman who didn't buy into the royal trappings that seemed so confining at the time. A woman who, knowing her husband was in love with someone else, forged her own path both privately and publicly. For her there was no escaping the public eye.
Season four of "The Crown" portrays Princess Diana as weak; as a wall-flower, as a woman who incessantly pestered and bothered her husband and Queen Elizabeth the second. Was Prince Charles truly jealous of the attention she received? More than likely. He was overshadowed so often that resentment seems like a natural response, but with the world being aware of his love for Camilla, he was never going to have the heart of the British people or anyone else.
I don't believe for a moment her innocence and naivety lasted well into their marriage.
Season four ends before Diana's death, and the storyline may even suggest the royal family is responsible - and I say that because of the conversation between the Princess and Prince Phillip who threatens her before being interrupted by staff for a family photo.
With all this said, I will of course watch season five with the same dedication I've watched the previous seasons, but I'm not looking forward to it as much, knowing what's coming. I prefer the storylines surrounding the Queen, and I have to give a proper nod to Gillian Anderson for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher.
It's possible my fondness for Diana is skewing my memories and leaving a bitter taste in my mouth with this particular portrayal, but it is what it is - only my opinion.
Have you watched? What do you think?