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The Legacy Of ‘The Crown’: 3 Queenly Actresses And future Stars

The Legacy Of ‘The Crown’

Why do we love The Crown so much? There are several reasons as to why Peter Morgan’s production has become the series of the decade. To start, the mastery with which historical figures who we have witnessed forever locked into protocol and pomp acquire life, flesh, hearts and guts. Then too, a staging that has erected this solemnity at the same height of the humanity of its protagonists. To this, we must add the discreet and, at times, stark capacity to take us into their palaces’ alcoves, and its ambition to portray a historical period — the last half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st — that runs disturbingly parallel to our present times. Aside from that, the skill and capacity with which, via superb audiovisual fiction, we have been delighted to swallow the most spectacular propaganda operation ever carried out in the contemporary era in regards to a secular institution.

But a great series would be nothing without actors in a state of grace. On one hand, a nice fistful of established performers have set the bar of excellence, and, on the other, there’s been fresh faces who play their roles as candidates for the league of future stars. That’s also why we have loved The Crown: because its cast and pairings have marked an era, with absolutely outstanding results.

Choosing three performers for the same role is a risky decision. Add in the fact that the character is an icon, and the stakes are even higher. That goes for those who do the casting — in this case, Morgan and his team — as well as those who accept the challenge. In the case of the Queen, the opportunity has fallen to Claire Foy, Olivia Colman and Imelda Staunton. The first had the newcomer’s audacity, and put her inexperienced face at the service of a character whose first steps were complex and delicate due to her need to learn to demand respect. Foy endowed Elizabeth II with an innocence that she had to counterbalance with character. She played the role as she came to understand the place she had to occupy, the weight of a still-imperial crown on the head of a girl who, in principle, had not been born to inherit the throne.

The Crown
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in ‘The Crown’.

As the show began, its plot was that of imposed destiny and the need to adapt to it with as little baggage as possible. One of an improvised succession that had to work without negatively impacted the apex of a nation. As counterpoint, in Claire Foy’s seasons, Matt Smith, in his role as Philip of Edinburgh, and Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, shone. The latter actress has recently eaten up scenes alongside no less than Joaquin Phoenix in Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, playing the role of Josephine.

The three-way conflicts between these characters during the early seasons were among the series’ highlights. But so too were Foy’s one-on-ones with John Lithgow as Churchill. Their mentor-mentee moments, the delicacy with which they both confronted wisdom and inexperience with the tact necessary for each to occupy their assigned position, highlighted the show’s brilliant subtlety and enduring ability.

Natural dexterity

Then it was time for Olivia Colman. The actress is one of today’s great women of British acting, and it fell to her to play the fully matured Elizabeth II. She tackled this with the natural dexterity of the truly gifted when faced with great roles. With a mixture of forcefulness and risk. Audacity and solidity. Self-confidence and a sense of humor. In addition, she had rivals with whom to fight face to face that complimented her ever-welcome ability to overcome. Colman’s memorable co-stars included Helena Bonham Carter as Margaret and Gillian Anderson, in the steely and dismissive skin of Margaret Thatcher, although that performance — somewhat histrionic — did not surpass that of Meryl Streep’s. This list would not be complete without another discovery of which the series can boast: the young Josh O’Connor in the role of her son Charles.

Imelda StautonImelda Staunton plays Queen Elizabeth II in the final phase of her life.HBO

To Imelda Stauton fell the twilight Elizabeth. Cooler, more ceremonial than her first chapters, in the last season she approached the series’ farewell with a solidity typical of her predecessors. The actress brings a warm, emotional serenity to the sign-off. She integrated her legacy’s gloom with the light given off by nostalgia, shadowed by a future that she and her husband — the also-glorious Jonathan Pryce — had a record of not seeing clearly.

Time of the monsters

Like Foy and Coleman, Staunton has given us a lesson in knowing how to convey, through presence and gesture, thoughts that could not be articulated by mouth, although she has been exceptional in the delivery of speeches. Her work in the last two seasons, aside from Jonathan Pryce and Lesley Manville as the last phase of Margaret, has been accompanied by two real monsters. That would be Dominic West, as Charles of England, and yet another discovery who has real star projection: Elizabeth Debicki, as Diana of Wales.

This actress has left us shaking via her physical and psychological synchronization with the ill-fated princess. Her gaze, as cloudy and desperate as her unprotected status, her elegant and frivolous fragility, have disarmed us. West, as we already knew, is a master of versatility and here, he has proved it once again. Over the course of his career, he has been able to transport us as few others can, to the Baltimore underworld when we first came across him on The Wire, and down to hell for love, as he was obliged to transit in The Affair. Of course, he didn’t have it easy presenting himself as a trustworthy heir after “I want to be your tampon”.

Dominic West
Dominic West, in another moment from ‘The Crown’.Netflix

His task has been that of portraying a complicated man, for which it was necessary a true actor, like himself, capable of humanizing a fraught character, and giving the public a chance — through fiction, as is the key to the series’ power — to see him as a worthy heir to the throne. West’s work will be fundamental in the acceptance of a king who is still in the trial period in terms of his public reception. It wouldn’t hurt for the monarch to thank West for his work next Christmas with a nice bottle of whiskey.

Throughout history, every series — and there are very few — that has earned its status as a work of art has done so with great characters who have been brought to life in many cases by heretofore undiscovered actors, or ones who we simply had not previously noticed. Simply, an opportunity had arrived that they knew what to do with. The success of The Sopranos goes hand in hand with that of James Gandolfini; Mad Men with Jon Hamm’s; The Wire and Game of Thrones with that of an entire cast, guaranteeing a few careers …

In this sense, The Crown has especially stood out, and more than fulfilled its role. Not only has it served as yet another milestone for established performers, it has also provided us with a long list of new talents who have shone, and kept pace with the masters who accompanied them in this cornerstone production. Now, faced with the emptiness caused by a lack of new seasons, there is only one solution: re-watch every one of its sixty episodes. They are even better the second time around.


Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.

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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.

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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.

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