Dear Mr. Peter Morgan, CBE,
We almost had it. We were on the brink of erasing monarchy lovers everywhere. Then, you came along and just had to make The Crown — one of the most captivating political dramas on television. I mean, how could you?
After almost a century, we were all ready to move on from the stain that is the British Empire’s colonial history. Sure, maybe some people just never learned about the Empire in the first place due to a global education crisis. Or perhaps, they attended primary school in the UK like myself, where the topic of the Empire was quickly glossed over for the exciting tales of King Henry VIII and Britain’s savior complex in World War II. Either way, we were moving on. Even Colin Firth as King George VI could not stop this wave of anti-monarchists.
Against all odds, you created a masterpiece so thrilling and charming that the world was ready to sit down for yet another perspective on the royal family. Despite their upbringing in post-independence India, my parents could not contain their excitement to watch The Crown. Being the good daughter that I am, I watched Season 1 with them “ironically.” I quite enjoyed scoffing at Winston Churchill’s grievances about “giving away India” and yelling “BLOODY THIEVES” as the crown bejeweled with stolen gems from my homeland were placed on Claire Foy’s head. What a joy it was to laugh at how British taxpayer funds are wasted. It almost made me feel better about the United States’ military budget.
As I continued to watch, for my parents’ sake, of course, my witty remarks dwindled. Instead of pointing out that Queen Elizabeth did not even have the educational credentials to work as one of her own staff members, I felt a tinge of sympathy for her sheltered life.
And then, it happened. The Queen’s advisors warned her Majesty that she must wow her constituents on her upcoming tour of Africa’s Commonwealth nations. She must exude her most divine qualities in order to quell growing movements for… independence. Betraying everything I once believed, I muttered, “oh no.” My throat tightened. INDEPENDENCE? How dare they! How could British Cameroons reject Claire Foy as their Queen?
Do you have any idea what you have done to my mind and reputation, sir? Once upon a time, I believed myself to be an honorable student of postcolonial theory. I once strutted the halls of my overpriced university’s South Asian Languages and Civilizations department with the books of Franz Fanon, Edward Said, and Gayatri Spivak in tow. I thought myself a connoisseur of postcolonial thought as I weaved their ideas into casual conversation in my seedy college café. I was the worst, I know. I went so far as to avoid admittedly delicious dishes like Chicken Tikka Masala for their colonial roots. All I wanted was to make my freedom fighting ancestors proud. But after four years of hard work to decolonize my mind, I threw it all away for the thrill of watching your show.
There was no turning back now. I had to see my sin through. I raced my way through Seasons 1 and 2, hoping that the change of cast in Season 3 would reinforce my disdain for the monarchy. I was sorely mistaken. If Season 1 and 2 were the hook and line, Season 3 was the sinker. You really pulled out all the stops with this line-up of British treasures. Seriously, who could hate the glorious Olivia Coleman and Helena Bonham Carter?
And it does not stop there! Just as viewers were beginning to turn away, you brought out the one story that you knew would seal the deal: the tragic tale of Princess Diana. This final blow forced me to take my love of The Crown public. Much to the surprise of my college peers, I began recommending the show left and right. When my former postcolonial buddies slammed the show on social media as Netflix propaganda, I defended you through and through for your ability to oust empathy out of even the staunchest anti-monarchists. Finally, after a heated Instagram debate where I stressed all the good the monarchy had done for Great Britain and Northern Ireland in serving as an emblem of stability in a chaotic world, I had to admit that all hope was lost for me.
It is with a heavy heart that I confess you have transformed my almost-decolonized mind into a crown sympathizer. You have single-handedly altered the fate of a generation that we hoped would create a new world of self-determination. I suppose congratulations are in order.
P.S. If you are looking for someone to play MP Priti Patel in Season 5, I am available.