The Crown: The Official Podcast

Episode 4: Favourites

Episode Summary

Host Edith Bowman discusses the fourth episode of the fourth season of The Netflix series The Crown, with four very special guests.

Episode Notes

Devastated by her son Mark going missing in the desert whilst competing in the Paris-Dakar rally, Margaret Thatcher reveals to the Queen that she prefers him to her daughter. Shocked that a mother can have a favourite, the Queen embarks on one-on-one meetings with her four children in a bid to get to know them better, and consider the family legacy she will one day leave behind.


In this episode, Edith Bowman talks with Show Runner Peter Morgan, Hair and Make Up Designer Cate Hall, Director Paul Whittington, and  the actor who plays Princess Anne, Erin Doherty.   

The Crown: The Official Podcast is produced by Netflix and Somethin’ Else, in association with Left Bank Pictures.

Episode Transcription







Queen: The prime minister said something interesting today about her son… 

…Do they?



Series intro


Welcome to the Crown: The Official Podcast. I'm Edith Bowman and this show will follow the fourth season of the Netflix original series The Crown episode by episode, taking you behind the scenes, speaking with many of the talented people involved, and diving deep into the stories. 



Episode intro


Today we're talking about Episode four, titled ‘Favourites’. After Margaret Thatcher’s son Mark goes missing whilst competing in the Paris-Dakar rally, she reveals to Elizabeth that Mark is her favourite child. Shocked that a mother can have a favourite, Elizabeth embarks on one-to-one meetings with her four children, in a bid to get to know them better. 


Now we’ll cover specific events and scenes that feature in this episode, so if you haven’t watched episode four yet, I suggest you do it now.  Or very soon.



Edith v/o


Coming up later, we will hear from the wonderful Erin Doherty, aka Princess Anne, about how playing the princess has affected her real life relationships




Clip from Erin


Erin: Mainly in my, in my like family relationships, I'll just drop a couple of truth bombs and be like, well, that wasn't me, but it came from somewhere that needed to be, yeah listened to. So yeah, I’ll go home and yeah, thank her.



Edith v/o


We will also hear from hair and make up designer Cate Hall on creating the looks of Thatcher and Diana 




Clip from Cate Hall


And that haircut isn't something that any hairdresser now would know how to do. And it's totally counterintuitive. 

Edith v/o


But first I once again spoken to show creator and writer Peter Morgan at his house in London. He revealed to me this episode, ‘Favourites’, was his one of his favourites of the series, so I began by asking why…






Peter Morgan 

Because of writing the two women as mothers. I mean, all parents, even the best ones spend most of their time, as far as I can tell, when I’ve talked to friends thinking what a bad job they're doing, and we haven't had much of an opportunity to explore the Queen as a mother, probably for the same reason as she hasn't had much time to explore herself as a mother, because she's so busy being who she has to be.



And so when Mark Thatcher got lost in the desert, I had this idea, it just came to me, I suppose, as a parent myself, there was a line at the very end where the queen says ‘It's not Margaret Thatcher's child. It's all our children that are lost in the desert, in their own particular deserts.’ And I was very keen to use this episode as a chance to explore not just what kind of a mother the queen is to her children, but also how each of those children had been struggling.



And it struck me, reading books, but also, all the research that we'd done, how lost most of them were at this point, uh, funnily enough, with the exception of, uh, of Prince Andrew, who it's hard to imagine now, but he was, he was the buzz light year as it were of, of, of the Royal family at the time 



Prince Andrew, your Majesty…. 

…As it happens, there are one or two things I’d like to discuss with you. 


00:04:30 Peter Morgan: And he wasn't short of self confidence and with justification, real justification, thinking to himself, I'd be doing a better job of being the heir than Charles, you know because Charles, by this point, it's already clear that he and Diane are not a match made in heaven. 

And of course, Anne is already having trouble. And Edward is struggling at school. Mark Thatcher, well he really was lost in the desert. And he shared some of the characteristics with Prince Andrew of being over, an over indulged, a favourite son and Carol Thatcher of course, who struggled with being, coming number two in her mother's affections. And so here you have this quite, quite a complicated landscape, really, emotional landscape with a lot of children struggling in being the, the children of particularly iconic or successful parents. And of, of the very simple business of some being the favourites and some not.



And of course that taboo about as a parent, do you have a favourite or don't you, you know, I won't ask.

Edith Bowman: some days, yes. Some days no!

Peter Morgan: Yeah, it changes. I have favourites. It's a different one every day of the week. Yeah. Yeah. 


00:05:44 Edith Bowman: But what's interesting though, because we obviously have, we’ve very much connected as an audience to Charles and Anne because they've been very much part of the story up until this point, but Edward and Andrew have very much been in the kind of background, so to speak. And we haven't really got to, to have much experience of them. Was that, how did you approach introducing them and how important was it for you? Because within these meetings that they have individually with the queen, it's a, it's an incredible kind of deep dive in a short space of time into them as people, them in terms of what they've been through, what they're going through and where they are now and how all that in the past has made them in the position they are now. 

Peter Morgan: I think because I realised, look, I'm not going to give this character a lot of screen time, because a bit like Prince Charles actually, I, Charles’s view of the monarchy is that it should be a very, very slimmed down business around the queen and her and the two subsequent heirs; him and William, and that really beyond that, they should slightly, you know, just be left to enjoy



you know, private lives out of the spotlight and also without the protection of civil list money and so forth. I feel the same really, narratively. I don't want it to be about the whole extended family. And even though the, the crown has its impact on everyone in the family necessarily because you know, the closer you are to it and everyone's flight is to get as close to it as possible.


00:07:09 There are only a certain amount of characters that I really want to focus on and it's their proximity to the gold as it were that shapes it for me. 

Peter Morgan: One particular historian, one historian, had this view, that the first two children, the queen had, Charles and Anne were very much, she had the children, but she was really preoccupied with trying to find her feet and do her job. Then there came a point where she got a little bit and a little bit more confident and that the second two children, Andrew and Edward came at a time where she was much more ready to be a mother.



And I'm sure they had a better time of it as children. And I think it's telling that her closest relationship now is with Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward. That's the impression I get. And I thought it was interesting to see her motherhood divided into two teams, that first came Charles and Anne and then came Andrew and Edward, and that she was much more relaxed as a mother



with the second team. And, that Anne probably didn't need that much mothering based on what I see as her of her as a character. And Charles unfortunately needs a great deal of love. He needs a lot of love and a lot of this, and she was probably unable to give it and his need for it, and his demonstrative need for it,



might've made her ability run even further, as it were. 

Edith: Yeah 

Peter: Retreat even further. When I heard that theory, that it was something that somebody said to me once, it instantly chimed. And then we looked into it, whether it made sense. And of course, the gap of time between the two. And I thought it was a really smart observation that somebody had made.

00:09:01 And so I thought I'm gonna make the decision to go with that. It wasn't my idea, but the minute I heard it, I thought that was really smart, emotionally intuitive and plausible. 
00:09:15 I’m also very proud, uh, actually in this episode of the way in which it quietly and stealthily and economically, and I hope elegantly, deals with the Falklands war and the buildup to that 

One final thing Prime minister, a small situation developing in the South Atlantic… 

…I’ll take it to the foreign secretary.



Peter Morgan: At the end of the episode, you're watching the young men who are ultimately other mothers’ children on boats going off in that task force, going to war. And so all those things juggling all those elements, the fact that we told the story, I'd never known really of, of of what led to the Falklands war, what the precise sequence of events were.



And I'm really proud of how we told that story in quite a throwaway and economical way. But trust me, it only did that, it only became that after a lot of work and a lot of condensation. And what are the key moments? What are the key events that led to Thatcher making the decision to go to war?


00:10:55 You know, and, and the fact that it started with scrap metal workers and the fact that it started with misunderstandings and all that stuff with, a geological mission, that kind of detail, it was wonderful to put that in alongside family stuff. 
00:11:09 Edith Bowman: So we know that in real life Mark went missing in January on 1982, and that things started kicking off in the Falklands March of that year, so a little bit later on, but whilst Mark was mssing, it was like her role as Mother kind of overtook her role as Prime Minister and she dropped the ball a bit in terms of her focus; it was on Mark and where he was, not on running the country 
00:11:33 Peter Morgan: Everybody's told me about that. I spoke to Robert Armstrong, who at the time, I think was cabinet secretary. He, he told me she, it was that period of time was the one time that she was absolutely incapacitated, nothing. 
00:11:47 He said she, she was never not 100% game ready. In those few days, while Mark Thatcher was lost in that desert, she was not just not game ready, she was utterly incapable of speech. And I thought, well, that's interesting because we've seen how ambitious she is as a politician and how committed she is as a prime minister. 
00:12:08 And yet her, her concern for her son was such that she, couldn't do the simplest task and with the queen, it's always interesting for me to write her being incapable of that emotion. And so suddenly here is Thatcher who we always think of as well The Iron Lady, and we, I think we think of the queen as a softer character, less able to access emotion of that kind, which, which is interesting. 

Edith v/o


We’ll talk more in depth about the Queen as a mother later on with director Paul Whittington, but first, this season of the Crown sees the introduction of two monumental figures of recent British history – Margaret Thatcher and Lady Diana Spencer. Recreating two of the most recognisable women in recent memory was always going to be a huge challenge. To find out how this was achieved so well, I sat down with hair and make up designer for The Crown, Cate Hall, who began by telling me how getting Thatcher’s look exactly right took some time 



Cate Hall 

Cate Hall: We definitely didn't have it right. I know there was, there was a lot of gaspy wowness at the first camera test, but Peter Morgan was straight on the phone to be like, it's not right.



Which is like.

Edith: Was he specific though, about what 

Cate: Oh yeah. Um, no, in that he never tells us how to do it. Cause he's really cool like that. So he'll be like, listen, your job is your job.. I don't know how to do it. He's busy enough, but it's not right. You know, I remember the thing he said to me that had the biggest impact was he said, we cannot look at her through the prism of what we remember now, and I'm not quoting him directly, but it's true that we were probably judging her



as a child of the eighties and looking at her, both in the, in the research but also with my own memory

Edith: yeah, that’s interesting 

Cate: And he just kept saying, don't judge her. And when we're camera testing, we do typically camera test their first looks. And that gives us a little bit of time to, to have a journey with them.

00:14:13 And, and although we have a rough plan, we don't necessarily get to the end, or their end looks immediately, like there is a little bit of time where we're exploring and, and finding those last looks. And he was very, very keen on the fact that when we see Thatcher in, in 1979, she is a woman full of promise. 
00:14:35 And hope and passion and vigor and a kind of brand, and a new Conservative image. And that really resonated. I felt like, yes, you're right. That was exactly what was happening. And he was very keen that we didn't kind of ugly-fy Gillian. He was saying, you know, don't be sort of distracted by the fact that she's really beautiful and we don't necessarily think of Margaret Thatcher in the same way. 

Edith: Yeah. 

Cate: And, and again, he was spot on, but we went through, definitely, I think it was three camera tests before Peter was like, really delighted. And to be honest, that's the thing I care most about. So 


00:15:18 Edith Bowman: it feels with Thatcher as well, the, you know, with Diana it's quite obvious, visually obvious the, the journey that her look goes on, with Thatcher, it's a much, more subtle. 

Cate Hall: It's interesting. Cause obviously it's so, with Diana, we used beauty makeup to age her and with Gillian, we took the makeup away. But, but what was great about Gillian was she has absolutely zero vanity about all of it, so she just wants to get it right. Um, so when I said, I did a lot of her stuff for ep 10 and I said, what I'd really like to try is not using any foundation and concealer, um, and making you as exposed and raw as possible. And then we use sort of bits of special effects sort of bruised tone around her eyes. But we still did her kind of game face, you know, her lipstick and her, kind of sparkly blue eyeshadow that she loved so much.



Edith: But you feel the weatheredness

Cate: Yeah so just taking away that kind of pristine mask that she had. I think it was that kind of vulnerability for Ep 10 that really helped the transition. And we immacked a bit more hair out of the hairline and, frazzled the wig a bit. 



Edith Bowman: I love that scene where she spraying the, the, uh, the elnett aswell. Just like, it's kind of the, again, it's some part of armour in a way. 

Cate Hall: Absolutely yeah. Part of her, And we know that Thatcher, so Thatcher did have a hairdresser and she would have her kind of roller set and brush out. But we also know that she could do it herself and did do, if she couldn't get a hair appointment, she would say, well, just make sure there's a set of Carmens and a brush and some hairspray in my room and I'll do it myself.



So we know that, she just back combed to the living daylights out of her hair and off she went.

Edith Bowman: Yeah. I don't think I've ever seen a picture of her without the do. 

Cate Hall: No, I haven't. Absolutely. And I assume she slept like that because I can't imagine how, I can’t imagine what she’d look like otherwise. And then actually, once you start to look at the pictures, it's a bit of a nightmare because then you realize, cause I have them all in chronological order in my books,


00:17:24 That her hair changed color every two weeks cause she was using those rinses. So it would, it would be quite a punchy red one day and then it would fade out to a kind of naff strawberry blonde three days later. And so there wasn't really anything to hang your hat on, except for this shape and this texture, and we made it more detailed at the beginning and less detailed towards the end. 

Edith Bowman: How long does it take Gillian Anderson to transform into Thatcher in a makeup chair in the morning

Cate Hall: From memory it was about an hour and 15. 

Eith: That's not bad

Cate: That’s not bad is it 

Edith: No! 



Thatcher: I am delighted to be able to confirm the wonderful news that the rescue mission has been successful…

I am a Mother. Now thank you, if you will excuse me.



Edith Bowman: Can we talk about Diana 

Cate Hall: the most photographed lady ever. I think that's the kind of, one of those accepted facts, the most photographed woman.

Edith Bowman: Does that make your job easier or harder? 

Cate Hall: I think in some ways it makes it easier because the volume of reference is so accessible, which is different to previous seasons, but harder in the sense that everybody thinks they know her inside out. And so you have this kind of, you have an obligation to people because they love her and, and they feel so passionate about her that you really do, you feel that you have an obligation even more so to get it right 


Edith Bowman: And when you say get it right. I guess there's a fine line isn't there between; you have these reference points of these public appearances that she's made, but we also have these private moments, that are obviously dramatic interpretation of real life, but also the actress, Emma, and how she's playing her. 

Cate: Yeah. 

Edith: And then your own creative input on that. 



Cate Hall: Yeah. So the, the whole, it is definitely a process and it's this sort of fine balance. It's an interaction between our department, what we can physically do, what it's possible to do and sort of pull off within the technology and the budget and everything that's available. Plus you have to leave room for Emma’s performance because nobody wants to do a parody.



And then there's also of course the script. There’s what we're all imagining. But with Diana, there's also this wealth of stuff that we know, because not only is there all that the, of the imagery, but you know, there's the recordings, like Netflix has the kind of those psychologist recordings of her speaking. So you feel like there's this, this kind of existing, intimate portrayal of her. It's sort of just about putting all the pieces together. And for us, it was about as per usual, really finding that silhouette and finding a way to give her a journey as well. Cause Emma’s

Edith: absolutely. 

Cate: Emma's really young. And we leave Diana in 1991. And, and you see her, she sort of goes from childhood to adulthood in our series.


00:20:41 And the great thing with Emma was that she, she definitely had that range, but we had to make that visibly real. And to do that within this shooting schedule that meant that you couldn't just be sort of switching your wig every three seconds or restyling it 

Edith Bowman: And you have as well with Diana. You have those specific looks. So you have the kind of the bowl cut and this sort of really, almost like flushed cheek look that we know that she started off with too, and the hair kind of got a bit more flamboyant and the eyeliner, and these looks that she's learning about herself and finding her image as well. And that you see that as well. It's wonderful to watch that style icon almost journey, I guess, in a way. 


00:21:23 Cate Hall: Yeah so and we really plot when to sort of spend those tricks. Like when do, when do we bring in, blue eyeliner you know? And I, you know the great thing  was going go shopping during prep and, and trying to find as many different blues as we could possibly find to test them all on camera to see which, cause actually you lose quite a lot of those blue tones, to see which ones would pop enough because people recognize it and they want to see, they really want to see the electric blue eyeliner.  

Edith Bowman: Yeah, because I imagine that if you, I mean, trying to source stuff that was around then, like you say, it might be the real thing that she wore, but it doesn't work on camera.

Cate Hall: I mean, I actually bought, I bought loads of stuff in actually quite cheap makeup shops because they tend to have that, like now the kind of the chemical technology of makeup is all about it being kind of ultra smooth and really blendable. And it's all better than what we wanted was stuff that wasn't quite as nice.



So, you know, you're, you're in like really cheap makeup suppliers and just going crazy and looking insane with it all over you trying to test loads of different stuff, but it was great. I loved it. It was really good fun. 

Edith Bowman: I wanted to ask who you test on. 

Cate Hall: Well, 

Edith: do you have like a, in my head, you see, you have like a, you know, those Girls World heads that you used to have as a kid, you have a Diana one and you have a Thatcher one.



Cate Hall: I wish, no, we, but we do use those. So we have those Dolly heads and we did get, we got a hairdresser from the 1980s, someone who is really into doing the Diana cut. Diana's hairstyle is basically dependent on the haircut. You can't fake it. We could never have used Emma's hair and just dressed it, you know, and that haircut isn't something that any hairdresser now would know how to do.



And it's totally counter intuitive. So poor Debbie or Rod who looked after her is basically now only capable of that haircut. And she was previously like a really great modern hairdresser. And now she's just screwed forever because she can only do this really kind of niche 1980s stepped bowl thing.

Edith Bowman: I think that once people see this, it's going to become an, a huge fashion thing again 

Cate: This is what we’re hoping.
Edith: So she’s gonna be, win win situation. 

Cate: Yeah this is what we’re hoping!



Edith v/o


Earlier on we heard from showcreator Peter Morgan about the crucial theme of Motherhood in this episode. To explore this further, I sat down once again with director Paul Whittington, and we discussed how Peter’s ‘favourite child’ idea opens up another core theme of The Crown 






Paul Whittington 

Paul: It's so simple in a way, as an idea, it's so simple and relatable. I've got children. And I’ve thought about that question. It's like, what, really. And I go home, talk to my wife and go, have you ever thought about this. And so it's an incredibly sort of relatable question to give us access into this story if you like, and thematically, there's always been a story in, and this goes back into earlier seasons as well, about what sacrifices Elizabeth has had to make for the crown, if you like, and not least the personal sacrifices and the cost to her personally, and to the family, when the crown comes first, if you like. So again, I guess it's a continuation and a further exploration of that particular theme, but again, it's small things that really unlock it for me. There's a very simple line very early on before she meets any of the children.




When she goes to Charteris and says, I'd like to arrange all these meetings with my children, he goes fine. And then she goes out and then she comes back in. Oh yeah. Actually, could I have a briefing document on each of them? Interests. Achievements? You know!

Edith Bowman: Yeah, 

Paul Whittington: And it’s like

Edith: What are their full names again!? 

Paul: Yeah exactly!



Your Majesty? Martin. I'd like you to arrange for me to see my four children…

…One would hate to appear uninformed or cold or remotely remote. Of course, mam.



Paul Whittington: So now, you know, the staff are going to, before these meetings, she's going to be briefed on, how they're getting on at school and that, and so that, that in a very simple way, tells you so much about the dynamic of that, that family. And then these brilliantly written four big set piece scenes, the two handers, again, 



Edith Bowman: How different she is with each of them though, as well was so clever and subtle though, though as well. 

Paul Whittington: Yeah, exactly. And we did talk a lot about, what is the relationship with each of them? Historically. And how would that kind of play out in the dynamic of how you talk to them, but the sort of the constant sort of theme, if you like throughout all of them, is her not being able to be there for them not being able to be there. 



And interestingly, little nuggets of research that sort of inform all of that, that when we finally get the sort of the revelation to Phillip about when the confession about bath time with Charles, which was incredibly powerful, but that was some research that came out of something that Charles himself had written about him remembering bath time as a boy and his memory was,


00:27:15 The nanny's taking him for bath time and Elizabeth would pull up a chair in the doorway and sit and watch. And just that image alone said so much again, you know, these of, really, powerful imagery that inform the character and the, and the family dynamic in the story. And Charles’s comment on that was, well, at least, I suppose she watched. 
00:27:41 Paul Whittington: And so then you realize it's not only that situation, then you get an insight as to how him as a boy about how he felt about that. And so to explore that, to send her on such a, an intimate journey, was fascinating. And of course, no one better to do that with an Olivia Coleman. 

Edith Bowman: And it's interesting though, because obviously with Charles and Anne, we've, we've very much got to know them as well, but we're kind of, it's, it's pretty much our first introduction to Edward and Andrew as well. So there's almost a lot of weight there in terms of what we’re saying about them as individuals and, and the relationships that they have with, with her as well.



Paul Whittington: Yeah. And you've got one scene. 


Edith: Yeah.

Paul: One scene with each of them to establish that. And of course, we're getting a snapshot of these individuals at this particular moment in time.

Edith: Yep.

Paul: But as you say, I think what it does, you see the different behaviors, you see how she is different with it, each of them. And there's a sort of a disconnect with, with Edward, just, just not being part of his world or part of his life. And there's again from the research, very interesting stuff about Edward's relationship growing up in terms of a parental figure if you like, he was incredibly close to his private protection officer, his security guy. And he was the guy that he would call if he got an, a, a, an exam result when he got his A levels or whatever it may be, it was, it was this guy that seemed to take on that de facto role in his life. 



Edward: Cricket's going well made the first 11, again. How about academic work? Eight levels next time. How's that coming along? I read your reports.

…and some return for what we do for the country.


00:30:06 Edith Bowman: It's lovely to see the the common ground that she finds with Anne though, in terms of that, you know, they have this, this common thread between the two of them and it's where they can almost connect, in a way. 

Paul Whittington: Absolutely. It's one of my favorite scenes actually is the scene between Elizabeth and Anne. And Elizabeth says it at the beginning of that scene that the life you have is the life that I, I want, is to have this house in the country to have the children around, to be able to ride.



And that's the life that would make Elizabeth content. But to see Anne struggling with life as a Royal, you know, and to see Anne insecure in that way and actually reaching out to her mother and her mother not be able to give her what she needs emotionally. 

Edith: Yeah. 

Paul: Incredibly powerful.



And finally, to explore the character of Anne further, who better to be joined by, than the amazing Erin Doherty, who plays the princess in the show 





Erin Doherty 

Edith Bowman: Erin it's so great to have you back on the podcast. 

Erin Doherty: Thank you so much for having me back!

Edith Bowman: You know how much we love you and Anne on the show, but where do we find, where is Anne? Where's, what's Anne's world for season four. 




Erin Doherty: Okay, so basically you kind of start, you've just took a little frog leap and she's married. But unhappily. 

Edith: Oh 

Erin: Yeah I know, sucks, but great to do as an actor. 

Edith: Yeah. 

Erin: So she's like in an unhappy marriage, they've got kids and you see the beginnings of what was this kind of like hard core armour beginning to like crack a bit. And she's trying to grab onto people or have like cheeky little conversations to try and rectify this thing, but actually what she needs to do and what you see her do is completely crumble in order to understand herself better.

Edith: Yeah. 

Erin: To actually start a healthy relationship and then be that person within the family structure again, that people can call to. But I think you kind of start out watching her kind of falter a bit, which is amazing to see because you don't expect it from her.



Edith Bowman: with Anne and Margaret's characters in particular they are, what I found really interesting about this season is the way that they are really observing things and being the people that see things that others don't and pulling that, you know, pointing that out to people. 



Erin Doherty: Yeah, for sure! And it’s so much fun to play that. And you can see it in the script as it happens, even like a little moan or a grunt or something, you know, you know what's happening in them behind those grunts. And you know, that it's going to be like a flash, like of like eye contact with Olivia or Tobias or something to just go like, come on now. It's just so much fun to play those people because they are the truth tellers, within it.



Edith Bowman: Well episode four, Favorites. Cause it starts with her and Phillip, Olivia, and Tobias. And so he starts kind of almost kind of going well I mean, obviously Anne's my favorite 

Erin Doherty: Yeah, no question 

Edith Bowman: you quite clearly have yours, but that's a lovely thing to watch is, is the relationship between Anne and Phillip. And, was that something that from your research and stuff that was really evident and obvious or is that something that's been a kind of creative element of Peter's that he's written more about?



Erin Doherty: Uh, for me as someone who really didn't know that much about them in the first place my, my conscious awareness of this whole thing is Peter and also Tobias. He was my first day on set on this whole thing. Like, it was Tobias. So in a way it kind of genuinely has been this really magic thing that's blossomed. And it's just, it is a  really, really rare dynamic. He, he really does have though, that father aura about him. And again, I don't know whether, I can't say whether that's just him being a brilliant actor and just bringing that to our real life, but it just kind of developed.



And I think whenever those scenes came up, it had a weight to it because you knew that these two characters and people, the way that they do relate to each other, it will be honest and raw and emotional, but in the fabulous way that the Royals do without actually probably really saying that much, which is amazing as an actor, but they're just two people who can communicate that way.



Edith Bowman: This is the thing I love about Anne and the way that you've played her and the way that Peter has written her is that she's kind of almost the kind of truth post. 

Erin: Yeah 

Edith: She can't not just say how she feels. 

Erin Doherty: Yeah. Which I've never been given the opportunity to do on screen or on stage or anywhere like as an actor.



And so, but I feel like that's, that's something that I aspire to as a person, because I feel like I'm constantly a bit nervous about the truth and about what that might mean for someone on the receiving end of it, whereas to actually just go screw this, I'm just going to say it, because actually in the long run, we will all be better off for this, to have that clarity of mind and going no, and just have that bravery. It is so amazing to embody. And I do feel, I do feel the benefits of that as Erin because she, she, yeah, she really is. 

Edith: That's amazing.

Erin: Yeah 



Edith Bowman: I love that. That you, as a person almost kind of take an example of a character that you’re playing and going, I want to be a bit more like that.

Erin Doherty: 100%, 100% I've come away from this going God, like you need to channel some of that, even if it's not real, but it's like cliche, but fake it till you make it, because it has kind of started to impact like mainly my like, in my like family relationships. I'll just drop a couple of truth bombs and be like, well, that wasn't me, but it came from somewhere that needed to be listened to. So yeah, I'll go home and yeah, thank her. 



Edith Bowman: So what were the main pillars on the season then? Cause she's, she's become a mom. 

Erin Doherty: Yeah, that was a massive one, I think. And I think it did affect her, just because of the world that she was in, in this marriage, that wasn't what she thought it was going to be, that she may have jumped the gun on, because I saw this blooming interview of her and Mark and they're so young. Like, again, I don't know if she succumbed to the pressure in that sense. And then what, how that makes you feel in terms of resentment towards your family? There's so many different like holes to go down that can affect the way that you portray this woman on screen. 


Anne: I used to enjoy my reputation is the difficult one. I used to relish scaring people a little bit, because I could control it…

…is that it? Is doing nothing your solution to everything?



Edith Bowman: And then by having children her not being able to fulfill that 

Erin Doherty: perform as well, maybe, and kind of grappling with that. It's fascinating, but it ultimately, it all led back to this woman kind of just, needing to scream almost, that's kind of how I felt most of the season was that she just needed an outlet for something. This season, I got to do horse riding lessons, which were amazing. And I kind of was gutted that I didn't have them before, because it taught me so much about why she needs it because when you're riding a horse, you can't think about anything else, you're just riding that horse and you have to think about where you’re going now. It's like therapy. So I understand why it's this lifeline and to have that fall through your fingers, almost, that's crushing.



Edith Bowman: Which is a similarity she has with her mother. 

Erin: Yeah. 

Edith: So that's their common ground. 

Erin Doherty: That's the thing. And so I'm kind of like, it was beautiful to play and to battle against, because these people are so changeable, but you can, I felt you started to feel the warmth come through at some point from Anne towards her mother, just in a, in the slightest nod to go, It's hard being a mum, just being a mum is hard. And to then slap on a queen, on top of that. 



Erin Doherty: So you can't, you kind of just got, she kind of took a step back and went, okay. I'm having a tough time. You must be. 

Edith Bowman: Yeah. And up until this point as well, she was the young female cool Royal and then Diana comes in the picture

Erin Doherty: Yeah 



Anne: But I’m only human, sometimes a pit pony needs a pat on the head…

…Diana, the only other young female in the family. Yes. Against whom I am now always compared. 



Edith Bowman: Within the show, can you talk a little bit about the kind of relationship that Anne has with, with Diana, within this? 



Erin Doherty: Yeah. I mean, from Peter's perspective and the route that we're going down again, I have, it is speculated on what their relationship was and whether there were like tensions there, and we have kind of leaned on those a little bit, but I think ultimately my instincts were with the Anne that we've created was that she wants her brother to be happy. And also we come into the season when Charles is being pressured to make a decision because he has just not, he hasn't. So she's kind of, she's the middleman basically going, look, I want you to be happy, but you, you do some something needs to happen here because


00:40:32 Well, what's going on. You get that kind of push and pull in that sense, but I think ultimately, she is happy for Charles that he makes that decision and in the blossoming of Charles and Diana, she's all for it because it's a good thing. But I think there were some heartbreaking moments that to film with Diana, watching her drowning almost like in just the social etiquette sense and all this stuff, and it was horrendous to film, but I think when moments like that enter 

The forefront I think Anne is guilty of, I don't know, kind of like becoming part of the family team in a way and going look you just need to step up. And in that sense, she could be seen as the bad guy or whatever, but I don't think she ever actually intentionally wanted to make her feel uncomfortable.


00:41:20 It's just the way that family operates. They are that way, especially her and her father. And I think the queen kind of comes into it in that sense, too. You just, you just get on with it. These are the rules and you have to do it. And in a way it's more devastating because Diana just couldn't, that's not the way she operates. That's never going to help her. But that, that family had no idea. 
00:41:54 Erin: This has been like my first kind of dipping my toe into what this working on screen is like, and the people behind the scenes start off your day and end your day. You're on set for like a bit, but then you go back and you get your hair and makeup off and you have chats and it's, and these people they're like the gorgeous bread of this crown sandwich, and it is the most amazingly tasty, gorgeous bread! And no one gives credit to the bread. They're like, God, look at that filling. No! What the hell would a sandwich be without that great bread? So, yeah  

Edith Bowman: That’s amazing, I love that 

Erin Doherty: You know, credit to the bread

Edith Bowman: Credit to the bread. Erin I could chat to you for hours and you're still at the start of what is destined to be an extraordinary career as an actor. And I'm so excited to see what's next for you, because I think what you've brought to the crown and brought to Anne is, it’s made a lot of people really love her. 

Erin Doherty: And I'm glad because I think she's so fascinating, but she is a really good woman.


00:43:02VOEdith: I’m Edith Bowman and my special thanks to our guests on this episode, Peter Morgan, Cate Hall, Paul Whittington and Erin Doherty. The Crown, the official podcast is produced by Netflix and Somethin’ Else in association with Left Bank Pictures. 

Join us next time when we go behind the scenes of episode Five of season four, titled ‘Fagan’. 


Thatcher’s bold economic and social policies have taken their toll on many ordinary people. One such man being Michael Fagan. Determined to reveal his plight and vent his frustrations he breaks into Buckingham palace and seeks out the one person he thinks might actually listen.

00:43:46CLIP: Fagan

‘You stoned a bottle of wine last time’. 

‘Only to work up the courage to speak to you…’

‘…Save us all!’ 



00:44:22GoodbyeSubscribe now, wherever you get your podcasts.