If you are looking for a worthy show, The Crown won’t disappoint. The original Netflix series unveils the coming of age story of Queen Elizabeth’s early reign. The story follows the young queen’s daily triumphs and tribulations as being the sovereign of the commonwealth. We see Queen Elizabeth tackle the responsibilities and threats that are naturally inherited by gaining power and influence of the thrown.
With the fame and power that accompanies the royal position, we also see Queen Elizabeth having to tackle the less pleasurable aspects of her new identity. Living a quiet and limited political role as a princess with her family is in the past for the young queen. She is now faced with threats of manipulation, greed and disloyalty from the powers that be in the English government.
She is faced with the ongoing formalities of being a royal and insecurities in her role while having to appear to keep an image of the strong leader of her government. With the progression of the story, we see that the Queen is faced also with relationship obstacles in consequence of her new role. Her marriage, motherhood, and even her relationship with her younger sister Princess Margaret is only in the shadow of her duty as the Queen.
To say the least, The Crown displays the reality of being a royal in post-war times. The script dramatizes reality but it’s based on true facts. This reality is far from what Disney has taught us happily ever after should look like.
As unusual as it may be, I can see aspects of Queen Elizabeth’s journey mirroring with my walk as a Christian.
It’s true that I am not an earthly heir to a throne, but those who are of Christ are a part of a “royal priesthood“ (1 Peter 2:9). Like Queen Elizabeth, discovering our new life and new identity can be challenging and is often a journey. In reality, becoming who we are in Christ is a lot like becoming a royal of a nation—we are constantly revealing aspects of our new identity. Like the Queen, our new life in Christ does not come without lost, suffering and imperfection.
Here are three lessons we can learn from Queen Elizabeth’s life in “The Crown”, that we as Christians can identify with.
We must love those who reject us.
One thing that becomes immediately clear when the princess becomes Queen Elizabeth II—not everyone is on her corner. We even see her closest relatives doubt her abilities to live up to her role.
The queen’s uncle gives her the nickname” Shirley Temple”, out of disrespect. Queen Elizabeth II is aware of her uncle feelings towards her, and instead of repaying him back with exile, she invites him to become her advisor.
Whether you are a new Christian or a “seasoned” one, we have all experienced a level of rejection.
Rejection can look like old friends you once hung out with now ignoring your phone calls or family members cutting contact with you because of your newfound faith. Even though it hurts, we can find solace in the fact that Jesus himself was rejected. His very words caused uproar from the religious leaders in the community. Even his half-brother James rejected Jesus’ claim of deity.
Instead of repaying malice with malice, Jesus show us through the cross to love those who rejects us. Praying or simple acts of kindness for those who reject us does not just give Jesus the glory, but it allows us to discover more of His character within ourselves. We begin forgiving past our own strength and loving more deeply because of Him.
The role can sometimes be burdensome.
On one episode of The Crown, we see Queen Elizabeth II on the eve of her coronation. A couple of days before her coronation she tries on her crown and with no hesitation, comments on the similarity of weight in both physical and heaviness of the burden of being queen.
There are times throughout the series where decisions that are to be made by Queen Elizabeth II that are so impossibly difficult, she longs for her previous life. However, we see support arise from those who wish her to succeed.
We’ve all been there.
We have all felt the “heaviness” of our Christian duty. Being a light in our very dark world, or being led by the Holy Spirit to forgive those who are not even sorry, isn’t easy or simple. We have all been through rough seasons where we are tempted to look back and alleviate our pain with the comforts of the world.
In Matthew 11:28, we are given an invitation from our Loving Father. “Come those who are weary and burdened, I will give you rest”.
This promise comes with the action of bringing what is weighing us down to our King. A rest and peace that tells us that we are not in this alone. We see Jesus feeling the burden of sin and asking for the burden to be lifted from him, soon to recant and proclaim, “Thy will be done.”
When Jesus took on the burden of sin on the cross, it changed our own experience with any earthly troubles. Because Jesus took on the ultimate burden, we have access to heavenly peace in any situation.
Discovering who you are is an everyday lesson.
Days after the princess becomes the queen, she finds herself learning all of the formalities that one must learn as queen at every moment. She’s bewildered to find her sister and mother bowing to her in homage. She has to deal with the fact her husband must always walk behind her in her shadow.
The Crown shows Queen Elizabeth II being constantly being reminded of how powerful she is. Needless to say in The Crown, Queen Elizabeth II had a serious adjustment period to her new identity.
Discovering who we are in Christ is not a one-time lesson, but we are constantly discovering our identity in Him. Rather it’s discovering our freedom from sin or seeing our beauty through His eyes, we are constantly being guided by Him to discover His image in us. We stumble, we fall, we question God–but His hope and patience for us to grow is unshakable.
We are promised over and over in His Word to be strong and courageous in this journey with Him. Like Queen Elizabeth II getting use to being called “beloved, forgiven, or light of the world”, can be an adjustment period for many us. who we are in Christ is an imperfect journey that His love gives us the grace to travel.
Discovering who we are in God’s Kingdom can be hard, but through God’s grace we discover our royal identity one day at a time.