Final episodes of The Crown met with tepid reaction from critics

Final Episodes Of The Crown Met With Tepid Reaction From Critics
The second instalment of the last series features a time jump following the death of Diana. Photo: PA Images
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Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

The final episodes of The Crown have been met with a tepid reaction from critics since they launched on Netflix on Thursday.

The final six episodes of the last series of the Netflix juggernaut features a time jump, following the death of Diana in the first instalment released in November.


The Guardian says the show “swerves into campus romcom” when the show focuses on William’s years at university and his romance with Kate Middleton, with the Middleton family “bluntly portrayed as throne fans who spot their chance and grab it”.

The review expresses frustration that “the potentially more interesting character of Harry is only a cartoon of a naughty younger sibling, bringing the family into disrepute by smoking weed and dressing up for a party as a Nazi… but how Harry comes to be so resentful isn’t explored”.


It continues: “There is some daring dialogue in the final episode, as even the queen acknowledges that the institution of the monarchy is an awkward, moribund absurdity.

“Yet in terms of emotional drama, all The Crown has ever really had is the idea that living in palaces is terribly difficult. It’s always been a shaky premise, but it made some sense when applied to people who were never rewarded with the crown. Hearing about the agony of not having abdicated from the actual queen really is rich.”

The Telegraph says “the whole thing has outstayed its welcome” as the show “ends as a Hallmark Channel movie in which the queen has a nightmare about Tony and Cherie Blair being crowned at Westminster Abbey to a new national anthem of Things Can Only Get Better, and William and Kate’s dreamy first kiss is interrupted by a royal protection officer announcing the death of the queen mother”.

Imelda Staunton as the queen (Netflix)

Trade publication Variety says the drama suffers from the absence of Diana, following her death in the first batch of episodes.

It says: “Her sudden absence from the show leads to a sense of disorientation, echoing the emotions the world experienced in unison over 25 years ago.

“Without this beacon of charisma, The Crown feels quiet — its colours muted, its volume dimmed. The mood is both true to the post-Diana moment and a less-than-ideal note on which to end a project of such ambition and scope.


“It doesn’t help that Morgan (Peter Morgan, the show’s creator) has restricted himself to a moment with major milestones that lack the fizz of a tabloid scandal or the sorrow of a premature death.

Fellow trade website The Hollywood Reporter says: “In its final six episodes, however, The Crown proves less interested in interrogating the status quo than admiring it. It surely makes for a sweeter finish. But it doesn’t make for a very satisfying one.”

It adds: “Whatever Morgan’s actual motivations, whatever the actual process of making these chapters, the end product has the smoothed-over texture of something scrupulously designed to avoid offending those in power.”

actors Meg Bellamy portraying Kate Middleton and Ed McVey as Prince William from part two of the final season of The Crown (Netflix/PA)
Meg Bellamy portraying Kate Middleton and Ed McVey as William from part two of the final season of The Crown (Netflix/PA)

The Independent review says the final series of the show does not live up to the strength of earlier episodes.

It says: “When it comes to The Crown and what-ifs, the biggest one is this: what if this juggernaut of a show hadn’t squandered its once-golden potential?

“As the final six episodes arrive on Netflix, bringing a saga spanning half a century to a close, Morgan’s drama is haunted by the ghost of past glories. Remember when this all felt exciting – when these on-screen royals seemed painfully, gloriously human? Now they exist less as characters, more as vessels for exposition and knowing nods to present-day royal in-fighting.”

The final episodes on The Crown are streaming on Netflix now.

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