Netflix drama “The Crown” is winning critical acclaim both in Britain and the US.
The Guardian said Netflix’s £100 million ($124 million) gamble on the show “pays off royally,” while The Hollywood Reporter predicted that it will be in contention for a hatful of awards.
It might pack a punch in the drama stakes, but how faithful is it to reality?
“The Crown” applies plenty of artistic license. But it is also clear that key moments in the Queen’s ascent to the throne are carefully recreated in the show’s opening episodes. Find out how faithful the Netflix drama is to history by looking through these real images of the Queen juxtaposed with shots from ‘The Crown.’
“The Crown” opens with the Queen’s marriage to Prince Philip in November 1947. These two images show the attention to detail in the Netflix drama’s costumes. Actress Claire Foy’s dress features the intricate embroidery of the real thing.
“The Crown” also captures the newlyweds’ official photo shoot at Buckingham Palace. In the drama, the photographer plays with interchangeable backdrops, but the history books show that a simple curtain made do.
The Buckingham Palace balcony is home to iconic royal moments. “The Crown” provided an insiders’ perspective on the view over the gleeful crowds around the Victoria Memorial.
The Queen and Prince Philip had two children: Prince Charles and Princess Anne. Official photos show Philip being playful with the young royals — the spirit of which was recreated by actor Matt Smith in “The Crown.”
Soon after these idyllic family moments, the Queen’s father King George VI became ill with lung cancer. King George was played by Jared Harris in “The Crown.”
After King George had surgery to remove a lung, the Queen was sent on a tour of the Commonwealth in his place. The trip began in Nairobi, Kenya, where Elizabeth was greeted by local dignitaries. “The Crown” captured this moment, staying faithful to the Queen’s polka dot dress.
During their visit, the Queen and Prince Philip stayed in the Sagana Lodge, which was a wedding gift from the people of Kenya. This is where Elizabeth learned of her father’s death and officially became the Queen.
The royals cut short their Commonwealth tour to return to the UK. Elizabeth’s nervy descent from her BOAC plane marked her first act as Queen on British soil. The image from the time shows she was greeted by then Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
The Queen was pictured in mourning in her father’s funeral cortege. Her veiled face in the back of a black car is a poignant moment in “The Crown.”
June 1953 marked Elizabeth’s Coronation as the Queen of England. As part of the celebrations at Westminster Abbey, Prince Philip bowed to his wife.
“The Crown” depicted the Queen sitting for celebrated fashion photographer Cecil Beaton’s famous portrait soon after the Coronation.