Verdict: The Crown Season 1 Episode 8 “Pride & Joy”

The presentation of Elizabeth throughout this episode is excellently realised, showing her as woman understanding of her role and responsibility, that will not be persuaded or manipulated by others. This character development is also fitting thematically, as ‘The Crown’ continues to beautifully tie character with larger ideas. The restraints upon The Queen’s individuality are nicely compared with the actions of Margaret, examining the need for a balance between liberty and duty, and the weight of this on Elizabeth. However, while the evolution of their relationship is well written, Margaret as a character has become too predictable and melodramatic. A result of confining the character to a certain role, to serve as a plot device in emphasising the ability of Elizabeth, the dysfunction of the family and the conventions of the monarchy, Margaret is presented without nuance in either writing or performance. This makes her storyline and influence (outside of that upon Elizabeth) dull and boring, as her purpose is so obvious. However, it does allow for one of a few occasions in this episode to highlight how the media impacts (and will impact) the royal family.  8.3/10

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