Most of us have watched Netflix’s popular series The Crown, and if you’ve not watched it, you’ve at least heard about it from someone.
It’s a historical drama that follows Queen Elizabeth II’s life from her 1947 wedding and on. Each season covers roughly ten years, and the third season premiered on Netflix last year covering the years 1964 to 1977. Two further seasons are expected to cover The Queen’s life into the early 2000s.
Many have taken everything in the series as fact while experts like Hugo Vickers have analysed the show and pointed out discrepancies in the series with real life. I was given a copy of The Crown Dissected Seasons 1, 2, and 3 for a review, and it really changed the way I go back and watch episodes of the show.
Vickers breaks down each season, episode by episode where he literally dissects the episodes and shares his thoughts. He tells what happened in the episode and then the truth of what really happened.
For example, in season 2’s episode 6, The Queen’s interest in American evangelical Billy Graham is the focus as is the Duke of Windsor and the Marburg Papers saga. He explains the episode and then reveals the truth in that the papers existed and some extracts were published that annoyed the Duke. The extent to the drama of the show was not the reality of what really happened, however. Vickers sets the record straight on another matter, as well. The Duke of Windsor was not banished from Britain to where he could only return with The Queen’s permission. He could come and go as he pleased informally.
Vickers updated his book once season three was released. He discussed what The Crown got wrong with US President Lyndon B. Johnson and The Queen. The show claims the President was invited to Balmoral by The Queen, which there is no evidence to back up. He spoke about Princess Margaret’s trip to the US and said that The Crown was correct in saying her and Lord Snowdon’s trip was both private and public. The dinner she had at the White House was formal and not the party affair the show claimed, and she wasn’t offered the Order of Merit or Royal Victorian Chain after the trip.
I knew watching The Crown that some things had been exaggerated for dramatic effect and that there was no way writers would know private conversations the royals had with one another. After reading Vickers’ analysis, I was shocked at just how much was changed from reality for the show. Going forward, I’ll definitely be a bit more sceptical watching the show.
If you want to know what to believe in The Crown and what not to believe, this book is definitely a must-read!
We did an interview with The Crown Dissected‘s author Hugo Vickers which you can read here.