Monday, November 16, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Crown' - Diana Prepares for the Wedding While Adjusting to a Dramatically Different Life in 'Fairytale'

Netflix's The Crown - Episode 4.03 "Fairytale"

After Charles proposes, Diana moves into Buckingham Palace and finds her life filled with princess training, loneliness - and Camilla Parker Bowles.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's The Crown.

"Fairytale" was written by Peter Morgan and directed by Benjamin Caron

The story of Charles and Diana's romance is fundamentally a fairytale. It's a story that people want to believe in so fiercely. It's not based on anything real though. It's a story that plays out based on perceptions. And yet, Charles and Diana barely know anything about each other. Love isn't actually present. Diana simply checks all the boxes for what a future queen should be. The family orders Charles to propose to her. As such, it's not a moment full of romance. Instead, it's simply relaying the facts to the rest of the family. It's all about Queen Elizabeth sharing the details with everyone else. It's not what Charles and Diana are feeling in the moment. It's still a whirlwind adventure for Diana. She is whisked away to the palace. A life of luxury is now afforded to her. It's lonely and isolating though. Her fiancé leaves her for six weeks. They won't really see each other until the days before their wedding. It's a ceremony full of pageantry. It's them going through the motions of what is expected. An outpouring of love and support comes from around the globe. Everyone is full of excitement for this wedding. It's thrilling. And yet, Diana is lost in this world. She goes unnoticed and unseen. No one takes the time to really understand who she is. Instead, she is left behind in her room spinning out. That presents itself through an eating disorder. That is traumatic and scary. And again, no one notices it. She sees immediately that the feelings are still there and strong between Charles and Camilla. They have nicknames for each other. They speak daily. They know everything about each other. Charles is even making her a gift to celebrate his upcoming wedding. He plays it off as a final gift for the end of their friendship. They can't allow this to continue. And yet, it has gone unchallenged for so long. People in the family know that Charles still loves Camilla. As such, it's probably a mistake for him to marry Diana. And yet, it's what Elizabeth and the Queen Mother order. They see it as perfectly happy. They don't want to see the dark underbelly of what is going on. Margaret sees that because she too has experienced her share of heartbreak at the hands of her own family. She felt ordered how to feel her emotions. She wasn't given the freedom to express herself. That produced so much darkness within her. She wants to save her nephew. And yet, Elizabeth sees this marriage as the duty Charles has to make to his country. It doesn't matter how Charles and Diana feel about each other right now. This is required of them. They have to wed. The expectation is that respect will develop between them over the years. In the end, that will allow them to lead from a place that could be seen as intimacy and love. It's the expectation that so many have previously had within the generations of this family. Elizabeth understands that. She encourages it to happen once more. Of course, she also denies Diana any kind of personal relationship. Diana is welcomed into this life but she is always made to feel like an outsider. She is trapped within these walls and isn't worthy of being heard by the Queen or the Prince of Wales. The show sees her. It presents her side of this tragedy. It's not enough to actually change anything. This is the path that these people are on in their lives. There is no changing it now. It's all perceived as a duty for the country they serve. They have to present a fairytale. It's easy and romantic. That doesn't make it good though. And so, Diana and Charles have their wedding. It's magical for the world at large. At home though, every member of the royal family is experiencing it on their own. That's how their lives have always been lived. So, nothing is fundamentally changing. A new perspective is coming into this world. One that doesn't value the traditions of this royal hierarchy. But one that is also condemned because of that inability to accept this as the way things have always been. The family is personally destructive. They don't care about Charles' feelings. It's all a service to the country. Diana just happens to be the woman caught up in it. She does so with complete awareness of the love her future husband has for another woman. It's a bond she can't measure up to. And so, her destructive behavior is encouraged even more because that's the way this family processes their emotions and demands others to do the same.