Let’s be honest: season 4 of The crown got to the right things. The final episode of the Netflix drama finally introduced us to Princess Diana (Emma Corrin), detailing the beginning and beginning of the end of her relationship with Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor). It also touched on Margaret Thatcher’s (Gillian Anderson) years in Downing Street and covered the events of Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman) reign from 1979 to 1990 or so. This resulted in some extremely juicy episodes. The bad news is that we have no idea when Season 5 will arrive.
So if you’re all caught up The crown and looking for something to fill that out crownheart-shaped hole in your heart until it returns, here are 10 shows – from more historical dramas to docuseries to, yes, baking contests – that might do the trick.
The crownGillian Anderson says Margaret Thatcher’s relationship with the Queen was ‘tied to the breakup’
Looking for more recommendations on what to watch next? We have a ton! We also have recommendations for the best horror series on Netflix and the best supernatural shows to watch right now.
For another scandalous British period piece – this time of the fictional variety – watch Bridgerton. The hit adaptation of Julia Quinn’s best-selling romance series, produced by Shonda Rhimes, is essentially an era of the Regency Gossip Girl, with a mysterious gossip writer (voiced by Julie Andrews!) who follows all of the juiciest stories in London’s high society for his anonymous column. The first season centers on Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) as she makes her debut in the company and falls in love with a reluctant Duke (Rege-Jean Page). Maybe it’s more of a historical fantasy than The crown is, but, as The crown, it’s a show about the wealthy Britons who feel like everyone is on them all the time, because they are. More, Bridgerton offers a touch of palace intrigue thanks to Queen Charlotte by Golda Rosheuvel. Just know that things are getting very scorching in this one. -Kelly Connolly [Watch on Netflix]
Want awesome period costumes? Gorgeous production design? Are the rich English picky? Do I have a show for you. It’s called The crown. But also, Downton abbey. Julian Fellowes’ sprawling ensemble drama about the aristocratic Crawley family and the people who work in their fields takes place before the events of The crown (the series starts with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912), and although Downton delves much deeper into her delicious soapy than The crown, the two shows feel very connected. So if you’re done The crown and you miss seeing how the other half live, or miss hearing people talk about family duty, or would like to visit another group of sisters who sometimes make their lives miserable but ultimately love each other, you can find all this and more in all six seasons (and a movie!) Shenanigans upstairs / downstairs Downton abbey. [Watch on Amazon, Peacock]
If you thought the Windsors were in trouble, wait until you meet the Tudors. This 2007 Showtime series chronicles the reign of King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) of the Tudor dynasty as he sat on the English throne from 1509 to 1547. This gendered version of the story gives us a monarch running things , uh, a little different from Elizabeth II. The Tudors‘Henry is volatile, power hungry and horny as hell. The series manages to get through all of Henry’s six wives in just four seasons – the Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer) screenplay is, unsurprisingly, the most compelling – and take a look at pre-Superman Henry Cavill. This tip is just a little gift from me for you this holiday season. You deserve it! [Watch onÂ Showtime,Â HuluÂ with Showtime add-on,Â AmazonÂ with Showtime add-on or for purchase]
In 2015, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch in history when she broke the record held by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who was just the last queen to reign before Elizabeth. There are many parallels in the lives of women. As The crown, PBS Masterpiece’s deep dive into a Queen’s reign begins with barely prepared young Princess Victoria (Jenna Coleman) taking power surrounded by plenty of people who doubt she can do the job. Victoria, who completed her third season in 2019, chronicles the life of the Queen as she becomes a formidable monarch while also dealing with her husband Prince Albert (Tom Hughes), a stranger who struggles to find her role within the monarchy, and become a mother. Again, parallels. [Watch on Amazon,Â PBS]
If you love stories of female monarchs keeping it going but need a respite from the sometimes archaic English traditions (say with love, folks!), Give it to Hulu Great since. The series, about the rise of Empress Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning) of Russia as she plots to overthrow her husband Peter III (Nicholas Hoult) began its first season earlier this year and has already been renewed for a second. Be warned: the tone of Great is almost the exact opposite of The crown. It’s weird, funny and full of debauchery. While he’s extremely loose on historical correctness, it’s clever satire, and Fanning is, well, great as the show’s frontman. [Watch on Hulu]
Who among us doesn’t need more Olivia Colman in their life? As Queen Elizabeth II, she has a hard line to cross between duty and, you know, being a real human with real human emotions; it’s never better than when that struggle is boiling near the surface (like, say, when you visit your four children and realize they are real train wrecks). For another Colman character with a job to do where emotions might get in the way, try the British crime series Broadchurch. Colman plays Ellie Miller, a detective in a small English coastal town forced to work with alien DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) on a case involving the murder of a local boy. You’ll come for the great chemistry between Colman and Tennant, but be sure to stick around for Colman’s mind-blowing performance as his world is turned upside down. [Watch on Netflix]
If after The crown Season 4 you’re looking for another show set in the 1980s that both has storylines with global consequences and intimate looks at complicated parent-child relationships and a complex marriage between Elizabeth and Phillip, watch Americans. FX’s Cold War spy drama spanned six seasons from 2013 to 2018 and tells the story of Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Phillip (Matthew Rhys) Jennings, Russian spies living a double life as a family. perfect American outside of Washington DC Americans is certainly more action-oriented than The crown, but both shows are equally captivating and complex. [Watch on Amazon]
Despite its title, OWN’s Sugar queen has nothing to do with the monarchy. However, it has everything to do with strained sibling relations, as a daughter takes over the family business after the death of her father. Seems familiar? Created by Ava DuVernay and based on the novel by Natalie Baszile, Sugar queen tells the story of the Bordelon family and their sugarcane farm in rural Louisiana. After the sudden death of the family patriarch, Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner), a distant sibling, ends up leaving a privileged life in Los Angeles and moving home to try and keep the farm afloat, while trying to heal wounds and build relationships with his other half. – siblings Nova (Rutina Wesley) and Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe). As The crown, old and new family traumas sometimes make it difficult to keep the Bordelon family intact. Also as The crown, the cinematography of Sugar queen maybe worth watching alone. [Watch on Hulu, OWN]
The Great British Pastry Fair
Are you an insatiable anglophile who hasn’t watched yet The Great British Pastry Fair (or The Great British Cake, as they call it in the UK)? What are you even doing? Finish The crown and get straight into this series of long-running British baking competitions. It will soothe your tired soul. The series has home bakers competing in a tent in the middle of an English garden and only gained popularity because of its addictive politeness. All of the contestants are kind to each other and seem to genuinely want to help each other do their best, so if you are looking for a different take on British culture, a light look at the drama, spend some time in the Pastry attempted. [Watch on Netflix]
The Royal House of Windsor
If you have watched The crown with your computer by your side so that you can verify the accuracy of the events depicted, you may wish to check out this six-episode documentary series currently available on Netflix. The Royal House of Windsor was released in 2017 to mark 100 years since the start of the House of Windsor – King George V (the grandfather of Elizabeth II) changed the name of the family dynasty to Windsor from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1917 due to anti-German sentiment at the time. The docuseries begin there and detail the history of the Windsors, including the abdication of King Edward VIII, Elizabeth’s relationship with her father King George VI, the marriage of Elizabeth and Philip, and yes, the Diana years. [Watch on Netflix]
The crown Seasons 1-4 are now streaming on Netflix.