ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix's 'The Crown' Is The New Series Everyone Will Be Watching

Regardless of your feelings about the monarchy -- expect a new appreciation for the woman on the back of your 50 cent coin.

02/11/2016 10:30 AM AEDT | Updated 04/11/2016 1:46 PM AEDT
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All 10 episodes of the first season will be released Thursday November 4.

Scandal, politics and a 25-year-old princess on the cusp of leading the most famous monarchy in the world is what forms the first episode of "The Crown", the Netflix Original series out on Thursday that everybody (even outside Great Britain) will be talking about.

No surprises that the series detailing the lavish lives of mid-century monarchy is the streaming service's most expensive to date, and extremely worth its 10-hour duration if only for its palatial palaces and opulent costumes and jewels.

Set in post-war Britain, the focus is on the newly proclaimed Queen Elizabeth II, following the death of her father, King George VI.

With a weighty dose of politics and power, "The Crown" explores the conflict between a young Queen and a young woman and the delicate balance between private and public life. Ahead, three things to ponder ahead of its November 4 release.

1. Queen Elizabeth II or feminist hero?

Netflix
Claire Foy's stunning performance as a young Queen Elizabeth II.

Britain's longest serving monarch never wanted to be queen and in fact, was not meant to be had it not been for her uncle, King Edward VIII who abdicated the throne to Elizabeth's father, when he was forced to choose between the crown and his heart, after he fell in love with American divorcee, Wallis Simpson.

When the throne was thrust upon her, Elizabeth (played by Claire Moy) got on with it. When she was instructed to walk two steps in front of her husband, Philip Mountbatten (Matt Smith), she did so without the need for an explanation.

And during their royal visit to Kenya, while still heir to the throne, the princess puts her male companions to shame after she fixes a broken-down car, casually telling them she trained as a mechanic during the war.

2. "3rd Rock From The Sun's" John Lithgow plays Sir Winston Churchill

Robert Viglasky/Netflix
John Lithgow as British PM, Sir Winston Churchill.

While you cannot deny the intrigue of the love lives of British royals, "The Crown" is as much about the politics that shaped the second half of the 20 century. Winston Churchill of course, being a major player in that.

Expect shades of "House of Cards" though in a much more realistic sense and a look at how, a young Queen Elizabeth II forged a relationship with the formidable prime minister that lasted until his death in 1965.

3. Princess Margaret or fashion icon?

Alex Bailey/Netflix
Princess Margaret was known for her fun and free-spirited ways.

Princess Margaret, who died in 2002 aged 71 was known in her younger years for her free spirit but later became known as the black sheep of the royal family.

As a young woman, her reputation became tarnished when she fell in love with Group Capt. Peter Townsend, a war hero who served as an equerry to her father, King George VI. Townsend had a wife and children, and with Princess Margaret being third in line to the throne at the time, she was the subject of tabloid gossip.

Despite Townsend later divorcing his wife, Princess Margaret was pressured into breaking off the relationship since the government and her own sister, opposed the marriage.

She later married a photographer, whom she had two children with but the marriage ended in divorce in 1978.

While unlucky in love, Margaret serves as perhaps the most intriguing character in the series. Known for her glamorous style and love of music (Louis Armstrong once referred to her as "one hip chick") the Queen's younger sister is proof that royal duty doesn't necessarily equate to happily ever after.

Season One of "The Crown" will be available on Netflix, November 4.

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