The Crown has so far managed to go through two complete seasons without once touching on Ireland or any Irish political struggles. The Crown has covered events in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eqypt, and even showed Prince Philip visiting Antarctica. However, Ireland has been a taboo subject. This will be a hard policy to maintain in Season 3 of The Crown , which is already in production.
Season 2 of The Crown ended in 1964, which means that the violent period known as The Troubles are just about to begin in Northern Ireland. It is difficult to see how going forward The Crown will be able to present a series about Queen Elizabeth II and continue to avoid the topic of Ireland.
Below is a quick timeline of Irish events from one perspective, quoted from Gerry Adams’ Book A Farther Shore.
- 1964 Divis Street Riots in Belfast
- 1967 Civil Rights Association established in the north.
- 1968 The Royal Ulster Constabulary – RUC- attack civil rights marchers in Derry.
- 1969 Explosions occur which are initially blamed on the IRA. It subsequently emerges that they are carried out by the unionist paramilitary organization the Ulster Volunteer Force – UVF.
- 1970 – The siege of St Matthews in The Short Strand in East Belfast and the Falls curfew by the British Army leads to significant support for the IRA.
- 1971 – The war between the British Army and the IRA intensifies. Internment without trial is introduced.
- 1972 – Fourteen civilians are killed on Bloody Sunday in Derry when the British Army attacks a civil rights march.
- 1973 – Bomb attacks in London.
Season 3 of The Crown will be taking place exactly when all these events occurred. Will The Crown continue to ignore Ireland and instead focus only on the various royal sex scandals? We hope that instead, The Crown will take the riskier approach of trying to show the reaction of Queen Elizabeth II as a part or her “empire” is being torn apart and its citizens killing each other.
It is hard to imagine that The Crown Season 3 will possibly be able to ignore August 27, 1979. That was the day an IRA bomb killed Lord Mountbatten, who was the great uncle of Prince Charles. He had been a mentor to Charles, who was devastated by his death. On that same day, in an IRA shootout and ambush, the IRA killed 17 British soldiers in Northern Ireland.
Of course, the Queen is forbidden by the Constitution from taking a political stance. However, as we have seen in the first two seasons of The Crown Queen Elizabeth II is quite determined to have a behind-the-scenes influence on major world events.
What exactly are the views of Queen Elizabeth II in regards to Ireland, Northern Ireland and the various political and paramilitary groups? Did she play any role in bringing the warring factions together for the eventual peace process ? Was she aware that the elite British SAS force was being used as an assassination squad in Northern Ireland to kill suspected members of the IRA with no trial and many times no evidence? Perhaps the producers of The Crown don’t really know and don’t want to take a chance by making wild guesses about such a touchy subject.
The Good Friday Agreement was only signed in 1998 and many people in Ireland and the U.K. have been walking on eggshells ever since, worried that the slightest insult, or misunderstanding could set off events in Northern Ireland. Maybe that is just too much pressure for the writers of The Crown to face.
Tourists to Ireland and Northern Ireland often quickly find out how hard it is to get the Irish to talk to outsiders about any political subject. Ask about the IRA or the UVF or any events of The Troubles and you will find the Irish quickly and politely change the subject to a nice friendly chat about the weather or local sporting events.
American author William Faulkner famously wrote that “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Of course, he was not referring to Northern Ireland, but that quote describes perfectly the Irish “situation.”
Every word spoken about Northern Ireland is a potential landmine, which is undoubtedly why The Crown has chosen so far to pretend that Northern Ireland does not exist. Even today, a fight can quickly ensue depending on whether or not you refer to a particular town in Northern Ireland as Derry or Londenderry
So will Season 3 of The Crown dare take on Northern Ireland? Well, no matter which direction Season 3 of The Crown takes, we know one thing for sure. We will be watching it.