The passing of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8 has prompted legions of people to discover (or rediscover) the first two seasons of The Crown on Netflix. The early seasons of the drama series had Claire Foy in the starring Royal role, and covered her wedding to Prince Philip (Matt Smith) and ascension to the throne.
The first season of The Crown returned to Netflix’s Top 10 in the week of September 5-11. According to Deadline; “For the week of September 12-18, which coincided with UK’s period of national mourning, Netflix reported that The Crown‘s first season rose to No. 3 with 40.8 million hours viewed, with Season 2 also reentering the Top 10 at No. 7 with 16.7M hours viewed.”
The Crown roughly follows a one-decade-per-season format. The first two seasons, covering the 1950s and 60s, also starred Vanessa Kirby as the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, following her courtship and marriage to Tony Armstrong-Jones (Matthew Goode). The third and fourth seasons traded Foy for Olivia Colman, Smith for Tobias Menzies and Kirby for Helena Bonham-Carter. They covered the 1970s and 80s and introduced Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles and Emma Corrin as Princess Diana.
The upcoming fifth and sixth seasons of The Crown will star Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce as Elizabeth and Philip. Dominic West takes over as Charles, and Elizabeth Debicki will be playing Diana. The 1990s were a tumultuous decade for the Royals – featuring several divorces, fire at Windsor Castle, and of course the tragic death of Diana. The sixth season will follow William and Kate’s courtship, which began at St Andrew’s University in Scotland.
It’s probably unsurprising that with the death of Queen Elizabeth II after a 70 year reign, people wanted to go back to her earliest years as Queen. Hearing Foy delivering Elizabeth’s rousing speeches, seeing her international tours, and relationship with Winston Churchill (John Lithgow) were probably comforting to the Royalists who were in mourning.
While we wait for the fifth season of The Crown to finally be given a release date, check out our guide to the best Netflix series.