The Crown Trivia

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Coincidentally Helena Bonham Carter‘s uncle, Mark Bonham-Carter, briefly dated Princess Margaret, the very character Helena portrays in Seasons 3 and 4 of the series.289 of 291 found this interesting | Share thisThe series is one of the most expensive television series ever made. Each episode is budgeted at £5 million and it had already been commissioned for two seasons, with the intention of four more, before the first episode had even been completed, or any episode broadcast.944 of 964 found this interesting | Share thisQueen Elizabeth II has blue eyes, like her first portrayer Claire Foy. After Olivia Colman was cast as Elizabeth she was tested with blue contact lenses over her brown eyes, but it was decided they negatively affected her performance. Changing her eye color in postproduction was also tested, but according to the producers “it didn’t feel like her. CGI-ing her eyes seemed to diminish what she was doing.” Eventually it was decided to accept the continuity error.264 of 268 found this interesting | Share thisThe iconic black door of 10 Downing Street had to be made larger in scale so that John Lithgow, who is 6′ 4” (1,93m) in height, would not look significantly larger than the real-life Sir Winston Churchill, who, at this stage was around 5′ 6” (1,67m) tall.503 of 514 found this interesting | Share thisFor his role as Sir Winston ChurchillJohn Lithgow‘s dialect coach was William Conacher, who also had to coach the other mostly British cast because of subtle changes in English accents over the decades. Lithgow actually stuffed cotton in his nostrils in order to capture the faint nasal timbre of Churchill’s intonations, while a dialect evolutionist was on set to monitor the accuracy of accents over the time span of the series. It was noted, for example, that Queen Elizabeth II‘s pronunciation of vowels during the 1950s differs enormously from the way her grandson Prince Harry speaks today.526 of 540 found this interesting | Share thisHelen Mirren, who portrayed Elizabeth in The Queen (2006), dismissed speculation that she would succeed Olivia Colman after the series’ next time jump, stating “I think it’s more interesting when you see other portraits and it builds into a more interesting picture than just someone coming back”. Imelda Staunton was later selected to play Elizabeth in the final seasons.114 of 115 found this interesting | Share thisThis show is Netflix’s second most expensive project, budgeted at approximately £100 million, just behind The Get Down (2016), which cost around £120 million.358 of 368 found this interesting | Share thisOriginally, creator Peter Morgan envisaged the series as being sixty episodes in total over six seasons, with the first season depicting events up to 1955, but as production was wrapping on season 4 on January 2020, he announced his intention to conclude the series with season 5. However, in July 2020, Morgan announced that it would be in the end the predicted six seasons, because he needed more episodes to convey the story he wanted to.390 of 404 found this interesting | Share thisElizabeth’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie is a self-professed fan of the series.339 of 354 found this interesting | Share thisFor his role as Sir Winston Churchill, John Lithgow has said that the make-up process was remarkably uncomplicated and only took about twenty minutes to complete for each session. Apart from a wispy wig, a “plumpers” plate had to be attached to his back teeth in order to accentuate his jowls, and tight collars were used to “force” the characteristic Churchill “double chin”. This process was overseen by Ivana Primorac. Coincidentally Primorac and her team won the BAFTA for Best Make-up on Gary Oldman as Sir Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour (2017).256 of 267 found this interesting | Share thisClaire Foy is four years older than Vanessa Kirby in real life, which is the same age difference between their real-life characters Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret.353 of 373 found this interesting | Share thisJohn Lithgow (Sir Winston Churchill) was the only American actor playing a British character in the series through the second season. In the fourth season, Gillian Anderson, who was raised variously in the U.S. and England, plays Margaret Thatcher.225 of 236 found this interesting | Share thisAlthough the series makes it seem as though Princess Margaret and Roddy Llewelyn were only together for a short period of time, they were actually together for about 8 years.43 of 43 found this interesting | Share thisVanessa Kirby (Princess Margaret) doesn’t smoke in real life. So during production, she had to smoke herbal cigarettes.217 of 231 found this interesting | Share thisWhen Gillian Anderson was cast to play Margaret Thatcher, many fans argued that she was too sexy for the part.144 of 152 found this interesting | Share thisIn mid 2017, the British tabloids reported that Queen Elizabeth II had watched the series on the insistence of her son Prince Edward, and reportedly “really liked it, although obviously there were some depictions of events that she found too heavily dramatized. Claire Foy later stated she was skeptical of the rumors. During Elizabeth’s 2017 Christmas address, she referenced and included a clip of her first televised address, an event recently depicted in The Crown: Marionettes (2017).201 of 214 found this interesting | Share thisDialect coach William Conacher, who tutored Dame Helen Mirren for her Tony Award-winning role as Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan‘s 2013 play “The Audience”, had a peculiar challenge for Claire Foy and Matt Smith and their pronunciation of such simple terms as “thank you” and “was”. He was opposed to Foy attempting a clichéd impression of Her Majesty, so when he explained to her that the Queen barely opens her mouth when she speaks, Foy was better able to relax her jaw and enunciate “thank you” as a more brief, “thenk yu. Smith, on the other hand, had difficulty with the word “was” which he pronounced as “wuz”, when the more Princely intonation was more like, “whawz”.127 of 134 found this interesting | Share thisSeries creator Peter Morgan has previously worked on projects about Queen Elizabeth II‘s later life. His screenplay for The Queen (2006), which detailed the monarch’s reaction to the death of Princess Diana, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and starred Dame Helen Mirren in the title role. In addition, his critically acclaimed 2015 play The Audience, also starred Mirren as the Queen, and ultimately inspired this series.182 of 194 found this interesting | Share thisDuring a panel discussion at the 2018 INTV Conference in Jerusalem, producers of the show admitted that Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth) was paid less than Matt Smith (Prince Philip) during the first and second seasons of the program. They apologized for that error and promised that in the future seasons, any actress playing Queen Elizabeth would receive compensation equal to any actor playing Prince Philip. Producer Andrew Mackie quipped, “going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.”192 of 205 found this interesting | Share thisThe Leica camera used by Antony Armstrong-Jones Snowdon was renowned for having a silent shutter which made it popular for photographers taking unobtrusive and candid shots. The Foley artist added the noise.101 of 106 found this interesting | Share thisThe coronation dress worn is a replica that was originally commissioned and made by Harrods for a celebratory window display in 2012 for the Queen’s jubilee. The dress was made and is owned by Angels Costumes who they hired many of the costumes for for the series. Despite being made to a mannequin size, Claire Foy fit the dress perfectly and was the first person to ever wear it.76 of 79 found this interesting | Share thisClaire Foy was breast-feeding her newborn infant during production of the first season. When she first read the script, she was already five months pregnant and, as such, never dreamed she’d have a chance of landing a leading role.296 of 319 found this interesting | Share thisDue to rights issues, the show could not use the real photographs taken by Antony Armstrong-Jones Snowdon, so the photographer Julian Broad was asked to create images in the spirit of Armstrong-Jones’ work to be shown in some scenes, such as the exhibition opening. Broad had previously worked as an assistant to the real Armstrong-Jones for two years during the 1980s.72 of 75 found this interesting | Share thisAlex Jennings plays the abdicated Duke of Windsor. Jennings previously starred as another royal family member, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, in The Queen (2006). Both projects were written by Peter Morgan. Jennings is now renowned for playing royals. He also portrayed King George III in Liberty! The American Revolution (1997), and King Leopold I of Belgium (whose wife Princess Charlotte of Wales died before she could become Queen of the United Kingdom) in Victoria (2016).169 of 182 found this interesting | Share thisOlivia Colman played Margaret Thatcher‘s daughter, Carol Thatcher, in The Iron Lady (2011).25 of 25 found this interesting | Share thisPaul Bettany was in talks to play Prince Philip in seasons three and four, but withdrew due to problems finding mutually agreeable filming dates. Tobias Menzies was subsequently cast in the role instead.60 of 64 found this interesting | Share thisThe day Vanessa Kirby did her screentest for Princess Margaret, she had earlier applied self tanner on her ankles only. For her audition, she switched into a skirt that exposed more of her legs and showed her legs as being her natural shade and her tanned ankles as bright orange. Peter Morgan later revealed that the appearance of her ankles was so distracting, it almost cost her the job.107 of 117 found this interesting | Share thisOn November 1, 2016, the first two episodes were released theatrically in the United Kingdom.108 of 119 found this interesting | Share thisOlivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter, who took over the roles of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret respectively in season three, previously played the Queen Mother. Colman in Hyde Park on Hudson (2012) and Carter in The King’s Speech (2010).55 of 59 found this interesting | Share thisConservative British journalist Charles Moore denounced the choice of Olivia Colman to play Queen Elizabeth II, claiming that she had a “left-wing face”. Colman thought this “ridiculous”.67 of 76 found this interesting | Share thisIn an early reading of the series in 2014, Queen Elizabeth II was played by Felicity Jones.127 of 149 found this interesting | Share thisThe Crown is the most expensive Netflix Original TV show ever made. Each season costs $130-$140 million. Not only is it Netflix’s most expensive TV show, but it’s the most expensive TV show to date.45 of 50 found this interesting | Share this“Toothmeister” Chris Lyons created a pair of tooth blobs for the character of Sir Winston Churchill that he attached to John Lithgow‘s back teeth causing an alteration in his diction and his jowls to pucker.42 of 48 found this interesting | Share thisPatrick Ryecart plays the Duke of Norfolk. In real life, he was previously married to Marsha Fitzalan, daughter of the 17th Duke of Norfolk.26 of 29 found this interesting | Share thisKing George VI is played by Jared Harris, while his real-life father, King George V, was played by Michael Gambon in The King’s Speech (2010). Harris’ real-life father, Richard Harris, played Albus Dumbledore, and was replaced by Gambon after he died.113 of 140 found this interesting | Share thisDespite playing her younger sister, Helena Bonham Carter is actually almost 8 years older than Olivia Colman.21 of 23 found this interesting | Share thisOlivia Colman, who took over the role as Queen Elizabeth II in season three from Claire Foy, played an earlier Queen for which she won an Oscar, Queen Anne, in The Favourite (2018) with Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.45 of 53 found this interesting | Share thisIn March 1974 while on their return by car to Buckingham Palace, a kidnap attempt was made on Princess Anne and husband Captain Mark Phillips. Many royal history buffs have been astonished to note that this significant event was omitted in the popular series.14 of 15 found this interesting | Share thisAs spoken in an interview with Vanessa KirbyJared Harris said that while he was playing the role of King George VI, he had a cold at the same time his character was also sick.77 of 98 found this interesting | Share thisWhen asked about the hardest part of playing the Queen, Olivia Colman said on an interview that it was not to give in to the emotion in certain moments, because she herself cries easily and the Queen is notoriously restrained in showing her emotions. So for those moments Colman often has to stop herself from crying, which she does by trying to remove herself mentally from the emotion of the scene.8 of 8 found this interesting | Share thisAmerican divorcée, Wallis Simpson, for whom King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in order to marry – (paving the way for Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI (Albert, or “Bertie”) and then Queen Elizabeth II herself to take the throne) – is played by Geraldine Chaplin, the daughter of famed early film actor Charles Chaplin (and is mother to Oona Chaplin, also an actress, who appeared on Game of Thrones (2011) alongside Tobias Menzies).18 of 21 found this interesting | Share thisFilming took place at Ely Cathedral in Ely, Cambridgeshire in August 2015, and at IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire between November 2015 and March 2016.62 of 82 found this interesting | Share thisIn The Crown: Terra Nullius (2020), in a montage scene the voice of an Australian newscaster is heard. That voice is an uncredited Olivia Colman who is normally found playing The Queen.5 of 5 found this interesting | Share thisHelena Bonham Carter (Princess Margaret) portrayed Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in the Oscar winning film The King’s Speech (2010) for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.18 of 24 found this interesting | Share thisThe secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the UK asked Netflix to put a warning on The Crown stating that it is fictional.7 of 8 found this interesting | Share thisClaire Foy who played Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons was married to actor Stephen Campbell Moore who played Queen Elizabeth’s uncle King Edward VIII (Duke of Windsor) in a movie about Edward’s relationship with his wife Wallis Warfield Simpson (Duchess of Windsor).27 of 40 found this interesting | Share thisFilming of season two took place in various locations across Harlow, Essex in March 2017.28 of 42 found this interesting | Share thisClaire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II) and Kate Phillips (Venetia Scott) played Henry VIII wives in the mini-series Wolf Hall (2015). Foy played Anne Boleyn and Philllips played Jane Seymour.28 of 44 found this interesting | Share thisIn the first two seasons Martin Charteris is played by Harry Hadden-Paton and in in the next two is being played by Charles Edwards. Both men were on the show Downton Abbey (2010) and were in relationships with the character Lady Edith Crawley. Charles Edwards played her boyfriend Michael Gregson with whom she had a daughter and Harry Hadden-Paton played Bertie Pelham whom she later marries.19 of 30 found this interesting | Share thisJosh O’Connor (Prince Charles), Olivia Colman (Queen Elizabeth II) and Erin Doherty (Princess Anne) have all appeared in the TV show Les Misérables (2018). They played Marius Pontmercy, Madame Thénardier and Fabienne respectively.16 of 25 found this interesting | Share thisIn the Doctor Who (2005) episode Doctor Who: The Wedding of River Song (2011), Matt Smith‘s Doctor acted as an advisor to Sir Winston Churchill. The character of Churchill also appears in this series, and is portrayed by John Lithgow.90 of 192 found this interesting | Share thisThis marks the second time that John Lithgow has shared a role with Robert Hardy, and they are both political leaders from the World War II era. They have now each played former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Sir Winston Churchill.25 of 49 found this interesting | Share thisClaire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II) and Eileen Atkins (Queen Mary) appeared in the first season of Upstairs Downstairs (2010).18 of 34 found this interesting | Share thisHarry Hadden-Paton (Martin Charteris, seasons 1-2) Charles Edwards (Martin Charteris, seasons 3-4), and Matthew Goode (Antony Armstrong-Jones Snowdon, season 2) all appeared on Downton Abbey (2010).6 of 9 found this interesting | Share thisJeremy Northam (Anthony Eden) and Anton Lesser (Harold MacMillan) previously played Thomas More. Northam in The Tudors (2007), Lesser in Wolf Hall (2015).12 of 28 found this interesting | Share thisEd Stoppard (Tony Longdon) and Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II) played brother and sister-in-law in Upstairs Downstairs (2010).13 of 33 found this interesting | Share thisBoth Matt Smith and Tobias Menzies were in Doctor Who: Cold War (2013).10 of 25 found this interesting | Share thisDuring the pre-title “panelists arriving for the recording” sequences of the Sky/CPL series “A League of their Own”, while some of the series was recorded during their Elstree (Film) Studios George Lucas Stage period, a large distinct exterior standing set, with green screen elements, can be seen in the background. This is the Buckingham Palace exterior set built on the Elstree backlot located close to the George Lucas Stage, and the large Elstree Studios water tank site, which was at the time was being used as the “Big Brother (UK)” house. This also explains news reports during the time of filming this show that live “Big Brother” events would affect filming of this show – most obviously the noisy crowds and fireworks, as the two different series’ sets and studios are literally back-to-back.8 of 19 found this interesting | Share thisWill Keen (Michael Adeane), Joseph Kloska (Porchey), and David Yelland (Commander Vyner) also worked together on Foyle’s War: The Hide (2010) as Alan Deakin, D.C. Perkins, and Sir Charles Devereaux, respectively.5 of 11 found this interesting | Share thisThis isn’t the first foray for actor Alex Jennings, who plays David, Duke of Windsor. He also played Prince Charles in the movie ‘The Queen.’1 of 1 found this interesting | Share thisClaire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II), Eileen Atkins (Queen Mary), and Ed Stoppard (Tony Longdon) also worked together on Upstairs Downstairs (2010) as Lady Persephone Towyn, Maud, Lady Holland, and Sir Hallam Holland, respectively.7 of 19 found this interesting | Share thisBoth Alex Jennings (David, Duke of Windsor S1-2) and Emerald Fennell (Camilla Shand S3) also appeared on Victoria (2016), another series about a queen regnant. Jennings played King Leopold of Belgium, and Fennell appeared as Ada Lovelace.2 of 4 found this interesting | Share thisAngus Imrie (Prince Edward) previously played Prince Arthur (Henry VIII’s brother) on the Starz series The Spanish Princess (2019).3 of 8 found this interesting | Share thisAnton Lesser (Harold MacMillan) and Ben Miles (Peter Townsend) appeared on The Hollow Crown (2012) as Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter and Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset (Exeter’s nephew), respectively.4 of 13 found this interesting | Share thisMatthew Goode (Tony Armstrong-Jones) and Harry Treadaway (Roddy Llewellyn) are both born in the city of Exeter, in Devon. Both characters are romantically involved with Princess Margaret.

Helena Bonham Carter (Princess Margaret) has worked with another actor from the city, Ben Aldridge, in the TV movie Toast (2010). They played Mrs. Potter and Stuart respectively.4 of 13 found this interesting | Share thisThis show is a historical drama web television series, created and principally written by Peter Morgan and produced by Left Bank Pictures and Sony Pictures Television for Netflix.8 of 35 found this interesting | Share this

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.In this series, Queen Elizabeth II is portrayed as opposing Princess Margaret‘s proposed marriage to Group Captain Peter Townsend, on the grounds that he was divorced. This is a common public misconception. However, papers in the National Archives, which were made public in 2004, show that the Queen and Anthony Eden, the British Prime Minster at the time, drew up an agreement to allow the marriage to take place as long as Princess Margaret renounced her right, and that of her children, to the throne. Nevertheless, Margaret announced, three days after the agreement had been finalized, that she would not marry Townsend after all.283 of 290 found this interesting | Share thisThe series accurately portrays King George VI‘s speech impediment, which was a terrible stutter. This aspect of his life was previously detailed in the Oscar-winning movie The King’s Speech (2010).374 of 394 found this interesting | Share thisThe first season of this show proceeds with its storylines on Edward VIII’s abdication and later treatment by the royal family and British government without revealing the extent to which that treatment was colored by his and his wife’s sympathy to (and possible collusion with) the Nazis and Adolf Hitler. The extent of these actions was detailed in British government files (the Marburg and Windsor Files) that were suppressed by Sir Winston Churchill on national security grounds and not published until 1957. They revealed not only the extent of Edward and Wallis’ Nazi sympathies, but also the details of a bizarre Nazi plot to overthrow King George VI during World War II and reinstall Edward as king of England, this time as Hitler’s puppet. This element of Edward and Wallis’ characters was addressed in greater detail during the show’s second season.116 of 122 found this interesting | Share thisContrary to the way it is portrayed in the series, Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor (Lia Williams) was not present in the room during the Duke of Windsor‘s abdication radio broadcast.101 of 109 found this interesting | Share thisSeveral actresses in the series have previously played other English queens. Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II) starred as Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall (2015). As well as this, Victoria Hamilton (Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) played Queen Victoria in Victoria & Albert (2001). Eileen Atkins, who is playing Queen Mary of Teck for the second time (she previously starred as the monarch in Bertie and Elizabeth (2002)), played Eleanor of Aquitaine (wife of Henry II) in Robin Hood (2010). In addition to these portrayals, Kate Phillips (Venetia Scott) played Jane Seymour (third wife of Henry VIII) in Wolf Hall (2015). In the series, her character supplants Anne Boleyn played by Claire FoyOlivia Colman (Elizabeth the II) plays Queen Anne in the The Favourite (2018).107 of 128 found this interesting | Share thisSeason Three portrays the Queen’s interaction with her art advisor, Anthony Blunt, and the revelation that Blunt had been a Soviet spy, of which she was informed in 1964. Blunt is played by Samuel West, who previously portrayed him in Cambridge Spies (2003). In addition, West is the son of Prunella Scales, who played the Queen in Screen One: A Question of Attribution (1991), an earlier drama which also focused on the Queen’s relationship with Blunt and covered the revelation of his espionage.34 of 43 found this interesting | Share this

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