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Top 10 Facts The Crown (Season 2) Got Right/Wrong

VO: EB WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
Script written by Savannah Sher Season 2 was touted as one of the best TV has to offer. While last season the show had more facts they got wrong, in this video we take a look at the historical accuracy in the events of the second season of “The Crown”. Warning: plenty of spoilers! The show got The Profumo Affair some right right. They got Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones half right. The Parker Divorce? Right-ish.The Billy Graham Timeline? Wrong!

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Top 10 Facts The Crown (Season 2) Got Right/Wrong

Does this hit Netflix show work as a defacto history course? We’re here to find out! Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for Top 10 Facts The Crown (Season 2) Got Right/Wrong.

For this list, we’re looking at the historical accuracy in the events of the second season of “The Crown”. Warning: plenty of spoilers!

#10: The Suez Crisis

Season two of “The Crown” kicks off with Elizabeth (and the rest of England), dealing with the Suez Crisis. England’s Prime Minister was indeed Anthony Eden and the war he began with Egypt did eventually contribute greatly to his downfall. The show portrays this piece of British history quite accurately, with obvious elaborations mostly in the conversations between characters. Elizabeth may have disagreed with Eden, but she had to stay neutral, as was required by her royal position.


#9: The Profumo Affair
Somewhat Right

The final episode of season two touches on a particularly sordid event in British political history. “The Profumo Affair” as it is frequently referred to, refers to the dalliance between British Secretary of State for War John Profumo and a young aspiring model named Christine Keeler. The facts of the events shown on “The Crown” are true, but they heavily imply that Philip’s involvement in the scandal was evident, even though it has never been officially confirmed. Many believe that he did play a role in the events that took place, but with little evidence, it will likely never be proven.

#8: Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones

For many, Princess Margaret is a fan favorite and in season two she embarks on a new romance after her truncated attempt in the first season. While “The Crown” portrays Antony Armstrong-Jones as a stranger to Margaret, in fact he had photographed the royal family several times before they became romantically entangled. In terms of Margaret questioning his sexuality, this is also based in fact; she stated in interviews that she suspected when they met that he enjoyed men as well as women. The show presents this as fact, though, rather than hearsay.


#7: The Parker Divorce

Another significant relationship in “The Crown’s” second season is that of Michael and Eileen Parker. It is true that Eileen filed for divorce from her husband, Philip’s best friend and Private Secretary, and that infidelity was widely-acknowledged to be the reason for the dissolution. It’s also true that the situation became so untenable that Parker was forced to resign. The fabrications for the show were the letters from Lieutenant Commander Parker outlining Philip’s dalliances, which were added, presumably, for dramatic effect.


#6: The Billy Graham Timeline

The part about Graham’s evangelizing that the show altered wasn’t that his visits took place, but rather the timeline of when they happened. Episode six, where Graham appears, isn’t given a specific date, but the previous episode is set in 1957 and the episode that follows is set in 1960. This would mean this episode takes place in either 1958 or 1959. In truth, however, the Reverend Billy Graham only visited England in 1954, 1955 and 1961. Although wrong, this is a pretty minor change, as the rest of his depiction is largely accurate.

#5: Lord Altrincham
Mostly Right

In season two of “The Crown”, a writer named John Grigg (or Lord Altrincham) wrote a scathing piece criticizing Queen Elizabeth’s public persona, appeared on television after it was published and was then slapped in the face by an irate viewer. All of this is actually true. On the show, Elizabeth meets with Lord Altrincham at Buckingham Palace and ultimately tells him to never tell anyone they spoke. There is no confirmation that this particular meeting took place, but maybe he just kept it quiet like his Queen told him to! Elizabeth did go on to make her first televised speech after these events.


#4: Prince Charles and Gordonstoun School
Depends Who You Ask

In the penultimate episode of “The Crown’s” second season, we see a young Prince Charles being shipped off to a boarding school, in remote Scotland, called Gordonstoun School. The show makes his experience there seem quite miserable, enduring brutal educational tactics as well as bullying from his peers. Letters that Charles wrote home at the time confirm these struggles, saying about his dorm-mates “I don’t know how anybody could be so foul.” Since the school’s portrayal on “The Crown” however, Gordonstoun School has responded that Charles has asserted in several speeches that his time there was formative, and made him the man he is today.


#3: The Kennedys' Visit
Not Exactly Right

Shortly after John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States, he and his wife Jackie did in fact visit Elizabeth and Philip at Buckingham Palace. The drama that ensued between the two women however, is mostly based on rumor and speculation. Jackie’s comments about Elizabeth are essentially fabricated, though some sources do say that the sentiments portrayed had a basis in fact. Similarly, the Kennedys’ drug use is based on rumor rather than actual evidence. Outwardly, there was no ill-will, with the British court going into mourning when JFK was killed.


#2: Edward and the Nazis
It’s Complicated

In episode six of the second season, entitled "Vergangenheit", meaning “The Past” or “History” in German, one of the darker pieces of British royal history is revealed. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII and wife Wallis Simpson, had several encounters with Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party after Edward abdicated the throne. And it is true that the couple were proven Nazi sympathizers, but what remains murky is exactly how much they knew about what exactly it was they were supporting. Take this one as you will, because history doesn’t give us any clear answers.

#1: Philip’s Infidelity
It’s Complicated

The second season opens with Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, away on a months-long tour of the Commonwealth. This trip is accurately portrayed, but it’s the details of his extramarital affairs that are based only in rumor. Though there has been talk over the years that Philip was unfaithful to Elizabeth (namely with actress Patricia Kirkwood), all parties involved have repeatedly denied the allegations. Though “The Crown” never actually shows Philip cheating on his wife, his behavior on the tour heavily implies that he was spending more time with the ladies than was appropriate.


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