1. What do you think Queen Elizabeth II’s greatest legacy will be?
The Queen has already had a remarkable reign of 68 years, in which she has given Britain and the Commonwealth a sense of calm continuity and stability. She has been a great conciliator. She came to the throne just after the war years, and helped smooth diplomatic relations with many countries – Germany, Japan, Ireland – she went to Russia and China. We have had a most wonderful head of state. So she has shown the world what a dignified monarch can achieve.
2. What impact did the Queen Mother and Queen Mary have on The Queen’s reign and her relationship with her family and her people?
Queen Mary died in 1953 and the Queen only came to the throne in 1952, but her influence was to show the Queen how to be a dutiful monarch. The Queen Mother was only 51 at the beginning of the reign and lived 50 years into it, so she was a working Queen Mother, with a diplomatic, ambassadorial and social role. As you know she was much loved. She was more flamboyant than the Queen so attracted great affection. While alive she was very much the matriarch of the family, and the Queen deferred to her on many things. Prince Charles, in particular, adored her.
3. What’s the most important thing for people to know about The Crown?
It is well made, well written and lavishly produced, but it is dishonest because it twists the facts, very often to the disadvantage of those living people portrayed in it. So it must be viewed with great suspicion.
4. Why was it important for you to write your analysis of The Crown?
I needed to set the record straight, so I watched every episode twice, and have taken each one apart forensically, pointing out the errors, some of which are very great – and some minor (details etc). Even people who enjoy The Crown (which I don’t) can find my account useful.
Be on the lookout for our review of “The Crown Dissected: An Analysis of the Netflix Series The Crown Seasons 1, 2 and 3” in the coming weeks!