How historically accurate is The Crown? Eight historical moments the Netflix show got wrong about royals

Here are eight historical inaccuracies from Netflix’s The Crown - from Prime Ministers to pregnancy’s

The Crown is a historical drama which retells the story of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Netflix drama is one of the most popular dramas on a streaming platform, having won 10 Primetime Emmy Awards, seven Golden Globes and five BAFTAs.

Season five is set to launch this November, and will be based on the Royal Family’s antics of the 90s.

Krista Smith, Peter Morgan, Claire Foy, Vanessa Kirby and Jane Petrie speak onstage during the For Your Consideration event for Netflix’s “The Crown” at Hollywood’s Saban Media Center in April 2018. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Now, fans are now calling for another new season following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, 8 September 2022.

However, the biographical drama doesn’t always get the facts completely correct - with many errors being spotted by Royals fans throughout the series.

Here are eight historical inaccuracies from The Crown.

1. King George VI’s lung cancer

The debut episode starts with King George VI, played by Jared Harris, coughing up blood into a toilet -  prior to Princess Elizabeth’s wedding in 1947.

It subsequently shows him getting surgery and Winston Churchill being one of the first to find out that the King is suffering with lung cancer.

However, His Majesty was not diagnosed with this until 1951 - a year before his death.

The surgery, which took place in 1948, was for his leg pain where physicians diagnosed a circulatory blockage.

2. Elizabeth and Philip’s Wedding

Claire Foy and Matt Smith portray Elizabeth and Philip respectively, in season one and two.

In the debut episode of the series, young Princess Elizabeth marries Phillip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey.

Claire Foy won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award for ‘The Crown’ at the 70th Emmy Awards. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

On her big day, set in 1947, Claire’s character seems nervous about the public ceremony and stumbles over her vows.

However, on Elizabeth’s real wedding day, her father wrote her a letter saying that she was “calm and composed”, meaning her hesitance shown on The Crown couldn’t be further from the truth.

King George VI wrote the letter instead of giving a speech, it read: “I was so proud of you and thrilled at having you so close to me on your long walk in Westminster Abbey, but when I handed your hand to the Archbishop I felt that I had lost something very precious.

“You were so calm & composed during the Service & said your words with such conviction, that I knew everything was all right.”

3. The Queen’s Relationship with Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was re-elected as Prime Minister in October 1951, just four months before the death of King George VI.

Subsequently, Queen Elizabeth II ascended to The Throne, which made Winston Churchill her first Prime Minister.

In the drama series, The Queen’s relationship with Churchill was distant and strictly professional - especially following the Great Smog.

However, according to reports, the relationship was mostly warm and friendly.

Her Majesty was even quoted, years after, saying Churchill was her favourite Prime Minister to work with “because it was always such fun”.

The political upheaval that was caused by the Great Smog was also exaggerated in the series and Churchill was not the stern figure portrayed by actor John Lithgow.

John Lithgow won the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award for The Crown at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

4. Baron Nahum

Sterling Henry Nahum, known professionally as Baron, was a Court Photographer appointed by the British Royal Family.

He was a close friend of Prince Phillip, and captured moments from his wedding to Elizabeth, and the christening of both Charles and Anne.

Julius D’Silva portrays Baron Nahum in episode six of the first season and episode two of the second season.

However, the latter episode is set in the November and December of 1956 - but the real life Henry Nahum died on 5 September that year.

5. Harold Wilson becomes Prime Minister

In episode 10 of season three, Harold Wilson (played by Jason Watkins) assumes the role of Prime Minister again.

The episode is set in August 1973 - however, Harold didn’t actually win the general election until February 1974.

The same episode also shows his resignation in April 1976, and the Queen’s (now played by Olivia Colman) Silver Jubilee.

Olivia Colman won the Outstanding Lead Actress for a Drama Series award at the 73rd Primetime Emmys Celebration. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

6. Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands War

Margaret Thatcher’s son, Mark, disappeared for six days whilst competing in the 1982 Paris Dakar Rally.

The Rally took place from 1 January to 20 January.

In the fourth episode of season four, Gillian Anderson’s character is struggling with her son’s disappearance and the show implies that it had an impact on the Prime Minister’s decision to go to war.

Gillian Anderson won the Outstanding Supporting Actress for a Drama Series award for The Crown at the 73rd Primetime Emmys. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

However, timing wise, this is not accurate as the Falklands War did not begin until 2 April that year - almost three months after Mark returned safely to the United Kingdom.

In real life, Mark was found on 14 January 1982, 31 miles off course.

He and his teammates had been running out of food, but still had drinking water. Rescuers from four different countries had been involved in the search.

7. Buckingham Palace break in

In July 1982, Michael Fagan famously broke into Buckingham Palace twice - just days apart.

Episode five of season four shows the intruder (played by Tom Brooke) breaking into the Palace to express his anger with Margaret Thatcher and the government directly to The Queen.

However, the break in was actually down to psychological issues, with the real-life intruder admitting “something just got into [his] head".

He was charged with theft of wine, but the charges were dropped when he was sent for psychiatric evaluation.

Trespassing into the Queen’s bedroom was a civil wrong at the time, but not a criminal offence.

In 2007, trespassing into Buckingham Palace became a criminal offence.

8. Princess Diana’s pregnancy

Episode seven of season four is set between the January and March of 1985 - and celebrates the 21st birthday of Prince Edward, played by Angus Imrie.

Not long after the celebrations on 10 March, it was mentioned that Princess Diana (played by Emma Corrin) was pregnant with her second child.

However, Harry was born on 15 September 1984 - meaning his birth would have taken place six months before Prince Edward’s birthday.