The Crown is a captivating historical drama that delves into the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. It was created and primarily written by Peter Morgan exclusively for Netflix.
Morgan drew inspiration from his previous works, including the drama film The Queen (2006) and his stage play The Audience (2013).
The first season of the show centres around the period from Queen Elizabeth's marriage to Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1947, to the unraveling of her sister Princess Margaret's engagement to Group Captain Peter Townsend in 1955.
It is one of the most watched shows in Netflix history and continues to entertain millions of people around the world.
But if you've never seen it, then let's take a look at what it is all about…
What Is The Crown About?
The Crown is a captivating look at the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, from her life as a young woman, a mother, a wife and a sister through to the difficulties faced as Monarch and the pressures that brings with it.
Season one focuses on Queen Elizabeth II's early reign, her marriage to Prince Philip, and her relationship with Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
The show begins with a young and relatively inexperienced Princess Elizabeth (Claire Foy) marrying Philip Mountbatten (Matt Smith), who becomes the Duke of Edinburgh.
Following the sudden death of her father, King George VI (Jared Harris), Elizabeth ascends to the throne and becomes Queen Elizabeth II. She faces numerous challenges in her new role, including managing the expectations of her government, the public, and her own family.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill (John Lithgow) serves as a guiding force during these early years of Elizabeth's reign. The series delves into their relationship as Churchill provides advice and mentorship to the young queen.
The personal lives of the royal family also come under scrutiny. Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby), Elizabeth's younger sister, falls in love with Group Captain Peter Townsend (Ben Miles), a divorced man. However, their relationship faces opposition due to societal and religious pressures.
Additionally, the show examines the strained marriage between Elizabeth and Philip, as they grapple with their differing roles and responsibilities. Philip struggles to find his place as the queen's consort and battles with feelings of emasculation and frustration.
The first season of The Crown also offers a glimpse into the private meetings held between the queen and her prime ministers. These intimate conversations reveal the challenges faced by Elizabeth as she learns to navigate the political landscape and balance her personal convictions with the demands of her position.
Throughout the season, The Crown beautifully captures the grandeur and pomp of royal ceremonies, while also exploring the human stories behind the public façade. It provides a rich tapestry of historical events and intimate character moments that shape the early years of Queen Elizabeth II's reign.
The Crown Season 1 Official Trailer
Is The Crown Worth Watching?
With its meticulous attention to detail, superb performances, and compelling storytelling, The Crown invites viewers to witness the complexities of power, duty, and personal sacrifice in the life of one of the world's most renowned monarchs.
It is genuinely difficult to find fault with The Crown and while some have commented on the historical accuracy of the show, I for one spent a great deal of time googling various characters and people who were in it and it's pretty close to what is factually known.
That said, the inner workings and private conversations held between members of the Royal family are always going to be up for debate so some artistic licence is bound to have been taken.
Aside from all of that, The Crown is a thoroughly watchable show that is both engaging and intriguing in equal measure and is also a handy guide if you fancy brushing up on your history!
And if historical drama's are your thing then check out Siege Of Jadotville, an excellent movie about the true story of the Irish soldiers that defended the African town from attack in 1961.
How Many Seasons Of The Crown?
The Crown is divided into multiple seasons, with each season covering a specific period of Queen Elizabeth II's reign.
Here is a brief overview of the plots for each season:
Season 1 (2016): This season focuses on Queen Elizabeth II's early reign. It includes stories about her marriage to Prince Philip, and her relationship with Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Season 2 (2017): The second season is set during the 1960s and delves into the Suez Crisis, the Profumo affair, and the Queen's evolving role as a public figure.
Season 3 (2019): Introduces an older cast to portray the characters as they age. It covers events such as the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Aberfan disaster, and the political career of Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
Season 4 (2020): Explores the relationship between the Queen and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Falklands War, and Prince Charles's romance with Lady Diana Spencer.
Season 5 & Season 6: The final two seasons of the show are expected to focus on the 1990s and early 2000s, depicting events like the divorces of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as well as Princess Diana's tragic death.
How Accurate Is The Crown?
While The Crown is a work of fiction, it is known for its attention to historical detail. However, some events and conversations portrayed in the show are dramatised or fictionalised for storytelling purposes.
The show's creator, Peter Morgan, has stated that he takes certain creative liberties to explore the emotional truth of the characters rather than adhere strictly to historical accuracy.
It's important to approach the show as a fictionalised retelling of historical events, rather than a definitive account.
Where Was The Crown Filmed?
Various locations across the United Kingdom were used for filming. The production made use of both real-life historical sites and carefully recreated sets to bring the story to life.
The majority of the indoor scenes, including the grand interiors of Buckingham Palace, were filmed at Elstree Studios. Lancaster House in London served as a stand-in for Buckingham Palace in several scenes, showcasing its opulent rooms and grandeur.
The iconic Hatfield House was used to depict various exteriors of Buckingham Palace and other royal residences. Ely Cathedral was utilised for filming the coronation scenes in the series.
Wilton House was chosen as a filming location for its remarkable architecture and beautiful grounds and Belvoir Castle was used as the backdrop for Windsor Castle in certain scenes.
Cast And Characters In The Show
The Crown boasts a talented cast that has changed over the seasons to reflect the ageing of the characters.
Queen Elizabeth II: Claire Foy (Seasons 1-2), Olivia Colman (Seasons 3-4), Imelda Staunton (upcoming seasons).
Prince Philip: Matt Smith (Seasons 1-2), Tobias Menzies (Seasons 3-4), Jonathan Pryce (upcoming seasons).
Princess Margaret: Vanessa Kirby (Seasons 1-2), Helena Bonham Carter (Seasons 3-4), Lesley Manville (upcoming seasons).
Prince Charles: Josh O'Connor (Seasons 3-4), Dominic West (season 5)
Diana, Princess of Wales: Emma Corrin (season 4) and Elizabeth Debicki (season 5)
Winston Churchill: John Lithgow (Seasons 1-2)
Margaret Thatcher: Gillian Anderson (season 4)
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