Can you be diametrically opposed to the concept of monarchy and still get sucked into The Crown?, asks Suzanne Harrington.
Does this make you a bad socialist, the way perceiving Boris Johnson as a sexual being would make you, among other things, a bad feminist?
Can you long for the dissolution of outmoded manmade hierarchies and still find yourself binge watching season one, having resisted it thus far and finding there’s quite a few episodes to catch up? Did I just write the words Boris Johnson and sexual being in the same sentence?
Regretfully, the answer to both is yes. In this seasonal onslaught of pumpkin spiced cinnamon gingerbread mocha salted caramel lattes, when it’s dark by lunchtime, and the outside world is already a cacophony of Christmas crap and horrible music in shops, indoor comfort is craved, and all bets are off.
And The Crown is on. Hours slip by, as one episode slides languidly into the next, the comedically posh accents washing over one like an oily private secretary – I say ‘one’, because after nine straight hours, the poshness is rubbing off. Rubbing orf. It is aristocratic Eastenders, and I am
belatedly hooked, despite the idea of royalty having an even lower approval rating in my head than costume dramas and pronouncing trousers ‘trizahs’. Is this what happens in middle age?
You start watching posh soap operas about the very institution you’d pay to see abolished?
Olivia Coleman, whom the Telegraph declared has “a left wing face”, herself declared the queen — whom she plays in season three — as “the ultimate feminist”.
You’d struggle to decide which of these statements is the most preposterous — a left wing face sounds like something you’d have after a stroke — but the queen as the ultimate feminist? Not on your nelly.
You don’t, however, have to get personal about individual members of royalty, and still want the institution replaced by something a little less medieval. (Like a republic. At some stage in the future, our nearest neighbours may emulate ours, which would be both ironic and hilarious. Let us look forward to such a day with pleasant anticipation.)
Yet disliking members of the royal family simply because they are members of the royal family seems primitive; what if they are perfectly nice people, just a bit blinded, deafened and dumbed by excessive hereditary privilege, randomly befallen? Oh God. Has watching The Crown made me go soft on a bunch of people who have other people to squeeze their toothpaste, paid for by people who can barely afford toothbrushes?
Post Prince Andrew, there is nothing primitive whatsoever about loathing individual members of the royal family, but what I want to know is how he is going to be written into future series.
How will they convey such doltish arrogance, that makes a royal elect to go on telly to sympathise with a dead paedophile friend instead of the kids that the dead paedophile friend abused? Awkward.
Let’s chuck another log on the fire, and see how they manage it.