The Top 5 The Crown Episodes to Watch Before the Season 3 Premiere

The long-anticipated third season of The Crown is finally here. If you’re an Elizabethan fan, you’ve been waiting for so long during its two-year hiatus. Season three welcomes a new decade, a new queen, and a new cast. The show continues with Elizabeth’s storyline as the longest-reigning monarch of England.

Since it’s been a while since you’ve had time to watch The Crown, I’ve decided to compile a list of the best episodes to watch to recap yourselves on Modern British history, particularly that revolving the House of Windsor. Here are the top five episodes from the first two seasons to get you pumped for the Season 3 release on November 17.

  1. 1. Season 1, Episode 3 "Windsor"

    This is the first episode in which Elizabeth begins to take on her role as the Queen of England after the death of her father, King George IV. The first two episodes of the season show the development of Philip and Elizabeth’s marriage, considering the first episode focuses on their marriage, honeymoon, and first kids. The third episode is where we see the first seeds of frustration in their marriage start to sprout as Elizabeth becomes the monarch and Philip is her sidekick without much of a role of his own.

    While I do recommend watching the first episode, it is not completely essential to the plot. Another good episode is episode 4 Act of God, which is not completely essential to the plot but interesting nonetheless with capturing The Great Smog of London in 1952.

  2. 2. Season 1, Episode 8 "Pride & Joy"

    I’m not sure whether this episode is very pivotal to the plot of the first season; however, it is very entertaining to watch Princess Margaret run the country hysterically while Elizabeth and Philip are on a 23-week tour of the Commonwealth. While their relationship continues to hit more cobblestones and Elizabeth becomes so physically exhausted from her tour, Margaret really gets to shine with her few ounces of comedy while she is still rather upset with her inability to be with Peter Townsend. Elizabeth is not pleased with Margaret’s actions running state affairs, especially when Churchill tells Margaret to knock it off. The second royal who gets to shine is the Queen Mother, who decides to buy a castle in Scotland.

  3. 3. Season 2, Episode 3 "Lisbon"

    This episode is the accumulation of the past two episodes and the issues between Philip and Elizabeth reach their climax. While Philip’s main buddy Mike Parker’s wife Eileen decides to get a divorce in 1950s England on the basis of infidelity, it becomes assumed that during his five-month trip, the Duke of Edinburgh was also unfaithful to the Queen. However, the issues really start right before Philip leaves when Elizabeth, in love with Philip for a slight second, finds a photo of a ballerina and slowly Elizabeth learns more about the infamous Thursday Club. The first three episodes of the second season explain the development of this issue that is still a mystery today, mostly culminating in the third episode.

  4. 4. Season 2, Episode 8 "Dear Mrs. Kennedy"

    With the arrival of the Kennedys at Buckingham Palace, we get to see Elizabeth start to wriggle a bit with her underlying competition with the First Lady Jackie Kennedy. While she feels slightly inferior to Jackie in style and appearance, we get to see Elizabeth shine as a political figure as she tries to get newly independent Ghana to steer away from Soviet influence and instead join the Americans and British. Elizabeth and Jackie get off to a rocky start but are able to become amicable, realizing they had more in common than either had anticipated.

  5. 5. Season 2, Episode 9 "Paterfamilias"

    Forewarning for those who do not remember this episode: it is SAD! This is the only episode that really focuses on Prince Charles and his relationship with his father, while Elizabeth watches in the background. Prince Charles, now a tween, is an odd boy that isn’t well-liked by his peers and, based on the suggestions made to Elizabeth, she decides to send him to Eton so he can grow his confidence and be close to his family. However, Philip decides differently on the matter. He wants Charles to attend his alma mater, Gordonstoun, where he learned “to be a man.” While the episode has flashbacks on Philip’s younger life, none of them are primarily bright, especially with the death of his favorite sister. However, unlike his father, Charles does not learn to thrive at the school and suffers greatly. While this episode is not fun to watch, season three will focus primarily on Prince Charles’ issues with the rest of his family so I definitely recommend this episode. However, if it is too sad to watch, I recommend skipping the season two finale, "Mystery Man."

All of the episodes of The Crown are truly amazing in their capability to capture the growth of Queen Elizabeth and the changing circumstances in modern post-war Britain. These were just some of my favorite episodes that got me hyped for the release of the third season on November 17.


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