It comes back to a portrait – a metonym that the series used to great effect last year, in the widely acclaimed episode Assassins, framed around a lost portrait of Winston Churchill. Here, the series invokes the infamous pictures of Princess Margaret taken by Armstrong-Jones to similar effect.
There’s something ekphrastic about it, as the episode realises the shock and intimacy represented by the photos. More than that, in fact – it’s here that The Crown realises its initial promise, moreso than anywhere else. “No one wants complexity and reality from us,” declares the Queen Mother. But that’s what the photos represent, candid and intimate as they are – and what The Crown delivers for Margaret.
I really enjoyed The Crown series two, much moreso than the first – here’s an article on one of the standout episodes, about my favourite character.