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The first season of The Crown was the most expensive television show ever made, costing Netflix a whopping $130 million. It was also a critical and popular success, capturing the world's attention with a fascinating glimpse of the Royal Family's often-overlooked recent history.
Season 2 is due for release on December 8th, and will take us into an even more turbulent time for the Monarchy. Now, Netflix has released a new trailer to give a sense of the drama...
The world has changed.
Claire Foy and Matt Smith are reprising their roles as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, but this season will set the Monarchy against a backdrop of sweeping cultural change. The story will run until around 1964, and Michael C. Hall is signed up as President John F. Kennedy, with Jodie Balfour playing Jackie Kennedy. The President's visit to Buckingham Palace will be the focus of at least one episode, although a planned state visit never took place due to Kennedy's assassination in 1963.
Although guests have described the meeting in warm, affectionate terms, the reality is that Kennedy was a troubled man. According to his close friend Ormsby Gore, Kennedy arrived in England fresh from a meeting with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev:
"In London he was mainly worried as to how he was to put this to the American people and that night, at dinner at Buckingham Palace — the Queen gave a dinner for him — he was very concerned about preparing for his television broadcast as soon as he got back. He thought it right that the American people should be told immediately what the real position was between the Soviet Union and the United States."
Meanwhile, at home, Britain was wracked by political turmoil. The first season teased the build-up to the Suez Crisis, sure to be a major plot thread in Season 2. This ultimately cost the career of Prime Minister Anthony Eden, and we'll see just how the Queen navigated these choppy waters.
Princess Margaret's love-life continued to draw attention, and she became something of a national scandal. Played by Vanessa Kirby, Princess Margaret promises to play a major role in the second season. Showrunner Peter Morgan told Vanity Fair that he thinks she'll be a real highlight. "We always knew she was a great actress," he observed. "But she explodes. It's a very identifiable tragedy, to have someone in the family with more apparent charisma and yet no use for it... I love writing her."
The Crown is a historical drama like no other, a lavish project that rightly earned Foy a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series. As turbulent as the first season's politics may have been, the reality is that this is an era of tremendous political and cultural upheaval in the UK. This season is sure to be even better than the first.