Review: The Crown Season 2 Episode 4 “Beryl”

The opulence, decadence and undeniable romance of the production design is not simply a historical account of the Palace but an effective representation of the fairy-tale image the Monarchy projects. As is discussed here, such a perception is vital to uphold, a trance of romanticism needed to affirm the Monarchy’s relevance. Amongst this wonderland of gold and diamonds, Margaret, played excellently by the understated Vanessa Kirby, does not feel liberated by opportunity, but confined by the constant need to please. This is the first episode I have personally seen Margaret’s isolation as not a self-imposed struggle but one that draws from the lack of reality enforced in the Royal Family. It’s a running theme that Elizabeth acts not with true power, but only as a figurehead, only providing the perception of agreement. It’s a fantastical world that Margaret figuratively, and literally, attempts to destroy. Her meanderings with Antony are purposefully a gritty affair in the shadows, not the lush, exquisite and refined environment of her home. The episode therefore succeeds in placing focus on Margaret’s trials. Yet, it also somewhat forgets about Elizabeth. As previously noted, this show is about the Crown, and may therefore extend beyond the Queen. However, as a key factor in Margaret’s life and her journey, I wish more had been done to increase Elizabeth’s relevance, especially as the scenes she is in feel rather forgettable. 9.2/10


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