On Monday, Netflix released an extended trailer for the upcoming second season of The Crown, which debuts on December 8. We’ve got some repeated jewels presented from trailer #1, but we’ve also got two excellent bejeweled surprises! (I recapped the first season, and you can read all of my posts on the series here; I’ll also be recapping the jewels and the historical oopsies presented in season two!)
(Oh, and one more note: clicking on the photos in this post should enlarge them, allowing you an even closer inspection of each jewel!)
From the get-go, Anthony Eden frames the trailer’s central question: British society is changing, so shouldn’t the monarchy change, too? I’m going to be very disappointed if season two is as focused on male government officials as season one was, because this show is about the crown, and I’d like more narrative spotlight on the woman who wears it. (I do assume that this season will spend a fair amount of time on the Suez Crisis, though — last season included a prominent set-up for that narrative thread.)
We literally get Elizabeth contemplating current fashion, wearing a floral brooch in Norman Hartnell’s studio, amid all of this talk of cultural change. (This scene was also featured in the first trailer.)
We see a bearded Philip in the midst of his lengthy Commonwealth tour, which took place over four months, beginning in October 1956.
This was a time of intense public speculation about the state of the royal marriage, and The Crown dramatizes some of that alleged tension. Here, a pearl-wearing Elizabeth confronts her husband about the way his actions imperil the monarchy’s stability. (The palace really did issue a denial that the couple had had “a rift” in February 1957.)
We then see one of the genuine causes of monarchical instability — the dapper Duke of Windsor — arriving at St Pancras with his entourage.
And we get a glimpse of David’s more traditional, unglamorous foil, the Queen Mum, wearing a double strand of pearls and pearl drop earrings.
Last season, one of the great threats to Elizabeth’s reign was the proposed marriage of her sister, Princess Margaret, to a divorced man. In this trailer, we hear Margaret assert that she is a modern woman and will act accordingly. And, right on time, we see her with Antony Armstrong-Jones, her fast-living and very modern future husband.
There are clearly lingering resentments here. I’m hoping to see a more nuanced Margaret depicted in this season — last season her character was turned up to eleven, and there was lots of sound and fury signifying, well, not much. Margaret was more complicated than that.
I have absolutely no doubt, though, that the creators of this series, who write far more complex and interesting parts for the men involved than the women, will offer us a fascinating view of Tony Snowdon.
The other lingering shot of Tony in the trailer shows him moodily smoking in his darkroom. If nothing else, his photography will fit nicely into the show’s directorial fascination with lenses, including windows, mirrors, and televisions.
…like this triptych-esque view of Elizabeth getting ready in a triple mirror. (This shot, which marks our first view of the Cambridge emeralds, was also in the last trailer. I’m still impressed with the necklace.)
The second trailer shows us that Elizabeth’s getting gussied up for a banquet during the 1961 state visit to Ghana. The jewels and dress here are fairly careful replicas of her actual attire during that event, where she famously danced with President Kwame Nkrumah. On a jewelry note, though — what’s up with the base of the Vladimir Tiara replica here?
I still think the emerald necklace looks impressive here, but the earrings look extremely fake.
Until Ghana became a republic in 1960, Elizabeth was their queen. Judging by the scene above (which was also partially featured in the previous trailer), we’ll be seeing parts of that transition in season two.
The Ghana storyline will undoubtedly tap in to the overarching narrative about change and the need for monarchy as a form of government. Here, Uncle David asks whether he was really so bad for the institution after all, given his progressive views about marriage and divorce.
This is Elizabeth’s expression in response. She makes this face, wearing pearls, a whole lot this season, judging by the trailer.
She makes the face, wearing pearls alongside her pearl-clad mother, while watching a critique of monarchy on television.
She makes the face pensively in the countryside while “I Only Have Eyes For You” wafts moodily in the background.
She makes the face while wearing the Vladimir and other invented jewels all alone in a theater box. (This is also a scene from the previous trailer.)
She makes a version of the face while standing in excessively bright lighting (for a photograph, perhaps?) while wearing pearls.
I’m hoping that much of this consternation is connected to that main theme of anxiety over tradition versus modernity. Indeed, this scene, where she’s wearing that avian brooch that appeared so many times last season, shows her discussing the issue with a republican critic.
But most of the frustration appears to be aimed squarely at the man in her life, who shows up in all his royal finery in the trailer.
The trailer suggests that the tension between Philip and Elizabeth will be carried over from last season completely.
And Elizabeth doesn’t appear to be alone in her conflict with Philip. Here, Margaret, wearing abstract gold jewels, offers her brother-in-law one heck of a stinkeye.
A young Prince Charles appears to be drawn into conflict with his father as well, with the trailer showing Philip’s intolerance for what he considers to be weakness in his son.
But this trailer does, at least, tease some interesting jewelry moments in the episodes ahead. As Elizabeth shows Jackie Kennedy around the palace, we see her in replicas of the George VI Sapphires.
And we finally see Margaret wearing a tiara, the Cartier Halo, that she actually wore in public! Hooray!
Those of you who were reading along here last year will remember that a replica of the Halo was included in an exhibition of costumes from the show last year, and that an assistant costume designer revealed that copyright issues had prevented them from actually using it. Those issues appear to have been resolved.
Do the trailers for this year’s season pique your interest? How many of you will be following along with our recaps of The Crown‘s second season?