As Queen Elizabeth (Claire Foy) continues her reign over Britain, she finds the monarchy under intense scrutiny as it struggles to keep up with the times. As one critic says on television, “Britain has changed beyond recognition, and yet the monarchy continues its pre-war routines as if nothing has changed.”
But keeping up with a changing society isn’t the only issue Elizabeth is facing, as tensions between she and Philip continue to mount.
It appears Prince Philip (Matt Smith) still hasn’t fully adapted to his role as British royalty — being outranked by his children is very much getting to him — and his restlessness is starting to be a bit of a problem for the queen. In addition to growing a truly unfortunate beard, it seems Philip’s antics are starting to become something of a national issue and honestly, Elizabeth has enough on her plate. She tells him, “This restlessness of yours, it has to be a thing of the past. The monarchy’s too fragile — you keep telling me yourself. One more scandal, one more national embarrassment and it would all be over.”
And of course, it wouldn’t be the 1960s without a visit from President John F. Kennedy (Michael C. Hall) and First Lady Jackie Kennedy (Jodi Balfour), so be on the lookout for them to shake up everything we know and love about The Crown during the second season.
Meanwhile, Duke of Windsor Edward VIII — who, if you remember, abdicated the throne to marry American Divorcee Wallis Sampson, leaving Elizabeth’s father George the crown — has his own critiques for Elizabeth and the monarchy’s “inhumanity.” And Margaret, following the heartbreaking demise of her relationship with Peter Townsend, abandons Elizabeth’s stoic footsteps and moves to become “a modern woman for the modern age” as she falls in love with photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones (Matthew Goode).
This season marks the final year with the current cast, as a new decade will bring new actors to play the royal family. Claire Foy will hand the crown over to Broadchurch‘s Olivia Colman for seasons three and four.
The Crown will stoically grace Netflix will all its drama on December 8th.