Granger on Film: Season 4 of 'The Crown' is the best yet

"The Crown" adds Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, top, and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher to the ensemble. (Des Willie/Netflix/TNS)

“The Crown” adds Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, top, and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher to the ensemble. (Des Willie/Netflix/TNS)

Des Willie / Netflix / TNS

As if Britain doesn’t have enough Brexit problems, Netflix’s Season 4 of “The Crown” reveals Charles, Prince of Wales (Josh O’Connor), as a total cad. In cahoots with his mistress, scheming Camilla Parker-Bowles (Emerald Fennell), he married virginal, vulnerable Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) to whom he had no intention of being faithful.

Pressured by his family to marry an ‘eligible’ young noblewoman, Charles continued his adulterous affair with Camilla, who was married to another man…as Diana said: “There were three of us in this marriage.”

Perhaps Charles is a throwback to his Hanoverian ancestors - George I and George I - assuming that, as heir to the throne, he’s entitled to have a mistress and his wife has no reason to complain.

According to Emma Corrin: “The brittle coldness, the elaborate traditions and the expectations of behavior …I don’t think (Diana) anticipated that. I think she expected to join a family.”

So, lonely Diana is shown roller-skating through the corridors of Buckingham Palace and suffering from bulimia. Divorced in 1996, she died in a Paris car crash in 1997. Charles and Camilla married in 2005.

Concurrent with the Charles/Diana/Camilla triangle, this new season profiles the prickly relationship between Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman) and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), beginning with a disastrous weekend at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Created by Peter Morgan, the storytelling is episodic, utilizing historical events - like the assassination of Lord Mountbatten, Prince Philip’s uncle - as background to explore rivalry and intrigue, revealing behind-closed-doors details about the Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne and others.

Ignore complaints about “authenticity.” Obviously, the dialogue is fictional since no one overheard what Philip really said to Charles, etc. although some of it is lifted verbatim from royal family biographies.

I was particularly intrigued by the “Favorites” segment, revealing the shallow, entitled arrogance of the Queen’s offspring: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward. It’s filled with foreshadowing.

And everything feeds back to Elizabeth, the reigning monarch; that’s why it’s called “The Crown.” As Prince Philip remarks in the concluding episode: “She’s the oxygen we all breathe.”

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Crown: Season 4” is an addictive, tantalizing 10 - the best season yet!

Susan Granger has been an on-air television and radio commentator and entertainment critic for more than 25 years. Raised in Hollywood, Granger appeared as a child actress in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, and Lassie. She currently resides in Westport.