The Crown season 2 review: Claire Foy and Matt Smith shine but has it lost its sparkle? | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

The Crown season 2 review: Claire Foy and Matt Smith shine but has it lost its sparkle? | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

Unfortunately, it seems the charm of The Crown has faded a little in its second outing. While many of the episodes offer a detailed historical insight into the monarch’s life, some feel too slow and lack engagement and the sparkle that the first series was bursting with. 

But that’s not to say it isn’t emotionally rich or disappointing and there are several stand out moments that will leave you in tears. 

The first three episodes throw viewers deep into the royal couple’s relationship and it is fair to say it does not hold back. 

Elizabeth and Philip’s marriage is put under a microscope as they fight off claims of infidelity. However, those hoping for a shocking and scandalous affair to be exposed will be left disappointed. 

Instead, creator Peter Morgan handles the topic sensitively and delicately with Claire Foy and Matt Smith shining in their roles as the royal couple, who are coming up to their 10 year anniversary. 


It really is difficult to think of anyone better than Claire to take on the role of the Queen with her incredible ability to express her character’s emotions without uttering a word.

While those opening episodes are at times lethargic, Peter’s writing is still as brilliant as it was in the first season. His inclusion of tender moments between the royal couple, while short-lived, make them more accessible. 

The moment Philip instructs the staff to turn away so he can caress his wife before a formal dinner may leave you blushing, while you’ll find yourself giggling when he mocks Elizabeth’s new hairstyle. 

Perhaps the most endearing moment of the series comes in the final minutes of episode 10, which sees the couple come to an agreement about their marriage. The raw emotion between Claire and Matt leaves you sorry that they won’t return for another outing.

But while the pair continue to stun, it is Vanessa Kirby who really steals the spotlight as Princess Margaret, who throws herself into a new love affair with Antony Armstrong-Jones. 

Her first encounter with her future husband and photographer is without a doubt a welcome break from the intense scrutiny of the royal marriage and it is refreshing to see a couple falling in love rather than battling to stay together. 

New addition to the cast Matthew Goode, who takes on the role of Tony, oozes charm and charisma as he lures the princess into his world. It is quite unfortunate that viewers do not get to see as much of his character as one may hope. 

Nevertheless, their blossoming relationship in the fourth episode sets the pace for the rest of the series which skips through the queen’s third and fourth pregnancies, a new Prime Minister and Margaret’s marriage, keeping the viewer glued to the screen.


Meanwhile, the penultimate instalment will undoubtedly leave you with a tear in your eye. 

It mirrors Philip and Charles’ childhoods as the former refuses to send his son to Eton college for fear that he will be pampered and instead packs him off to Gordonstoun, where he was a student during the Thirties. 

The two endure numerous struggles as they attempt to settle in but it is the moments that follow the death of Philip’s favourite sister that will have you reaching for a tissue. 

Other highlights include the Kennedy’s visit to Buckingham Palace, Lord Altrincham’s personal attack on the Queen as he urges the monarchy to modernise and the uncovering of the Marburg Files. 

While the second series doesn’t pack as much of a punch as the first outing or feature as many wow moments, it does show a more human and accessible side to the royal family and it’s clear that Olivia Colman has big shoes to fill as Claire steps down from her role as the queen.

season 2 is available to stream on Netflix today.

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