In honor of the Netflix royal drama’s Golden Globe nominations, we’re looking back on all of the real-life events The Crown got right.
The Crown‘s season four subtitle should really be “The Story of Charles and Diana.”
Much like viewers of the royal wedding in 1981, fans of the Netflix royal drama have anxiously awaited the arrival of Princess Diana (played to near-perfection by Emma Corrin) for almost two years.
And it turns out the wait was well worth it as the late Princess of Wales was the clear star of the new episodes, which depicted the tumultuous relationship between her and Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor), from their first meeting through the early ’90s. In the ten episodes, Diana’s private battle with bulimia, deep loneliness and feelings about Charles’ love for Camilla Parker-Bowles are all covered. Fans were engrossed in the retelling, as were the HFPA with Corrin and O’Connor earning Golden Globe nominations for their portrayals of Diana and Charles in addition to The Crown‘s fourth nod for Best Drama.
But just how accurate is creator Peter Morgan‘s take on Charles and Diana’s relationship, its demise and Diana’s role in the royal family?
In addition to the tale of Charles and Diana, season four also highlights the complicated dynamic between Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman) and Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), the first female prime minister.
To recreate monumental events and the private innerworkings of the British monarchy, The Crown turns to Robert Lacey, its historical consultant.
“It’s all true, but it’s true in two different ways,” the British historian said on Australia’s The Morning Show in 2019. “There’s a difference between history and the past. We, historians, are like gardeners: we stand there with a sieve, and all the events of the past go through the sieve, and a lot of it falls below.
“What’s left in the sieve, that’s the history that the historian deals with,” he continued. “But lots of things pass through and can only be accessed by informed invention and imagination, and that’s what we do with The Crown. We do incredible research.”
So just how much was left in the sieve for Morgan and Lacey to mine from? Here’s everything The Crown got right about the royals and what they chose to change in season four…
The Crown is now streaming on Netflix.
(Originally published on Sunday, Nov 15. 2020 at 3:10 p.m. PT)