TV Special: The Crown
Have you heard about The Crown? If you haven’t, then you’re about to. Netflix’s brand new series is rumoured to be one of the most expensive shows ever made, with a whopping budget of £100 million (Dhs456m). Each season of The Crown will explore a decade in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II (yes, the Queen who still sits on the throne of the United Kingdom today), focusing on the balance between her private and public life.
Season one kicks off in 1947, with the opening scene seeing King George VI coughing up a worrying amount of blood. It’s then that we know his days are numbered. Who will ascend the throne next? The 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth, who is just about to marry Philip Mountbatten, a naval officer from Greece (and they’re still married 69 years later). After the King’s death, she begins the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy, while forging a relationship with the tough and war-hardened UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
A second series has begun filming, and with response to the show already hugely positive, it seems likely that more seasons will follow, portraying The Queen and Prince Philip up to the present day. The sovereign is played by Wolf Hall actress Claire Foy, while her husband is played to perfection by Doctor Who star Matt Smith. Admittedly, we were initially indifferent to the 34-year-old Brit, but after a couple of scenes of him portraying the fun-loving Philip, we happily joined the fan club. Also adding to the shows A-list credentials is writer Peter Morgan – the man behind 2006 movie The Queen, a portrayal for which Dame Helen Mirren won a Best Actress Oscar.
The Crown, with its regal costumes, grand locations and beautiful attention to detail, will comfortably fill the void left when Downton Abbey finished. However, the winning factor that the Netflix show has over other period dramas is that it’s all a true story and gives an insight into two of the most famous addresses in the world – Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. Happy watching!
Ahlan! at the Premiere
Ahlan! was exclusively invited to the glitzy world premiere of The Crown, which took place in London’s Leicester Square. Joining the cast of the show on the red carpet, we also spotted The Fall’s Gillian Anderson. The premiere truly got the royal treatment as members of The Queen’s Guard flanked the cast and a corgi (Queen Elizabeth II has five of the dogs) trotted past the flashing cameras. Once seated inside Odeon Cinema, the cast officially introduced the show as the VIP crowd, clad in ball gowns and armed with popcorn, settled in to watch the first two episodes before anyone else in the world.
A standing ovation later and the glitterati hot-footed it to the after-party at a glam hotel. With giant portraits of the cast in character adorning the walls and emblazoned on cushions, and a photo booth with crown props, the famous guests well and truly celebrated the show’s launch. Hitting the dance floor with a vengeance with Matt Smith was his girlfriend, Cinderella and Downton Abbey star Lily James, while Victoria co-stars and real-life couple Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes, along with Douglas Booth, partied into the wee hours!
INFO: The Crown season one is available to watch on Netflix, sign up at netflix.com, Dhs30-Dhs45 per month, depending on chosen package, first month is free.