“The Crown” on Netflix is riveting. And not completely true.
The Crown focuses on Queen Elizabeth (Claire Foy), her family and the 13 prime ministers who have served during her reign. Netflix has reportedly sunk $100 million into the first season. Many fans may be wondering how much of the glamorous series is based on real life. While some elements, like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s frosty relationship with the royal family and Princess Margaret’s romance with the dashing Pete Townsend are true, several key elements of the series are either totally made up or exaggerated for dramatic effect.
And I just cannot help but say: “Let’s get rumbleee!”
True: Queen Elizabeth’s Friendship with Porchie
Elizabeth’s obvious excitement and blushes around Porchie leads to fight with Philip, causing her to declare that while many people wanted her to marry Porchie, she fell in love with Philip and he’s the only man she’s ever loved.
Porchie was indeed a real person and was extremely close to the Queen. While there were rumors that Porchie and the Queen had an affair, including claims that he is Prince Andrew’s biological father, there has never been any actual evidence of a romance. Porchie and Elizabeth remained close until his death in 2001.
False: Prince Philip’s Refusal to Kneel in Front of the Queen
While much is made in The Crown of Philip’s refusal to kneel in front of his Queen at her coronation it is highly unlikely that he ever considered not kneeling in front of her for her actual coronation. While Philip did push back against tradition on family issues like his children’s last names and their education, he would have understood and respected the significance of kneeling in front of Elizabeth at her coronation.
True: The Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s Nicknames for the Royal Family
In The Crown, much is made of the fact that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor have nicknames for the royal family, ranging from “Cookie” or “the Scottish Cook” for the Queen Mother to “Shirley Temple” for the Queen. It turns out that these names are totally accurate. In letters published in 1988, the Duke and Duchess used those nicknames and several others when talking about the royal family and British politicians. By the way, Churchill was called “Cry Baby”.
False: The Great Smog and London’s Reaction
While the Great Smog plays a central role in The Crown, the panic it shows was apparently not all together accurate. While the Great Smog was denser and longer-lasting than previous “fogs,” the long-term effects of the Great Smog weren’t realized until several weeks and even years later as Londoners were already used to bad air quality.
Still, despite not causing an outright panic or near-political crisis, the Great Smog had a devastating impact, including poor visibility, widespread illness and deaths. It’s estimated that the Great Smog caused somewhere between 6,000 to 12,000 deaths.
So, now you all know it 🙂
And finally, Season 2 of The Crown is expected to hit Netflix in November, with a third season to follow next year. “I’m going to miss it terribly,” says Claire Foy. “But I just can’t wait to see where it goes, I just can’t wait.” Oh, neither do we, Claire, neither do we.