Netflix drama The Crown has everyone hooked… even certain residents of Buckingham Palace! The Daily Express has reported that Queen Elizabeth herself watched the show after Prince Edward recommended it to her. So was Her Majesty pleased? “Happily, she really liked it, although obviously there were some depictions of events that she found too heavily dramatized,” a senior royal source said. So what’s been taken from reality and what’s been played up? Join us as we separate The Crown's fact from fiction…
Westminster Abbey was not decked out in flowers for Queen Elizabeth’s wedding
Only two flower displays were used — one for each side of the altar — and the wedding, coming so soon after World War II, was scaled back out of “austerity reasons,” according to the real Westminster Abbey. (Only 2,000 guests attended!)
Queen Elizabeth did not appear to be a nervous wreck at the altar
Not according to her doting father, at least. “You were so calm and composed during the service,” King George VI once wrote to her, “and said your words with such conviction that I knew everything was alright.”
King George may not have been as sick as he’s portrayed to be
Speaking of the late King, he wasn’t diagnosed with lung cancer until 1951, four years after he’s shown to be coughing up blood on The Crown, so POPSUGAR doubts he would have been showing symptoms so early. (Another difference from the show? Only his wife was present when his lung was removed, not his whole family.)
Prince Philip probably never considered refusing to kneel at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation
Prince Philip riled against some aspects of royal life, according to People, but he knew he was duty bound to kneel at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. “He knew full well what was expected of him in public, and was prepared to go along with it,” expert Christopher Wilson has revealed.
Queen Mary never wrote Queen Elizabeth a letter about being queen
Though Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were always close, the former queen never wrote her granddaughter a letter about the roles and responsibilities of the crown as she does on the Netflix show, according to POPSUGAR.
Queen Elizabeth was indeed friends with Porchie
Queen Elizabeth was close to Lord Porchester, aka Porchie, until his death in 2001. They were childhood friends, and she made him her racing manager in 1969. Rumors abound that they had an affair and that he is Prince Andrew’s actual father, People once reported, but that could all just be gossip.
There was conflict over the royals’ last name
Queen Elizabeth’s courtiers were indeed worried about her children using the name Mountbatten, Prince Philip’s choice of surname because they were concerned about the Mountbattens getting the upper hand over the Windsors. Elizabeth initially said her children would use Windsor but then changed her mind and opted for Mountbatten-Windsor instead.
Princess Margaret did have a doomed romance with Peter Townsend
Just like in the show, Princess Margaret and Peter did have a relationship, and a marriage between them would have needed Queen Elizabeth’s approval. Peter was considered unfit to be wed, however, because he had already been married, and Margaret eventually ended the relationship. “She could have married me only if she had been prepared to give up everything — her position, her prestige, her privy purse,” Peter later wrote in his autobiography. “I simply hadn’t the weight, I knew it, to counterbalance all she would have lost.”
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor did have nicknames for the family
Yes, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor called the Queen Mother “the Scottish Cook” and “Cookie,” Queen Elizabeth “Shirley Temple,” and Winston Churchill “Cry Baby,” according to their personal letters published in 1988. The Duke also called his family members “a smug, stinking lot” and “a seedy, worn-out bunch of old hags,” as the Los Angeles Times once reported.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Venetia Scott didn’t exist
The character of Venetia Scott, Winston Churchill’s ill-fated secretary in the show, is fictitious. According to the Radio Times, no such person actually existed.
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