The Crown: Decommissioned
November 13, 2022 7:51 AM - Season 5, Episode 10 - Subscribe

After heightened public scrutiny, Charles forges a new alliance in Hong Kong. Mohamed Al-Fayed offers his support to a newly-divorced Diana.

The Crown Wades Into a Royal Mess [Vulture Season 5 Review / Archive]
Royal historian Tracy Borman on the real events behind The Crown season 5 [History Extra Season 5 Review]
posted by ellieBOA (13 comments total)
‘The Crown’ Review: The Worst of Times [NYT / Archive]
A Low Point for the Monarchy, in a New Season of ‘The Crown’ [NYT / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA at 8:25 AM on November 13, 2022

Diana constantly auto-dialing "You have voted NO for the monarchy" while posing around and listening to that on speakerphone is a hoot.


Dodi and Kelly(!) doing role-play-sex-play? AND THEN, THE COKE SNORTING. NOW he's a playboy!

"Isn't it enough just to fuck her?" Stay classy, Mr. English Gentleman.

"You lose your car, your home, and you're evicted before lunch." God, British politics are brutal.

Mohammed's ah, hand gestures at Diana while at the ballet are cracking me up. I kinda can't help but like the guy, somehow? Looks like he's happy with wife #2.

I still feel badly for Hong Kong having to deal with this.

Oookay, so we're doing "Charles hits up the PM, round two" in this series, then.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:48 PM on November 14, 2022

The Crown Did Diana Dirty [Vulture / Archive]

I agree with a lot of what Roxana Hadadi says here.

How ‘The Crown’ Casts Its Royals [NYT / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA at 8:40 AM on November 17, 2022

FYI: the "Archive" link doesn't work for the Vulture article, it's just the Vulture paywall again.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:56 PM on November 17, 2022

Hmmm, I just read Hadadi's article and I had a totally different read of it - I thought Diana came off very sympathetic in this series. And many of the scenes Hadadi takes issue with didn't come off as anti-Diana to me (though I can see how others might interpret them differently). For example, Hadadi describes scene where the Queen chastises Diana this way about the BBC interview:

When Diana visits her mother-in-law to tell her about the interview, Elizabeth counters with “All any of us want, Diana, is for you to be happy — and one day to be our next queen.” Elizabeth is given the moral high ground in this conversation by having the final say and thinking of someone other than herself, and Diana is painted with shame and regret.

To me, this scene served as further evidence of all the bullshit Diana had to deal with - I mean, we see her get treated terribly by the family in the show. In the scene, Elizabeth clearly thinks she has the moral high ground, but I laughed a bit when she said the line about wanting Diana to be happy. Like, clearly, they wanted her to appear happy, but that's very different than being happy.

And the scene where she is chastised for wanting to go shopping, and her sons speak up to support her - I interpreted that as an example of Charles being a jerk, not her being frivolous.

I agree the show delivers some pro-Charles propaganda in making him out to be "progressive" and good at connecting with disadvantaged British youths - I mean, maybe compared to other members of the family, but that clip recently of Charles trying to be cool with some turntables suggests otherwise.
posted by coffeecat at 3:13 PM on November 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

jenfullmoon does this link work?
posted by ellieBOA at 12:46 AM on November 18, 2022

That did, thank you!
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:35 AM on November 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

The Crown Season-Finale Recap: Full Circle [Vulture / Archive] - let me know if this archive link works.
posted by ellieBOA at 8:16 AM on November 19, 2022

It worked, thank you!
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:51 AM on November 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

‘The Crown’: The Story of Mohamed Al-Fayed and His Valet [NYT / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA at 7:42 AM on November 21, 2022

The Crown Did Diana Dirty [Vulture / Archive]

Quite agree with that article; thanks for linking it.

They've portrayed Diana as frail, overly emotional, petulant, easily manipulated, paranoid... and bizarrely even seem to suggest she had a fetish for Pakistani men. They suggest she was surrounded by a series of woo-woo New Age practitioners like acupuncture to make her look flighty and unintellectual, while ignoring Charle's championing of homeopathy and other pseudo-scientific health fads.

As Charles, they've cast an actor who has more physical muscle and presence, looks, charisma, and deep resonant voice than the real, pompous, stuffy Charles has ever had. They keep showing him as some bold, brave, reform-minded hero out to save the monarchy. He's not some futuristic visionary - his "vision" is probably best embodied in the backward-looking planned village of Poundbury.

I'm sure both of them are more complex figures than what folks like myself have been led to understand over the years of articles and investigations about them. But most of this season really felt to me that the show tipped way too far in the pro-Charles direction. It's the first time in the run of the show I've felt it's become unbalanced.
posted by dnash at 8:15 AM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'll be fair on this one topic: now that Charles is king, it's probably more politic to kiss his royal booty right now.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:53 AM on November 28, 2022

They've portrayed Diana as frail, overly emotional, petulant, easily manipulated, paranoid.

I believe the creators wrote and played Diana's part on the assumption that she did indeed have Borderline Personality Disorder, as has been speculated. BPD, in my understanding, is caused by extreme reaction to emotional events: good or bad. That leads to a raft of characteristic symptoms like fear of abandonment, reckless behaviour, self-harm and unstable relationships. It is fairly common, affecting somewhere between 1 and 6 percent of the population - but is often undiagnosed or mis-diagnosed. It might be triggered by family trauma or abuse in early life. We have no idea whether Diana really had BPD- but I guess, if she did, it would correlate with a lot of the behaviours we see in this series particularly.

I think this season did hint at the particular difficulties that life as a royal would present for anybody having problems processing reality. In this case there absolutely are photographers hiding in the bushes and trying to listen to phone conversations. They really are having meetings about you in newspaper editorial rooms. The NSA really do have a thick file documenting your behaviour - and your confidants really do have a chance of secretly angling for a book deal. How would even the most level headed of us cope with those circumstances? BPD is pretty highly heritable too - which could have implications both for Diana's family and for her children.
posted by rongorongo at 10:29 PM on December 8, 2022

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