Fans of Netflix’s £100 million biopic “The Crown” were left sorely disappointed after this year’s BAFTA’s award, with the highly praised serial drama depicting the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the show left the ceremony empty handed. Instead, they lost out to the BBC’s police drama “Happy Valley” in the Best Drama category. Sarah Lancashire also won out over Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth II in the series, in the category for Best Actress.
Lancashire gave her rival nominee high praise during her acceptance speech, admitting that she had spent around ten hours one Sunday watching “The Crown” in bed, and credited Foy a brilliant “but so subtle” performance. Holding her award aloft, she expressed her desire to split it in half so that she could share it with Foy.
“The Crown” had a very disappointing run at this year’s award ceremony, walking away with no awards despite a high number of nominations. While nominated for Best Drama, Best Actress, two Best Supporting Actors (John Lithgow as Winston Churchill and Jared Harris as King George VI), and Best Supporting Actress (Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret), they ultimately failed to win in any of the categories. The lacklustre result has led to some outcry among those attending and observing, who believe that “The Crown” may have been deliberately snubbed by judges for being a Netflix produced TV series in favour of more established studios.
The outcome may well have provided some immense satisfaction to the BBC as well, who declined to produce “The Crown” initially because they thought the ambition of the series a little beyond their scope, electing instead to begin production on “Happy Valley”. The results will be a vindication of their decision and an assurance that they did not need a £100 million royal drama in order to win critical acclaim.
Interestingly “The Crown” was also outperformed by The Queen herself, with British TV personalities Ant and Dec also receiving an award for Best Live Performance. The award was given for their work in presenting Her Majesty’s 90th birthday party last year, who insisted that the BAFTA — apparently her first — was most definitely The Queen’s.
“It wasn’t our party, it was her party, her birthday,” they said. “[…]It’s her BAFTA, she deserves it.”
They also joked that if The Queen ever wants it herself, she’s more the welcome to ask for it. “She pops the kettle on, and we’ll pop round with the BAFTA.”