We have gone back right to the very first season and dug deep to see how accurate the plots are, and how the actors resemble their real-life characters, if at all. Sit back, get yourself a cup of tea and see for yourself, how shiny the crown really is.
Young Elizabeth — Seasons 1 & 2
In the first two seasons of the show, Claire Foy shows us that there was more to the late Queen Elizabeth than two Corgis and a handbag. Her over-exaggerated accent may be a turn-off in the first few episodes, however, as the plot proceeds and develops, so does our love for her grow.
Foy opens the door to Princess Elizabeth's soul who was forced under the role of the future Queen of England, taking her on a completely different path than planned. The show leads us down the route Elizabeth took from her early innocent childhood days to her coronation at the age of 25.
True or False? Margaretology — Season 3 Episode 2
It's 1943 and with no male heir in sight, young Elizabeth is prepared to become the next in line for the crown. Still not fully understanding what lies beneath this role, little Elizabeth agrees to pass the role over to her sister Margaret, who's willing to take it on.
So did this really happen? Well, not exactly. This scene reveals the shadow Margaret was constantly under, and how she was pushed aside once her sister became next in line. From a dark and gloomy childhood to a tragic and deprived adulthood, Margaret was the sad, left-behind sister, longing for a portion of the glam.
Did Elizabeth and Philip Have a Public Fight? — Season 1 Episode 8
When thinking about the royal family, you would think that the dirty laundry is left inside. In the first season, Elizabeth and Philip have an argument that ends with Elizabeth chasing Philip with a tennis racket. One would believe that this was pure imagination donated by the show's writers, but in fact, this scene was all authentic.
This is no distortion of history or fantasy, Elizabeth did chase Philip with a racket and it was all filmed and documented. Elizabeth is quoted as saying "I’m terribly sorry about this little interlude. I think it happens in the best marriages."
You would have thought that a typical British actor would step into the gigantic shoes of the great Winston Churchill, however, the production of The Crown thought otherwise and cast John Lithgow for the part. Lithgow, an American comic actor, gave such a persuasive and captivating performance, that his American roots were forgotten.
For two seasons, Lithgow adorned our screens which lead to his nomination for a Golden Globe award. His gait, his colorful collection of bow ties, and even the way he looked from above his spectacles were all brought to perfection. Winston Churchill was the first Prime Minister to rule under Queen Elizabeth.
The Great Smog — Season 1 Episode 4
The thing with this story is that it kind of happened, but not in the way indicated on the show. The fog that hit London in those days was not unusual, however, it did last longer than previous incidents. Moreso, it was only a few weeks, and even years after the fog had set that the severe damage was recognized.
The Great Smog never lead to a political crisis as indicated on the show, however, the outcomes were tragic as it is estimated that over 12,000 people lost their lives due to illness that followed.
Did Venetia Scott Ever Exist? — Season 1 Episode 4
In the first few episodes of the show, the writers try to hint that Prime Minister Winston Churchill developed a romantic affair with his secretary Venetia Scott. A blinding spotlight is projected on the young and enthusiastic assistant, played by Kate Phillips, leading the viewers to think of such an affair, however, Venetia Scott never existed.
Scott is presumably killed by a bus during the great smog that hit London in 1952, however, her tragic death is only used to guide Winston Churchill to the point where he reassesses his position on the situation that hit the city.
Young Prince Philip — Seasons 1 & 2
The first Emmy nomination Matt Smith ever earned was for his role of Prince Philip in the first and second seasons. His more-than-charming version of the young Prince kept the audience glued to his magnetic ways. No wonder Young Elizabeth didn't look anywhere else.
The character of Philip as shown on the show reflects a cool and easygoing dude. However, according to internal intelligence, the late Duke was not as loose and chilled as presented. The fact that the production stretched Philip's characteristics one step further from reality helped to shed light on the firmness and conservative ways of his wife, Queen Elizabeth.
The Porchy Tale — Season 1 Episode 9
While Prince Philip was busy spending time at private parties, Elizabeth joined her long-lost friend Porchy, for horse breeding sessions. This leads to arguments between the two, however, when Elizabeth states over and over that she chose Philip over all the men that stood in line, he keeps silent.
Philips's lack of words only strengthens the assumption that Elizabeth and Philip were having their share of marriage difficulties. The Porchy-Elizabeth-Philip triangle indicated that there was more to come in the following season concerning their intimate life. Porchy was a real figure in the late queen's life. There were even rumors of him being more than just a close friend.
If Lord Mountbatten in the first two seasons looks familiar, it's because you probably remember him as Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility. Greg Wise spreads Mountbattten's soft and fatherly elements that were so absent for both young Prince Philip and later on, his son Prince Charles.
In the third and fourth seasons, Mountbatten is played by Charles Dance, who is better known for his role as Tywin Lannister on Game of Thrones. When covering the deep story of the Lord and his relationship with the royal family, the show sticks very strictly to real-life facts and doesn't spare us from the tragic way Mountbatten lost his life.
Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor — Seasons 1, 2 and 3
Alex Jennings gives a remarkable and outstanding performance playing the role of Edward VIII, the king who abdicated the throne, which lead to Elizabeth becoming queen. To hold such a role one has to be vain and arrogant in nature.
At first, his acting might seem excessive and slightly out of character, however, historians have confirmed that the Duke of Windsor was in fact all that is presented on the show, and more. Having said that, he grasped a large crowd of supporters that saw him as the start of the turning point of the Royal Family.
Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor
American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, was a woman who made history. The love David, Duke of Windsor, had for her, was worth more than any Crown. Her life with David is presented as stress-free and full of parties, however, the guilt Simpson carried her entire life was no secret.
In the first two seasons, Simpson is played by Lia Williams, and although in reality, she had a very big role, it seems that in the show her part was smaller. Wallis Simpson forever said that David was born too early in time and that he brought innovation, which the world was not ready for. Perhaps.
The Royal Nicknames
During the first season, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor repeatedly name the members of the royal family and politicians with sarcastic nicknames that evidently are all factual. Cookie was Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Winston Churchill was Cry Baby, and Queen Elizabeth II was Shirley Temple. These names were used whenever the two exchanged letters.
These names also emphasize another story in The Crown, which is the frosty relationship the Duke had with his family after his abdication. He called Elizabeth and her mother "ice-veined bi#@hes" after he discovered his allowance was flushed down the drain.
There are no words to describe our admiration for one of our favorite members (and characters) of the royal family. In the first two seasons, Princess Margaret is played by the astonishing Vanessa Kirby. Margaret was known as being the more lively sister out of the two and Kirby takes the role to the extreme. No one could have presented Margaret's outrageous and so un-royal ways better than Kirby.
In the third and fourth seasons, the show is honored by Helena Bonham Carter's superb performance, bringing the princess a step forward and turning her into one of the interesting characters on the show.
Captain Peter Townsend
Peter Townsend was a war hero and if it wasn't for him being married, he would have probably been able to join his great love, and change many parts of the royal family's history. Townsend was played by Ben Miles, who steps into the role of Princess Margaret's first true love with great ease.
Almost overnight, Captain Townsend transforms from an icon to a man of scandals. What started as a promising love story, turned into a heartbreaking tragedy, and Miles spectacularly brings to the screen, the shame, agony, and disappointing story Townsend takes the lead in.
Margaret and Peter
One of the center plots in the first and second seasons is the despairing love story between Margaret and Peter Townsend. Their relationship was very much real and the outcome of the romance as presented on the show is as authentic as possible.
Margaret was given the option to relinquish her royal obligations and rights to marry her true love. Peter Townsend would write in his autobiography "She could have married me only if she had been prepared to give up everything—her position, her prestige, her privy purse. I simply hadn't the weight, I knew it, to counterbalance all she would have lost."
The Windsor Mountbatten Last Name Issue — Season 1 Episode 3
It is not well detailed in the first season of the show, however, the name Mountbatten was changed from the family name Batterberg, which the family wanted to fade away after WWI due to its German roots. Battenberg became Mountbatten and a new dynasty was born.
As shown in season one episode three, Prince Philip insists on giving the future heir his name, Mountbatten, instead of Elizabeth's, Windsor. The facts and details as presented are true; in 1958 the Queen did add Mountbatten to their family name. This was presumably a sign that the name issue was significant and a sore spot for the Prince.
He Never Refused to Kneel — Season 1 Episode 5
Philip was known to have his opinion on family names and education matters. Surely, he remained within boundaries when it came to understanding and respecting the significance of kneeling in front of his Queen. It is unlikely that Prince Philip made an issue of kneeling as he came from a royal background and these customs were not strange to him.
Even before Philip and Elizabeth actually wed, he knew exactly what would be expected from him. He knew he would have to give up his love for the Royal Navy, he knew he would have to kneel at the coronation, and he knew that he'll always walk a step behind.
The Queen Mother
In seasons one and two, Victoria Hamilton steps into the role of Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. The Queen Mother was known for keeping her opinions out in public and not sparing a word when it came to her daughter. The mother represents the traditions and customs that have been preserved for years.
In the third and fourth seasons, the role is played by Marion Bailey. In the 1940s she was named by the German Chancellor “the most dangerous woman in Europe” and she did everything in her power to stick to that definition until her very last days.
One of the most emotional stories on the show is the story of young Charles. Julian Baring adorns the screen with his magnificent acting abilities and cleans the dust off one of the Royal Family's darker periods. Little Charles is presented as a vulnerable, fragile boy, which is not far from the truth as it took him a good few years to thicken up.
Grown-up Prince Charles is played by the unforgettable Josh O'Connor who gave an astonishing performance of the lonely and insecure Prince. His astonishing acting skills, especially in the scene when he understands he could never marry Camilla, will forever be commended.
Olivia Colman Queen Elizabeth — Seasons 3 & 4
After getting used to seeing Claire Foy as Elizabeth in the first two seasons, it was almost impossible to get around Olivia Colman who played her in the third and fourth parts of the show. Less than two episodes into the season as it was clear, Colman was perfect for the role.
Colman's natural eyes are brown, unlike the queen's blue, but besides that, she was spot on. She presents a self-assured, stable, and confident queen. Many times, her eyes and facial expressions said so much more than her words, it's no wonder Colman received a Golden Globe and an Emmy award for her part.
Paterfamilias — Season 2 Episode 9
In this episode, we see how Prince Philip's younger days are a direct link and influence to what Prince Charles grew up to be. This sad and emotional story reveals the battle over Charles's education, and how he ended up in the same "prison sentence" (as described by Charles himself), in Gordonstoun School.
His father, Prince Philip, insisted on sending Charles to the same school he went to. It is known that Charles was bullied and mistreated by other classmates, however, he did make an end to his father's tradition and sent his own son, Prince William, to Eton College.
If it wasn't for The Crown, most of us wouldn't have a clue who Antony Armstrong was. Although married to a princess, the charismatic, talented individual found his own ways to shine. He first appears in the second season, played by Matthew Goode, and in the third and fourth seasons, Ben Daniels steps into this role.
Armstrong is known for being the first commoner to marry into the royal family in four centuries. While both Antony and Margaret had their share of romances and unfaithfulness, they did their best to bring up their two children and live a relatively normal life.
The KGB Scandal — Season 3 Episode 1
The third season of the show opens with a political scandal that involved both the KGB and an internal spy in Buckingham Palace. Sir Anthony Blunt, known as the Queen’s surveyor of art turned out to be spying for the KBG. Amazingly, Queen Elizabeth did nothing of it as she wanted to save the MI5 from embarrassment.
It was only in 1979 that the story became public and thanks to then Priminister, Margaret Thatcher, Sir Anthony Blunt was outed publicly in the House of Commons. Only then Blunt held a press conference and admitted to being a double-crossing agent.
Were There Any Secret Letters? Season 3 Episode 8
When David, Duke of Windsor was on his deathbed, Elizabeth made a last-minute visit to see her uncle. So far all is true. In this episode, David apologizes to the Queen for giving up the throne and betraying the Crown and hands her a handful of letters. Those letters were supposedly letters sent by Charles to the Duke, where he exposed his feelings for Camilla.
Besides the actual visit, the rest of the details in this episode, are untrue. There were no apologies and no letters. This was all just a way of turning the Crown into daytime Drama.
'The People's Princess" makes her first appearance in the fourth season of the show. The young and shy Diana is played by beautiful Emma Corrin and it is quite fascinating how Corrin resembles young Diana in reality.
The accent, the haircut, and the big blue eyes, all bring together the perfect actress for the perfect role. The softness of Diana and her almost child-like personality is brought upfront and spreads its magic with grace and glam.
Was Diana a Cleaner? Season 4 Episode 2
Dazzling Diana was a cleaner. In the show, when Diana is initially introduced to her future husband, Prince Charles, she says that she cleans her elder sister's flat, Lady Sarah, played by Isobel Eadie. As much as we find it hard to believe, this fact is true. According to a royal biographer, Diana was responsible for maintaining the flat clean and tidy. Diana did the vacuuming, dusting, and ironing.
So, before you start feeling sorry for Diana for her being less fortunate in her younger years, there is no need. Apparently, Diana found these chores therapeutic and satisfying. A true princess.
Camilla Parker Bowles — Seasons 3 and 4
Emerald Fennell plays the role of Prince Charles's lover, Camilla Parker Bowles. In the third season of the show, she is only just introduced, however, in the fourth season, Fennell gets a larger portion of the show. The resemblance between her and the real young Camilla is remarkable.
Camilla is all about drama and uncertainty. She had been often referred to as the third wheel in Charles and Diana's marriage and was at one point the most hated woman in the United Kingdom.
Did Mountbatten Keep Camilla Away? Season 3 Episode 9
Princess Anne, Charles's sister, (more on her to follow) starts dating Andrew Parker Bowles, Prince Charles's polo rival. He is then introduced to Camilla and falls madly in love. This does not pass by quietly and leads to the interference of Lord Mountbatten. In episode nine of the third season, it is explained exactly why.
Apparently, Mountbatten didn't feel Camilla was noble enough and that basically, she was not marriage material. He sent Charles off to sea hoping he forgets all about her. Little did he know that when true love hits, it hits hard.
Behind the Cameras — Season 3 Episode 4
Did the royal family really let cameras into the palace to film a documentary of them? Absolutely yes. Years before reality hit our screens, the royal family created their own reality show as the public opinion of them was going downhill.
The cameras documented them for over 75 days and covered various events and occasions, from a family dinner to the queen meeting heads of states. Shortly after the documents were broadcasted, the Queen felt her private space was invaded and the camera never entered the palace again.
In season two, young Princess Anne, the second daughter of Queen Elizabeth, is played by Lyla Barrett-Rye and in the third season, the all-grownup Princess is played by the lovely Erin Doherty. In her younger years, she was considered to be the most philanthropic member of the royal family and as she grew older, so did her modest and humble ways.
Erin Doherty beautifully presents the princess in the most accurate and convincing manner. Not only does she resemble Princess Anne in her appearance, but she manages to convince the viewers with her impressive facial expressions and other small nuances.
The Aberfan Disaster — Season 3 Episode 3
This heartbreaking episode is all true. It covers the devastating story of the Welsh mining village that was almost buried under the collapsed colliery mining tip. This story is a significant turning point in the Queen's reign. When the episode begins, Queen Elizabeth is presented under her usual stricken and cold rays, however, by the end of this episode, something changes.
At first, the monarchy doesn't comprehend the fact that the Queen's presence is essential after such a catastrophe and says "We don’t do disasters sites, we do hospitals". Eight days after the disaster, the Queen pays her visit, and eventually, Elizabeth confronts her natural instincts and is unable to hide her tears away anymore.
Did First Lady Insult the Queen at the Palace? — Season 2 Episode 8
In the second season, the president of the USA and his wife pay a visit to Buckingham Palace where first lady Jacki Kennedy presumably insults the queen by calling her "second-rate, dilapidated and sad". So, did this really happen? Well, sort of. There is no evidence whatsoever that these exact words were said by the first lady, however, Mrs. Kennedy was critical of the palace and the Queen.
The palace's furniture wasn't to her taste, she thought everything looked old and unfashionable and the Queen's wardrobe and hairstyle were out of date too.
The Wild Margaret and Armstrong — Season 3 Episode 2
It is almost hard to believe that someone who represents the British Royal Family, in fact, lead a life as Margaret did. The second episode of season three certainly indicates how wild her life really was. And it was. It is known that in the first few years of their marriage, they lived a life more suited to Hollywood superstars and not blue-blooded monarchs.
Apparently, Margaret and Armstrong did rub their shoulders with the glamour of Hollywood and are known to have hung out with Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, and Grace Kelly, but this is barely mentioned in the show.
Margaret's Affair — Season 3 Episode 10
The last episode in the third season reveals what lies behind Princess Margaret's divorce. All that is shown on the show is accurate to the smallest detail. Princess Margaret indeed had a romantic affair with Roddy Llewellyn, a common gardener, who was 17 years younger than her.
Margaret's unhappy relationship with her husband, Lord Snowdon, was no secret. Right from the very first moment they meet in season two, Snowdon is pictured as one who puts his passion for photography before his passion for his wife. Margaret, on her side, was longing for attention and affection which Snowdon wasn't capable of giving.
Did Charles Nearly Died — Season 4 Episode 9
Prince Charles (now King Charles III) is featured galavanting on a ski trip which ends in a disaster. His close friend tragically loses his life, however, Charles manages to escape. So, how much of this episode is accurate and sticks to real events?
Everything in this episode is aligned with reality and King Charles indeed was caught in a harsh snowstorm. According to Times Magazine, a helicopter pilot, who was at the scene of the accident confirmed that Charles was on the borderline between returning home safely and changing The Crown's dynasty forever.
Prince Philip — Seasons 3 & 4
After warming our hearts with Matt Smith in the first and second seasons, Tobias Menzies brings a much more serious side to Prince Philip. We discover a restrained, tough character with heavy sediments from the past that he carries with him throughout his life.
For his role in The Crown, he won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor, which is no surprise to us. He kept us glued to the screens and he managed to turn an exceptionally good drama, into an outstanding great one.
The Queen and Michael Fagan — Season 4 Episode 5
This episode focuses on one day in 1982 when Michael Fagan breaks into Buckingham Place. Not only that, he entered the Queen's bedroom. Did this happen in real life? Yes, it did. Did Elizabeth have a deep heart-to-heart talk with the intruder? No.
In reality, Fagan invaded the palace and broke into the Queen's bedroom, however, as soon as she saw him, she ran out of the room as fast as her feet could carry her. Fagan said in one interview "She went past me and ran out of the room; her little bare feet running across the floor."
You can't think of British history without mentioning one of the greatest politicians the kingdom has known. Her ways might have been controversial, however, Gillian Anderson, with amazing talent, sheds light on all the unique and characterizing manners this great lady once had.
She is introduced in the fourth season and although she herself was not part of the royal family, she has a significant role in many monarchical scenes. Anderson did not spare us from Margaret's over-the-top bowing or the expectations that were never aligned with the Queen's.
The Windsor Family Secret — Season 4 Episode 7
This episode is called "The Hereditary Principle", one of the horror stories the royal family managed to hide for years. Princess Margaret's unstable mental condition led her to discover that two of her first cousins were literally hidden in a mental hospital to spare the shame. How real is this story? Every single bit of it.
Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon were the Queen's and Princes Margaret's first cousins. They were both born with developmental disabilities and were admitted into the institute. They were never heard of until 1987 when the story came out.
King George VI
Jared Harris was honored to play the role of King George VI, Queen Elizabeth's father, and what a magnificent job he did. He captivated us with his extraordinary abilities to almost bring the late king to life. The short, but important role of King George provides a powerful beginning to the entire storyline.
Harris perfectly picked up the King's stammer and which was the most significant attribute the late king was known for. He died at the age of 56, leaving a family, monarchy, country, and world, for his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, to take care of.
Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark
Leonie Benesch has a very small part in the show, however, it is very powerful. Princess Cecile is Prince Philips's sister, who died alongside her entire family in a plane crash leaving young Philip all alone in the world. This had a huge impact on Philip's life, and later on Charle's life.
In the show (second season) we learn that Prince Philip's sister married a high-positioned figure in the German regime which was in power in 1937. This fact was controversial amongst the British people in those days, who saw the German nation as their biggest enemy.
Princess Alice — True or False? Season 3 Episode 4
This is probably the most fascinating episode of the show. Alice (played by Jane Lapotaire), is the mother of Prince Philip, Elizabeth's husband. Sometime in the 1930s she reportedly suffered a nervous breakdown which separated her from her family. She became a Mother Superior and dedicated her life to charity and faith in Greece.
Prince Philip suffers from separation anxiety following his mother's departure and it is revealed clearly on the show. So far all is true. The main difference between the show and reality is that Princess Alice never gave an official media interview.
Mountbatten's Letter to Charles — Season 4 Episode 1
Lord Mountbatten's death is a turning point in Charles's life. In the first episode of the fourth season, Mountbatten sends a letter to Charles who is fishing in Iceland, expressing his thoughts and feeling about Charles's relationship with Camilla. It was thought that Mountbatten had a substantial role in the separation of Charles and Camilla, but in reality, this remains unclear.
There is no evidence of any letter being sent to Charles, however, it has been known that Lord Mountbatten did push Charles towards finding a more suitable wife and "getting on with his life".
Margaret Thatcher at Balmoral — Season 4 Episode 2
Many of the elements and details in this episode, as much as they are hard to believe, are true. Margaret Thatcher arrived at Balmoral with no suitable hiking shoes. Apparently, the royal family used to secretly subject their Balmoral guests to tests, just to find out if someone could fully fit in or not.
In this episode, Margaret Thatcher seemed to fail almost every test, from packing the wrong shoes to arriving too early for dinner. According to reports, Thatcher really did have to borrow waterproof boots and the guests around did make fun of her when she arrived overdressed for dinner.
Ibble Dibble? Season 4 Episode 2
Most of the time the royals are represented as cold and distant people. However, in the fourth season, the royal family, alongside other blue-blooded aristocrats are shown actually having fun and smiling believe it or not. They play a game called Ibble Dibble.
Now it must be wonderful for us to imagine the Queen, Princes, and all that came along participating in such a session, however, there is no evidence of such an event taking place. We supposed there are family gatherings where boundaries are crossed and rules are bent, however, Ibble Dibble, for now at least, is pure imagination.
Diana and Camilla at the Ménage à Trois?! Season 4 Episode 3
Before the big royal wedding and before things began turning pear-shaped, Diana and Camilla meet up for dinner at Ménage à Trois. No matter how hard we tried looking for someone to say that this is fiction, it is very much true. Apparently, at one point the two tried to civilize.
No one knows if Camilla really said "I'm all for sharing" during that meeting, however, what amazes us more is the name of the place they met. It doesn't get any sadder (or funnier) than this.
Did Diana Really Roller-Skate? Season 4 Episode 3
Having Diana rollerskate all around Buckingham palace is taking things to the extreme. Or not. Diana's youth and magical childhood temper were spread all over the palace. The writer insisted on adding the roller skates as it strengthens the story of what Diana was when she arrived in the palace, and what she turned out to be when she left.
Apparently, seeing Diana rollerskate around and act foolishly at times, wasn't a rare scene. This behavior is exactly what captured the family's hearts. Lest we forget, Diana was only 19 when she got married, not fully mature and grown up.
In the first season of The Crown, Elizabeth II’s grandmother Queen Mary is played by Dame Eileen Atkins. Queen Mary died just one year after Elizabeth's coronation, however, she had a great impact and left a huge impression on Elizabeth, her granddaughter.
Atkins played this role before when she starred in the 2002 movie Bertie and Elizabeth, so her harsh, strict, and sometimes offensive ways, came to her almost naturally.
Does the Queen Watch The Crown?
In early September 2022, Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the age of 96. One question is, did the Queen ever watch the show? Well, evidently she did. According to the Sunday Express, the late Queen Elizabeth watched the entire first season and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The word is, that Vanessa Kirby, who played the young Princess Margaret, Elizabeth's sister, was her favorite actress on the show and that, even though she might have been overdoing it at times, she managed to spread the energy that was in the air, whenever Margaret was around.