The CrownTV Show | 2016 ((BETTER))
Filming took place at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, with location shooting throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The first season was released by Netflix on 4 November 2016, the second on 8 December 2017, the third on 17 November 2019, and the fourth on 15 November 2020. The fifth season premiered on 9 November 2022. As of 2020[update], the estimated production budget of The Crown has been reported to be $260 million, making it one of the most expensive television series ever.
The CrownTV Show | 2016
An estimated 25% of the first season was filmed at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, with the remainder filmed on location, altogether taking 152 days. Sets for private quarters, the interior of a private jet, the cabinet room, and the exterior of 10 Downing Street, were built at Elstree Studios, while Lancaster House, Wrotham Park and Wilton House were used to double as Buckingham Palace. Ely Cathedral and Winchester Cathedral stood in for Westminster Abbey, while locations in South Africa doubled as Kenya. Additional locations in the UK included Belvoir Castle, Waddesdon Manor, Eltham Palace, the Royal Naval College, Goldsmiths' Hall, Shoreham Airport, New Slains Castle, Balmoral Castle, Cruden Bay, Lyceum Theatre, Loseley Park, Hatfield House, The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Southwark Cathedral, Ardverikie House, Englefield House, Wellington College, the Great Central Railway and the Glenfeshie Estate. Filming on the second season began in early October 2016. Each episode of the first two seasons would shoot for about 22 days, with each costing about 5 million to produce. The third season began filming in July 2018, and concluded in February 2019. The fourth season began filming in August 2019 and wrapped in March 2020. Shooting locations used to double foreign settings included Manchester (New York City), Málaga and Almería (Sydney and other Australian settings), as well as Atlanterra, Cádiz (Mustique). The filming of the fifth season began in July 2021. The year break in filming between the end of season four and the start of season five was built into the series's production schedule and was not related to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 16 February 2022, items previously used in the series's production worth 150,000 were stolen from three vehicles, most of which were described to have "limited value for resale", but "are valuable as pieces to the UK film industry". Locations featured in series five included Cobham Hall, which doubled as Eton College, and the Historic Dockyard at Chatham, both in Kent. Filming for the sixth season began in August 2022, but Morgan noted he expected it to stop for a period of time in September following the death of Elizabeth II "out of respect". In October 2022, it was reported that the events just before and right after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in Paris would be filmed for season six.
The re-enactment of the removal of King George VI's cancerous lung, originally performed by Sir Clement Price Thomas, was researched and planned by Pankaj Chandak, a specialist in transplant surgery at Guy's Hospital, London. Chandak and his surgical team then became part of the actual scene filmed for the show. The surgical model of King George VI was donated to the Gordon Museum of Pathology in King's College, London for use as a teaching aid.
Though the show depicted a dispute over Michael Adeane being the natural successor to Tommy Lascelles as the Queen's private secretary, this did not, in reality, happen; Martin Charteris accordingly took the role in 1972.
Royal biographer Hugo Vickers denied that Princess Margaret had acted as monarch while the Queen was on tour, and claimed that her speech at the ambassador's reception never happened. Charteris was on tour with the Queen and not in London during these events. The Queen Mother bought the Castle of Mey a year earlier than depicted on the show, and often looked after Prince Charles and Princess Anne while the Queen was away.
The show has been interpreted as perpetuating the idea that the Queen and Churchill forced Princess Margaret to give up her plan to marry Peter Townsend, and depicted the Queen informing her that, due to the Royal Marriages Act 1772, she would no longer be a member of the family if they married. However, there is clear evidence that, in reality, efforts had been made by the Queen and Anthony Eden in developing a plan which would have allowed Princess Margaret to keep her royal title and her civil list allowance, stay in the country, and continue with her public duties. But she would have been required to renounce her rights of succession and those of her children.
After season two was released, Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal commented on its historical inaccuracy, and argued for "more truth in art and entertainment". Baron Nahum, for instance, continued to be featured in the season, but in reality had died in 1956. The show also depicts the Queen as giving a speech at a Jaguar factory, when in reality there is no evidence that she gave a speech there. Similarly, while it is possible that she might have met Lord Altrincham to discuss his article, there is no record of it.
Gordonstoun School responded to its negative portrayal, claiming that Prince Charles's personal feedback to the school had been overwhelmingly positive. Vickers said that the same episode inaccurately depicted Prince Philip's sister's death in a plane crash as having arisen from his own misbehaviour at Gordonstoun: "It is beyond me how serious film-makers would wish to turn such a dreadful tragedy into a series of invented scenes bearing no relation to the truth". Vickers later added that Philip considered suing the show's producers over the inaccurate portrayal of his sister's death and its aftermath.
Vickers further argued that season four is "yet more subtly divisive than earlier seasons", with "pretty much every character" shown as "dislikeable", and that "every member of the royal family ... comes out of it badly, except the Princess of Wales". He also called season four the least accurate season in the series. Royal commentator Emily Andrews said that "sources close to Prince Charles" have labelled some of the scenes "trolling on a Hollywood budget". It was also reported that Prince Charles and Camilla turned off comments on their Instagram and Twitter accounts, such was the intensely negative reaction to their portrayals.
Mountbatten did not write to the Prince of Wales shortly before he died, although he had written advising him in the past. The newsreel clips of Northern Ireland shown alongside Mountbatten's assassination included events that had happened years earlier, and others that had not yet occurred.
Vickers suggested that almost all the details concerning how visitors are treated at Balmoral are inaccurate, and noted that the Thatchers' first visit is depicted out of sequence with Mountbatten's funeral. The Thatchers did not enjoy their visits to Balmoral, but there is no evidence that the Prime Minister dressed inappropriately. Diana's visit happened an entire year later, when the Queen was not present. He added that, as a member of an aristocratic family, Diana was already familiar with royal etiquette, and therefore would not have needed the intensive lessons given by Lady Fermoy that were portrayed in the show.
Ahead of its release, the former Prime Minister John Major publicly criticised the series, and Tony Blair's spokesman described the first episode of the season, where in 1991 Prince Charles is portrayed attempting to recruit John Major and Tony Blair to support the Queen's abdication in favour of him, as "complete and utter rubbish". Major stated that no such conversation took place, and that the scene was "a barrel-load of malicious nonsense". The Sunday Times article recorded that at the time nine out of ten people felt 'very favourably' or 'mainly favourably' about the Queen, while four in ten felt she should abdicate 'at some point in the future', rather than continue until her death. In the same episode, Major suggests that the Queen should give up on the idea of having HMY Britannia refurbished or replaced at a time of national belt-tightening. Correspondence with his principal private secretary Alex Allan, however, shows that the decision was made "in the light of the current debate about the Royal Family and the Monarchy", which stemmed from high profile separations and divorces among family members. The plot in episode two which shows James Colthurst run off the road by a white van and Andrew Morton finding his home ransacked is fictionalised.
Episode three shows the Duke and Duchess of Windsor visiting Alexandria in 1946, where they are seen by a young Mohamed Al-Fayed from a distance. However, there is no record of the couple having visited Egypt that year. The episode also suggests that Diana met Dodi Fayed during a polo match in the 1990s, but the two reportedly met during a match in 1986 where Charles was also present. In episode three after the death of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor in 1986, Sydney Johnson the former valet for 30 years to her husband Edward VIII is deeply saddened and so his new employer Mohamed Al-Fayed takes him to visit her now dilapidated Paris home nicknamed Villa Windsor. Al Fayed is shocked to learn that the French government has seized the house with intent to auction it and its contents. Fayed purchases the estate from France and renovates everything as a gift to the Royal Family. A representative of the family arrives in place of a Royal visit, and requests all the restored items including the abdication desk, paintings and papers. Rather than being upset at the apparent snub Al-Fayed is instead overjoyed that his efforts have been recognised. The true circumstances however were different: the house had always been rented from the Paris Council, Al Fayed took a 50-year lease for $1m per year under the proviso that he would restore it; he was also allowed to keep the art and furniture to decorate it. She bequeathed the rest of her belongings, which had personal value to the Royal Family, as charity to the Pasteur Institute. Al Fayed paid $4.5m to acquire them at auction but was outbid on her jewellery which sold the following year for $50m. In 1998 he auctioned the Windsor Collection in aid of his and his sons' charities raising $23m. The Royal Family were believed to have acquired all the items by bidding via proxies, finally returning the abdication desk (sale price $415,000), papers and other belongings to the family. 041b061a72