The Crown prides itself on military detail – from etiquette to dress – but how true to life is it? We spoke to the protocol adviser for the hit Netflix series, Major David Rankin-Hunt.
The Crown is a historical drama television series, created and principally written by Peter Morgan and produced by Left Bank Pictures and Sony Pictures Television for Netflix. The show is a biographical story about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The first season covers the period from her marriage to Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947 to the disintegration of her sister Princess Margaret’s engagement to Peter Townsend in 1955. The second season covers the period from the Suez Crisis in 1956 to the retirement of the Queen’s third Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, in 1963 and the birth of Prince Edward in 1964.
The Crown evolved out of Morgan’s 2006 film The Queen and 2013 stage play The Audience. The series is intended to last 60 episodes over six seasons, with 10 one-hour episodes per season, covering Elizabeth’s life from her younger years to her reign, and with new actors being cast every two seasons. Claire Foy portrays the Queen in the first two seasons, alongside Matt Smith as Prince Philip and Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret. Filming for the series takes place at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, with location shooting at various locations throughout the United Kingdom.
The first season was released on Netflix on November 4, 2016, while the second was released on December 8, 2017. The Crown has received widespread critical acclaim for its acting, directing, writing, cinematography, production values, and the relatively accurate historical accounts of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Significant praise in the first season was directed towards the performances of Foy in the leading role and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill. The series has received several industry nominations and awards, including winning Best Actress and Best Actor at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards for Foy and Lithgow, respectively, and receiving thirteen nominations for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series.