What to expect from Season 2 of The Crown
Fans of high-quality television are in for a treat this winter as Netflix has just announced that Peter Morgan’s royal drama The Crown is returning with another series, set to debut on December 8. They’ve even released a snazzy teaser video to go along with it:
The Crown tells the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II's reign as the fragile social order established after the Second World War threatens to break apart. Based on the award-winning play, The Audience, the series reunites creator/writer Peter Morgan with director Stephen Daldry and producer Andy Harries.
Beginning with soldiers in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces fighting an illegal war in Egypt, and ending with the downfall of her third Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, after a devastating scandal, the second season bears witness to the end of the age of deference, and ushers in the revolutionary era of the 1960s.
The Crown continues to chronicle the major political and global events that have defined and shaped the second half of the twentieth century. With this season set to cover all of the happenings between 1956 and 1964, here are some historical events which we might expect to see covered in the next series:
The Suez Crisis
Regular watchers of The Crown will know that last season saw the beginning of the end for Jeremy Northam’s Anthony Eden. Trapped in a bitter dispute with Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, Eden’s issues with Nasser resulted in an invasion of Egypt in late 1956, with the aim of this disastrous invasion being to regain Western control of the Suez Canal and to remove Nasser from power.
The attempted coup, lambasted by American President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was an unequivocal failure and ended in massive embarrassment for both Eden and Great Britain. Accused of misleading parliament, Eden resigned from office soon after the event on 9 January 1957 – only two years into his tenure.
The Births of Prince Andrew and Prince Edward
Born in 1960 and 1964 respectively, this second season will also have to deal with the births of Andrew and Edward. Showing off an impressive baby bump in the above teaser, it’s likely that Claire Foy’s Elizabeth will be displaying a great deal more affection this time round, after struggling to balance monarchy with motherhood in the first series. The latter two pregnancies were in fact the only occasions in Elizabeth’s reign where she failed to attend the State Opening of Parliament.
The Marriage of Princess Margaret
Having witnessed the breakdown of Margaret’s scandalous affair with RAF officer Peter Townsend in the first series, this year’s follow-up will see the beginning of Margaret’s relationship with, and subsequent marriage to, photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones.
With Matthew Goode taking on the role of Armstrong-Jones, Margaret’s courtship of the future Earl of Snowdon was anything but smooth; primarily because of the fact that Armstrong-Jones was a commoner. In spite of this fairly substantial roadblock, the wedding still went ahead as planned, with the couple getting married at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 1960. The wedding was broadcasted to the world via television, allowing everyone to watch Prince Philip escorting the Princess to the altar.
With the marriage ending in a bitter divorce, and with rumours of Lord Snowdon’s sexual promiscuity having remained fairly resilient throughout the ages, we doubt that The Crown’s depiction of this tumultuous relationship will be one lacking in the drama department.
The Kennedys Visit To Buckingham Palace
In 1961, in what was a fairly landmark event, American President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline made a private visit to Buckingham Palace to attend a dinner party given by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in their honour.
As we can see from the teaser provided, this clash of cultures will at the very least be briefly touched up, with Dexter's Michael C Hall playing John F. Kennedy alongside Jodi Balfour as Jackie Kennedy. We’re not exactly sure what will unfold when these iconic figureheads meet, but we sure do hope that we get to see JFK give the Queen an autographed photo of himself.
The Profumo affair
Following the abrupt end to Anthony Eden’s time as Prime Minister, it was down to Conservative politician Harold Macmillan in order to steady the British political ship. Which he did. For a bit. Or at least until 1961 when a British political scandal of the highest order, known as the Profumo Affair, came about as a result of a sexual relationship between John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War, and a 19-year-old model. The ensuing uproar rented apart the entire credibility of Macmillan’s government and almost single-handedly toppled the Conservative Party.
The repercussions of the affair so severely damaged Macmillan's self-confidence that he was forced to resigned as prime minister on health grounds in October 1963. Labour’s victory in the 1964 general election was just the final nail in the coffin.