Advertisement

King George VI wasn’t sick yet in 1947

King George VI wasn’t sick yet in 1947
Shutterstock

The Crown opens in 1947 with King George VI (Queen Elizabeth II’s father) coughing up blood. However, in real life, King George VI, who died of lung cancer in 1952, was not yet ill in 1947. It wasn’t until a year later that George VI began to suffer from leg pain. Doctors diagnosed a circulatory blockage and performed surgery for that, and his lung cancer wasn’t diagnosed until 1951.

Find out why some Brits don’t want Prince Charles to be king.

The wedding didn’t go nearly so smoothly as depicted

The wedding didn’t go nearly so smoothly as depicted
Shutterstock

In the show, the wedding of the then-Princess Elizabeth and the then-Philip Mountbatten is treated as a fairytale-like affair. In real life, it involved a comedy of errors:

The diamond tiara Elizabeth wore – her ‘something borrowed’ ­ – snapped in half on the way to the wedding. It was quickly fixed by an on-call court jeweller, but not to perfection. In the real-life wedding photos, a gap in the tiara is clearly visible.

Elizabeth forgot her pearl necklace and sent her secretary to retrieve it, but the traffic was so bad, the secretary had to make most of the journey on foot.

Elizabeth’s bridal bouquet went missing (but was eventually discovered in a cooler).

Read on for some things you probably didn’t know about Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen’s mother-in-law didn’t show up to the wedding dressed as a nun

The Queen’s mother-in-law didn’t show up to the wedding dressed as a nun
Shutterstock

The first time we see Philip’s mother in The Crown, the Princess Andrew (also known as Princess Alice of Battenberg), she’s dressed as a nun, as if to illustrate her well-documented eccentricities. Eccentric as she was, however, in real life she wore a simple, silk dress to her son’s wedding. That’s not to say she didn’t wear a habit to Elizabeth’s coronation several years later, which, in fact, she did (by then, she had actually become a nun).

Here are some things you didn’t know about Queen Elizabeth II’s marriage.

Her Majesty never had a crush on ‘Porchie’

Her Majesty never had a crush on ‘Porchie’
Shutterstock

Toward the end of season one, when Elizabeth and Philip’s marriage is under intense strain, The Crown depicts the relationship between Elizabeth and her childhood friend, Lord ‘Porchie’ Porchester, as being rife with sexual tension, while Philip grows increasingly jealous. In real life, however, this never happened. From the age of 13, Elizabeth had eyes for only one man: Philip. Their fairy tale love story is the thing of legends, and Porchie was never a threat.

The tragic Venetia Scott didn’t actually exist

The tragic Venetia Scott didn’t actually exist
Shutterstock

In the show, Winston Churchill’s starstruck secretary Venetia Scott is mowed down by a bus as she hurries to Downing Street with an urgent message. Her death spurs the Prime Minister to put the Clean Air Act in motion. But was that really the case back in the 1950s? Did Venetia Scott actually exist? Well, no. The earnest secretary who memorises Churchill’s autobiography and struggles through the smog to work is actually one of The Crown’s few invented characters. Her life and death are both fictional. The Great Smog itself was certainly a real event, though. London was enveloped in a blanket of thick, poisonous smog for several days, leading to thousands of deaths and overburdened hospitals.

Tragic as it was, the fog wasn’t a political crisis

Tragic as it was, the fog wasn’t a political crisis
Shutterstock

Yes, the ‘pea-souper’ was less of a political crisis than The Crown makes out, so a dose of Venetia Scott adds tragedy to what was otherwise a devastating but undramatic event. This much is true: in 1952, a perfect storm of circumstances came together that caused London to be covered in a thick blanket of poisonous smog, and tragically, around 4000 people died as a result. So when The Crown depicted the horrors of the fog, it wasn’t taking liberties. Liberties were taken, however, in the show’s depiction of the resulting political upheaval, including Her Majesty’s displeasure with Winston Churchill’s handling of it (to the point where Elizabeth was considering asking for Churchill’s resignation). In fact, there was no such upheaval.

Advertisement

Philip’s ‘affair’ with that ballet dancer was pure speculation

Philip’s ‘affair’ with that ballet dancer was pure speculation
Shutterstock

The Crown depicts Prince Philip as more than just a bit of cad. While it’s true that the real Prince Philip is known for putting his foot in his mouth on many an occasion, there’s no evidence he had an affair with a Russian ballet dancer, as The Crown suggests. In fact, Time suggests the ballet dancer in question, Galina Ulanova, may not even have been heterosexual.

Find out Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t want you to know about Prince Philip.

Prince Philip didn’t stare down a raging elephant

Prince Philip didn’t stare down a raging elephant
Shutterstock

In the second episode of The Crown, just before Elizabeth learns that her father has died and that she’s now Queen, she and Philip have a terrifying encounter with a raging elephant on an African safari, which ends with Philip staring down the elephant and muttering something to the effect of, “Don’t mess with me, I’m going to be King.” However, that dramatic stare down didn’t happen in real life, PEOPLE reports.

Queen Elizabeth did not refuse her sister’s request to marry

Queen Elizabeth did not refuse her sister’s request to marry
Shutterstock

Much is made in The Crown of Queen Elizabeth II’s refusal to allow her sister, Princess Margaret, to marry Peter Townsend, including the Queen’s warning to Margaret that any such marriage will result in Margaret being shunned from the family. In real life, Elizabeth had been so keen on making sure her sister was happy that she had gone so far as to draw up papers that would permit Margaret to retain her royal title upon her marriage to Townsend, according to the BBC. So why didn’t the marriage happen? The relationship had simply run its course.

Don’t miss these rarely seen photos of royal siblings.

Prince Philip wasn’t blamed for the death of his sister, Cecilie

Prince Philip wasn’t blamed for the death of his sister, Cecilie
Shutterstock

The Crown implies that Philip’s misbehaviour at boarding school led to his sister, Cecilie, to get on the plane that killed her and her entire family in 1937. That’s not really what happened, however, royal historian Hugo Vickers tells Vogue. First, the supposed misbehaviour (a fist fight) never happened, and more importantly, Cecilie had planned on getting on that plane regardless of anything that was going on with her brother.

Check out these crazy conspiracy theories about the royal family.

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: