The Crown – Season Four – Episode 2 – The Balmoral Test
Plot: Margaret Thatcher visits Balmoral but has trouble fitting in with the royal family, while Charles finds himself torn between his heart and family duty.
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Balmoral Test starts as Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) gets his first date with Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) with them both facing the reality of the summer apart due to the commitments of the crown, while the Queen (Olivia Colman), Philip Duke Edinburgh (Tobias Menzies) and Princess Anne (Erin Doherty) are looking to finish off an injured prize stag on their property. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) is looking to bring her own stamp of difference in the country, her ideas of change with see her taking opposition within her own party with her plans. Margaret Thatcher will have to face her own test, joining the Queen at Balmoral for a weekend, learning that she doesn’t fit in with the traditions of the royal family, always trying not to look out of place.
Thoughts on The Crown – Season Four – Episode 2 The Balmoral Test
Thoughts – The Balmoral Test focuses on the building relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, showing us how the two have come from different backgrounds, that reflects how they might want different things for the country in the future. We must address the fact that a large part of this story is focused on hunting, which isn’t putting the royal family in the best spotlight, showing them to be animals hunting innocent creatures. Gillian Anderson steals this episode with her ability to show just how out of place she is in the Balmoral Test. We are slowly building up to see how Margaret Thatcher is looking to make the drastic changes, with everyone around her questioning her decisions, wanting to bring the country closer, after seeing the upper classes always looking down on people with her own background. We do get to continue to see how Prince Charles is struggling with his relationships, with his desire to be with Camila needing to end, with his interest with the young Diana Spencer leaving him conflicted.
Final Thoughts – The Balmoral Test shows us two big relationships, one growing, one falling apart, bracing us for everything that is going to come in the future, but the needless obsession with hunting holds this episode back. 4/5