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Fact vs Fiction: Netflix’s drama ‘The Crown’

If you are like what seems to be the majority of my Twitter feed, you too binged watched Netflix’s most recent drama ‘The Crown’. Based on the life of Queen Elizabeth, the £100 million, 10 episode show is bringing in raving reviews.

For some, spotting the facts from the fiction is easy. However, for most who have not read every biography and studied the Royal Family in depth can’t spot where the show’s creator, Peter Morgan took some creative licensing. So let us sort out where ‘The Crown’ is true to history and what parts have been dramatised.

Fact- The photographers in Kenya did not take pictures of The Queen as she left, right after finding out about the death of her father.

Fact- The young Queen Elizabeth often wore two-strand pearl necklaces, which she can be seen putting on many times in the series.

Fiction- The trip to Scotland which the Queen Mother takes happened in 1952, not 1953.

Fiction- The unveiling of the statue of George VI was in 1955, not 1953.

Fact- Winston Churchill had his secretaries read him his papers through the door while he had a bath.

Fiction- Prince Philip is seen to put up a fuss about having to bend a knee to his wife at her coronation, this is completely unproven.

Fact- King George VI had an operation in Buckingham Palace under the chandeliers, not in a hospital.

Fiction- Philip is seen as a foreign outsider. In reality, he is a distant relative, and both his mother and grandmother were born at Windsor Castle.

Fact- The Queen refers to being a mechanic during the war while Philip and she are in Kenya. She is the only female member of the Royal Family to serve in the armed forces.

Fact- The Queen’s coronation was the first coronation to be aired on television.

Fact- The 6-month tour that Philip and took gained them international respect.

“You can never tell how it goes down,” said Morgan at a press conference for the show.

“I’m sure there are a lot of things the royal family prefer me not to write about. But when you give people the option to tell their version of their own life, you often end up with a bland, Photoshopped version of reality.”

So in all the show is very fact heavy, but do take everything with a grain of salt.

Have you watched ‘The Crown’? Tell us what you thought in the comments:

  • Carrie

    Just finished watching. Absolutely loved it. I have to wonder if the Queen ever regrets her decision not to let her sister marry the man she truly loved.

    • Douglas Sutherland-Bruce

      Margaret could have married the group captain – but it would have meant renouncing her Civil List pension and position in the succession. She chose the cash.

  • Karen119

    I haven’t seen the series yet and, in light of the criticisms I have read, am not sure I will.

  • Bubbaloo

    Did Princess Margaret view her father’s body while he was being embalmed??? Seems morbid and highly unlikely that would have happened.

    • soxfan

      I work in a funeral home and find it very unlikely that she would be allowed to see her father during the embalming process. Royal or not royal, there is discretion. It is very jarring to see the embalming being done.

  • Charles Switzer

    I thought it was absolutely amazing and I look forward to 5 more seasons. The only thing I noticed was the timing of the mammoth six month coronation tour. It seemed like they played it as happening in 1955 or 1956. It was the end of November 1953-late May 1954.

  • bearzy123

    I watched all 10 episodes in one day. I couldn’t pull myself away.. beautifully produced and the actors superb.. I have gnawing questions, however.. Was the relationship(Queen/Phillip) really as contentious as portrayed ?? That and the dust up with Margaret appear to be at the core of the issues the Royal family had to deal with.. All the other stuff, dealing with Churchill’s government hacks, who Elizabeth’s private secretary is, Phillip’s philandering, is all moot.. Now, I have to wait for the next five seasons….I hope I last..

  • Bruce McNaught

    Wonderful show. I couldn’t get away. I wonder how Charles can possibly become king given the precedents that this show brought out so wonderfully well.


    This should have been on the “Lifetime” network. Unless you don’t waste you time on learning actual history, you might enjoy it. Its all conjecture and added drama for the sake of it.

    John Lithgow was the best part of this series. He was phenomenal as Winston Churchill. As an amateur historian, I have watched Churchill’s speeches and every documentry I can find, Lithgow nailed it.

  • ChrisL

    Also factually wrong was in Ep 1. The Queen Mother and Queen Mary would have known Philip’s Mother and her sad history. The QM would not have said “and the Mother..” as though she was some common outsider. She was eccentric and had suffered a breakdown. But Princess Alice was actually by birth more Royal than either of the two Queens in question. Certainly the QM. She was the Great Granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

  • ChrisL

    Another factual inaccuracy when Charteris is discussing what name Elizabeth should take he says that her father was Albert and chose George .. this is true. But then says and his brother chose Edward but was David. This is wrong. His family name was David, it was his last christian name but his actual name was Edward.

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