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Top 5 Facts The Crown Got Wrong

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Savannah Sher The crown has been great at preserving historical accuracy throughout the first season but there are some facts that they did get wrong. Apparently Prince Phillip’s comments to the Kenyan dignitaries never actually happened? While Prince Philip is known to put his foot in his mouth, he was never that disrespectful as shown in the scene. The fog didn’t cause the panic. . While it’s true that many died as a result of the thick smog that overtook the city, this was mostly realized after the fact and there wasn’t actually a sense of panic or emergency during the event itself. Phillip did not refuse to kneel before Elizabeth either. The idea that he would want to break tradition and dishonor his wife in that way is unrealistic - though it may have been meant to represent the other ways in which he disagreed with Elizabeth. It made for good television though!
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Top 5 Facts The Crown Got Wrong


While this Netflix original is pretty historically accurate, we have noticed some notable changes. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 5 Facts The Crown Got Wrong.
For this list, we’re looking at some alterations and inconsistencies that the creators of “The Crown” made when adapting the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s life.

#5: The Timeline of King George VI's Lung Cancer

In one of the first scenes of the first episode of “The Crown”, we see King George VI suffering from serious symptoms of his lung cancer. This scene and the rest of the episode are set in 1947, but in fact George didn’t actually receive a lung cancer diagnosis until several years later. Similarly, in the scene depicting the operation where the king has one of his lungs removed, his family is shown sitting in a waiting room when in fact it was only his wife who was present in the Palace during the actual in-home surgery.

#4: Prince Philip's Comments to the Kenyan Dignitaries

In 1952, when King George died, Elizabeth and Philip were in fact on a trip visiting countries of the commonwealth, including Kenya. Most things about this trip were depicted accurately except for the scene where Prince Philip makes some insensitive comments to the Kenyan dignitaries. There is no record of this exchange actually taking place but Philip has become known over the years for putting his foot in his mouth on important occasions, so we’re guessing the show’s creators wanted to make a representation of this.

#3: Elizabeth's Pregnancy Timeline Was Wrong

This change is a minor one, but if you’re looking to the show for historical accuracy you would have definitely noticed it. In the opening episode, we see Elizabeth and Philip’s wedding and then a sequence of scenes from their first year as a married couple. Then the caption reads “Twelve months later, eight months pregnant” but this isn’t quite accurate. Their wedding took place on November 20th, 1947 and Prince Charles was born on November 14th, 1948 meaning that twelve months after their wedding, he was almost a week old.

#2: The Fog Didn't Cause Panic

“The Crown” focuses an entire episode on the Great Smog of London, which took place over several days in December of 1952. While it’s true that many died as a result of the thick smog that overtook the city, this was mostly realized after the fact and there wasn’t actually a sense of panic or emergency during the event itself. During this same episode we see Winston Churchill’s secretary, a woman named Venetia Scott who is hit by a car during smog - but such a woman never existed. As such, the conflict it cause between Churchill and the queen was also fabricated.

#1: Philip Did Not Refuse to Kneel

In episode five of “The Crown”, we see the lead up to Elizabeth’s 1953 coronation as well as the event itself. One of the major storylines in this arc is the fact that Philip does not want to kneel in front of Elizabeth at the coronation. Firstly, there is no record of any conflict like this taking place, and considering Philip’s own royal upbringing, it seems unlikely he would be unwilling to follow protocol. The idea that he would want to break tradition and dishonor his wife in that way is unrealistic - though it may have been meant to represent the other ways in which he disagreed with Elizabeth. It made for good television though!
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