Top 10 Facts The Crown Season 3 Got Right & Wrong

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Top 10 Facts The Crown Season 3 Got Right & Wrong

VOICE OVER: Emily - WatchMojo WRITTEN BY: Jarett Burke
There are a fair deals of facts The Crown Season 3 got right and wrong.
Transcript
Whether fact or fiction, it still makes for some great TV! Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Facts “The Crown” Season 3 Got Right and Wrong.

For this list, we’re looking at historical facts that the third season of Netflix’s hit series “The Crown” took liberty with and which ones were right on the money. Royal Life is so crazy that it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s true and what’s fiction, so here’s what’s what.

#10: Prince Philip & the Moon Landing
Wrong


Like the majority of folks in 1969, the Royals were closely following the adventures of Apollo 11. The show depicts this moment in time as one were Prince Philip, especially, becomes obsessed with the Moon Landing (and its heroes Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong), and later falls into a funk after meeting these astronauts and realizing they are quite ordinary people. The show also claims this is the time period in which Philip sought faith in Christianity. But, there’s no evidence of this - other than the actual palace visit - happening in real life. Actor Tobias Menzies, who plays Prince Philip on the show, has admitted such in an interview with The Wrap. Also, Philip had already taken faith in Christianity before the Moon Landing ever occurred.

#9: The Queen Visits the Duke of Windsor
Right


In the show, Queen Elizabeth spontaneously decides to visit her dying uncle, The Duke of Windsor, and he apologizes for abdicating the throne back in 1936 – a decision that brought Elizabeth into the royal line of succession as her father, King George VI, was made king. It’s a heartwarming moment and a touching look inside Royal Life, and it’s true… to a degree. First off, there is no such thing as a spontaneous moment in Royal Life, as it’s highly scheduled; so while, yes, she did visit her uncle, it was absolutely arranged. Further, historian Hugo Vickers called the idea of the Duke apologizing for abdicating the throne “absurd.” So the visit was far less of an emotional affair than shown in the series.

#8: Winston Churchill
Wrong


A favorite moment in season 3 for a lot of people was The Queen’s visit to an ailing Winston Churchill after he had a stroke. She confides her admiration for him, thanks him for his service and leadership during World War II, and then kisses him on the head before leaving. Once again, it’s an emotional, heart-warming scene, but this time it’s mostly bologna. While the Queen and Churchill were close, and she did attend his funeral, it’s unlikely she visited him after the stroke as he was incoherent at the time. Also, the idea that she kissed him on the head is pure poetic license and such a stretch that one biographer (in an interview with the Daily Express) called it “pure schmaltz.”

#7: Princess Margaret’s Affair & Divorce
Right


The show depicts Princess Margaret’s affair with the much younger Rod Llewellyn as one of the reasons her marriage with Lord Snowdon came to an end. In the aftermath, Llewellyn abandons Margaret, Lord Snowdon quickly remarries, and – under tremendous distress – Margaret overdoses on sleeping pills. While it’s highly dramatic, most of what is depicted in the show is correct – it’s just the timeline that’s out of order. For instance, while Margaret’s marriage did come to an end, it wasn’t at this moment that she overdosed. Rather, it was after Llewellyn travelled to Turkey without her. Also, her overdose wasn’t believed to be a suicide attempt as the show implies, but rather a toxic build up from years of use.

#6: Prince Margaret Eases US / UK Relations
Wrong


While it makes for great TV, the idea that Princess Margaret somehow managed to win a bailout for the UK from US President Lyndon Johnson is completely overblown. Yes, she did travel to the US with her then-husband Lord Snowdon in the mid 1960s to meet with Johnson, and she was trying to bring about change, but the fraught relationship between President Johnson and UK Prime Minister Wilson continued long after her visit. Also, her trip to the US wasn’t a total success as the show indicates, what with Princess Margaret receiving a lot of negative press at the time for her lavish spending habits while abroad.

#5: The Queen & the Aberfan Disaster
Right


Episode three covers the tragic events of the Aberfan Disaster, where a large amount of coal slurry splashed down on the small village of Aberfan from a nearby mining site. It also depicts Queen Elizabeth’s regret at not visiting this National Emergency sooner and, instead, sending representatives in her place. The show is correct in its depiction, as the Queen deeply regretted not going sooner to Aberfan, and she looks back at her delayed action as one of her biggest mistakes. But, it should also be noted that she didn’t delay her trip out of cruelty or apathy, but rather she didn’t want her presence in the area to distract from the active rescue efforts that were ongoing at the time.

#4: Prince Charles Confides in the Duke of Windsor
Wrong


In the show, Prince Charles declares his love for Camilla Shand (the future Duchess of Cornwall) to his great uncle, The Duke of Windsor, and engages with the Duke about the trials of one day becoming king in a series of letters. Later, the Duke then gives these letters to Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth, due to the sensitive subject matter within. But, did it really go down like this in real life? Not really… While Charles and the Duke were said to be close, there is no evidence that Charles ever talked about his personal relationships with the Duke or that they were in regular correspondence about his life through letters. While they may have written each other on occasion, no such letters were given to the Queen; it’s more likely that these details were added to give dramatic weight to Charles’ love for Camilla.

#3: Secret Documentary
Right


It’s easy to gather from the Netflix series that members of the Royal Family are not the most extroverted sort and value their privacy. So, surely, they didn’t let a BBC documentary crew into their homes and into their lives back in the late-1960s to record their everyday actions? Well, think again! Because this one is right: a documentary was made on the Royals – aptly titled “Royal Family” – and aired on national TV in 1969. So, why haven’t we heard of it until now? Well, the Queen later regretted the decision, bought the copyright to the doc, and – for all intents and purposes – banned it from ever airing again. It can only be viewed with special permission, and a fee, at BBC headquarters.

#2: Camilla Shand
Wrong


Royal Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, ya know… Sometimes duty trumps feeling. And, nowhere is this better illustrated than in Charles’ courtship of Camilla. Charles clearly loved her – so much so that they later married in 2005 – but they originally ended up apart after a series of unfortunate circumstances (like Prince Charles joining the navy and Camilla marrying Andrew Parker-Bowles). The show suggests that it was the Royal Family who conspired to keep the two apart, but historians are not buying it. In reality, while the Queen wasn’t enthusiastic about Charles and Camilla, she did not intervene.

#1: The Queen’s Art Historian Is a Spy
Right


We were on the edge of our seats with all the espionage intrigue in episode one! Is the Prime Minister a Russian spy? Is there a spy within Buckingham Palace? It was like an episode penned by spy-master John le Carré. And, shockingly, much of it is true! No, no… not the part about the Prime Minister (that much is “bollocks,” as they say across the pond), but it is true that the Queen’s art historian, Anthony Blunt, was passing secrets to the Russians during World War II and even for a bit after. It was only after retiring from MI5 and joining the Queen’s staff that Blunt was later exposed as one of the Cambridge Five – an infamous group of Soviet spies. Most incredible of all? He ended up keeping his job!
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