I ‘m guessing that just about everyone reading this is either in the middle of watching or has finished Season 4’s depiction of the decade-by-decade shenanigans of the British royal family. We dumped those folks over 250 years ago, but we still can’t get enough of them. If you were born before 1985 not much of this review will be a spoiler alert. Apologies in advance if that isn’t the case and I inadvertently destroy your evening in front of the telly. What I already knew– but was completely engrossed in revisiting: Margaret Thatcher was a horror. Gillian Anderson in this series and Meryl Streep in the 2011 film “The Iron Lady” provide a brilliant portrait of a person who would fit in well with our departing administration. My in-depth historical Wikipedia research seems to indicate that she really was as awful as she is depicted. But is Queen Elizabeth, portrayed magnificently by Olivia Colman, as saintly as the Crown’s writers would have us believe? One of the persistent tropes of the Crown is the sacrifices she has made to become Queen. Instead of leading a quiet life as an ordinary British citizen, gardening, cooking, tending her horse, she has had to bear the weight of crown. (hence the title)–in spite of the fact that she has truly no power at all in terms of what happens to Britain in real world decisions. We never really quite know who to feel sorry for–the sensitive, intellectual Charles, pressured into marrying an unformed teenager, forced to give up his bawdy, salt-of-the earth married lover? Or the teenage Lady Di naively marrying “for love” a man she barely knows? We watch the bleak loneliness of her existence as she roller skates around Buckingham Palace between bouts of bulimic vomiting. Somewhere toward the end of the Season series, the view shifts a bit. Elizabeth is less appealing for a number of reasons, the castle is ever so slightly seedy, the camera catches a mouse running across a carpet, turns out Pathetic Prince Charles is quite the narcissist , etc. etc. And all the pomp and circumstance fails to hide the fact that the monarchy is really just a Big Family Business. But for diversion starved streamers such as myself, the Crown serves the same purpose as the real monarchy does for many Brits. Would so much rather talk about their soap opera than what’s going on here. Season 4 takes us up to Thatcher’s departure and Charles and Diana’s divorce. Prince Philip maintains his benign cipher-like presence (I swear he’s got a toupee, but I don’t know if that’s the actor or his portrayal), and the now matronly but still unruly Princess “Margo”, drinks too much and remains unlucky in love. We all know what happens next, but that doesn’t deter me, at least, from eagerly awaiting Season 5.