In an episode from season 4 of The Crown, a mouse runs across the carpet and there’s been some debate on whether this was intentional or a mistake.
In an episode from season 4 of The Crown, which debuted recently on Netflix, a mouse scurries across the carpet in front of the Queen Mother. A little over one minute into season 4, episode 3, “Fairytale,” while Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, and Princess Anne are awaiting a phone call from Charles with news of his proposal to Diana, a large mouse (or possibly small rat) can be seen running under a piece of furniture in Buckingham Palace. Some viewers noticed the rodent while others took to Twitter to speculate on the purpose of a mouse in Netflix’s hit historical drama.
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But, believe it or not, this was not the first time a mouse has appeared in The Crown. In season 1, episode 1 of The Crown, “Wolferton Splash,” there is a brief but close shot of two mice (one alive and one dead) in the kitchen of Buckingham Palace. This was a bit of realism since many of England’s older buildings are known for struggling with rodent infestations. In fact, 10 Downing Street, the office of the real Margaret Thatcher, has employed a Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office – a resident cat whose job is to control the rodent population – since 1924. Knebworth House, the filming location used for interior scenes of Buckingham Palace, was built in the mid-1800s, so it’s possible that the real-world location had a mouse problem while filming and one furry little thespian decided to steal the show.
The humble mouse rose to fame when Twitter lit up with rave reviews of his breakout cameo. The Crown’s official Twitter page acknowledged the mouse, suggesting, “Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series?” But the tweet didn’t specify whether the mouse was intentionally included or not. Considering that The Crown has earned its reputation on attention to detail, it’s unlikely that the mouse went entirely unnoticed by production before the season was released on Netflix. But the question remains whether the mouse was a deliberate choice or was simply allowed to remain in the final cut.
Some fans believe that the mouse was intentional and meant to be a symbol of the fracturing royal family and impending economic recession. The third episode of season 4, despite being titled “Fairytale” and featuring Charles and Diana’s engagement, has an air of foreboding – from lingering shots of Lady Diana looking overwhelmed to the ominous, low music that plays throughout the episode. The mouse was maybe a piece of symbolism – a bit of horror wriggling its way through a crack in the veneer of perfection.
Regardless of whether the showrunners intended for the mouse to be present or for it to be ascribed any significance, the infamous mouse will go down in The Crown history for causing a twitterstorm and sparking a debate around the state of the British monarchy in the early 1980s. If intentional, we may never know the reason. If unintentional, the mouse will likely be the only successful photobomber that doesn’t get removed in the post-production of The Crown.
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