You’ll have to search far and wide for a drama as classy as The Crown. Not only does the Netflix drama deal with the most regal of subjects, the flawless acting of its key players makes it the televisual equivalent of warm honey. But if you’ve binge-watched the second season a little too quickly, here’s an assortment of other entertainment to keep you satisfied in the long wait for its 2019 return.
The Queen (2006)
Here’s an obvious one – featuring Queen Elizabeth II as its main character and penned by The Crown‘s Peter Morgan, you can’t find anything closer to home than 2006’s The Queen. Helen Mirren acts her socks off as a Queen closer to the one we know today, as the Royal Family reel after the death of Princess Diana in 1997. In typical Peter Morgan style, he humanises these legendary figures by portraying them as a normal family wrestling with their grief, all the while made worse from being thrust into the media spotlight. Michael Sheen, Helen McCrory and Alex Jennings also act their socks off in this must-see, award-winning film.
The Audience (2013, 2015)
Another Peter Morgan Queen-related one for you, but in the medium of theatre this time. The Audience started in the West End in 2013 with Helen Mirren returning to the role of Elizabeth, while Kristen Scott Thomas played the same role in a 2015 revival. The play follows nine prime minsters meeting with the Queen, varying from her first (Winston Churchill in 1953) to the near-present day (David Cameron, 2010). The Audience has even made its way across the pond to Broadway, with Mirren reprising the role. Who knows when you’ll be able to catch The Audience again, but with The Crown being as successful as it is, you can expect to see it popping up again in London very soon!
A bit different to the last two picks, but Broadchurch is definitely one to watch if you want a measure of future Queen Olivia Colman‘s acting calibre. Starring as bedraggled detective and mother Ellie Miller, Colman gives a groundbreaking performance across all three series. The show’s most recent and final outing saw her pull heartstrings for Ellie’s emotional connection with a rape victim, while her family’s tragic struggle in the earlier series will have you bawling your eyes out. Watch NOW!
Wolf Hall (2009)
It’s all well and good looking ahead to Olivia Colman, but nobody’s ready to say goodbye to Claire Foy just yet. The relatively unknown actress has swept up the awards for her on-the-nose portrayal of the Queen, but you can see her before fame hit by watching the equally acclaimed Wolf Hall. Foy plays a starkly different royal in the seductive Anne Boleyn – and we all know how that story ends. Also starring Damian Lewis, Mark Rylance and a young Tom Holland, Wolf Hall received eight Emmy nominations and is the perfect watch if you enjoyed The Crown.
Wildcard – The Wicked Wit of Queen Elizabeth II (2017)
If you’re looking for a more lighthearted examination of our reigning monarch, Karen Dolby’s new book The Wicked Wit of Queen Elizabeth II seems like the perfect muse for you. The blurb speaks for itself: “[This book] reveals a side of the monarch the public rarely sees, her healthy sense of humor: sometimes silly, sometimes sarcastic—and occasionally unintentional (to guitar legend Eric Clapton: “Have you been playing long?”)!”. So if you want a sign after the heartbreak of Season 2 that everything’s gonna end up fine for your beloved monarch in the end, look no further.