The Crown: Praise heaped on Gillian Anderson's 'genius' portrayal of Margaret ...

Strong reactions from fans have been flooding in on Twitter following the release of the fourth season of The Crown. As the prestige drama edges closer to the 21st century, viewers have been astounded by the revealing portrayals of Princess Diana and uncompromising PM, Margaret Thatcher.

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Gillian Anderson’s severe and measured portrayal of ruthless Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has been dubbed one of the year’s finest TV performances.

Spanning the turbulent 1980s, The Crown’s fourth season tracks Thatcher’s victory in the Falklands to her decimation of the UK’s working-class.

American actress Anderson joined the cast alongside fellow newcomer Emma Corrin as the young, sidelined wife of Prince Charles (played by Josh O’Connor), Princess Diana.

In line with the series’ tradition, the new instalment features a number of revealing meetings between Prime Minister Thatcher and the ostensibly unbiased Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman).

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Gillian Anderson as Margaret ThatcherThe Crown: Praise pours in for Gillian Anderson's 'genius' casting as PM Margaret Thatcher (Image: Getty/)

Gillian Anderson as Margaret ThatcherThe Crown season four reveals Thatcher and the Queen's strained relationship (Image: )

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Thatcher’s failure to combat unemployment and refusal to agree to sanctions against Apartheid in South Africa is claimed by the series to have caused a tense relationship between the two leaders.

Although reactions to Anderson’s performance have been almost universally positive, some have criticised the series for portraying the notorious Conservative PM as sympathetic.

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