The Crown vs. reality: What’s true and what’s not?


For many people around the world, Netflix is life. Whether you binge-watch a whole series in one day or pace yourself over a couple of months, you’ll know that there is nothing better than getting your teeth stuck into a good ol’ TV series. Of course, nothing compares to the excitement and the impatience you feel when you finish that series and have to wait months for the next installment to come out, but it does open up a new door for you… You just watch the previous seasons again! That’s exactly what we have done with the biographical drama, The Crown. Yet, have you ever wondered whether the story of Queen Elizabeth II and her family is true to life? Here’s what’s fact and what’s fiction.

Elizabeth’s relationship with Philip

As soon as the first episode of season one of The Crown got underway, we knew that Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II were a couple. They soon got married, had babies, and lived happily ever after… or so we thought! As season two came around, we began to question Philip’s place in the marriage. He was distant, he was always going off for late-night rendezvous, and there was even hints that he was unfaithful to his wife (and the Queen of England) on numerous occasions. But is that true? There is no evidence to suggest that Prince Philip has been unfaithful to Elizabeth in real life. Like many celebrities, he has often been the subject of rumor and controversy, but the storyline in season two was made up for entertainment purposes. Phew!

Winston Churchill’s lost painting

Although we love to get to grips with the royal family in The Crown, this show also allowed us an insight into the life of the legendary war-time British prime minister, Winston Churchill. During one particular storyline, Winston allows the artist Graham Sutherland to paint his portrait. The pair have a strained relationship, but dedicate months of hard work and silence to perfect the famous portrait. However, fans of the show will know that Winston was not best pleased and eventually set it on fire in his backyard. Wanna know something? This is completely true! This particular portrait is considered one of the greatest lost arts in history.

The ill-fated love of Margaret and Peter Townsend

No epic television series would be complete without some form of love affair, and it was the one between Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend that had us all on the edge of our seats. The show actually portrays a true-to-life story of what really happened with the couple. They entered into an affair while Peter was still married, and although his wife eventually cheated on him – he was tainted goods. Divorcees were taboo back in the day, and nobody would accept a romantic relationship between the Princess and a divorced man. It was an unhappy ending after all.

Prince Charles’ time at Gordonstoun

In season two of The Crown, we were able to get a little glimpse into the life of the young Prince Charles, as he is forced to attend the same boarding school as his father, Gordonstoun. During these episodes, we see Prince Charles being taunted and bullied – and he hated every second of it. It seems as though this part of the story was not made up for entertainment purposes. In fact, Prince Charles has been very open about the fact that he hated his time in Gordonstoun School, and called it “a prison sentence.” Much like the Netflix series, Charles was forced to run in freezing cold conditions, and was bullied around the clock, forcing him to become lonely and secluded.

The Crown is one of the best new television dramas to come onto our screens, but we bet you’ve wondered how much of it is true and how much of it is fiction? Well, although the creators of the show love to use real-life events to bulk out their episodes, there has to be some form of fiction thrown in for good measure. After all, how will they know every last word the royal family have spoken?