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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Life + Arts

‘The Crown’ and its historical inaccuracies


Renee Josse De Lisle/The Cougar

Netflix’s hit show “The Crown” managed to capture the hearts of many viewers since it began airing in 2016. 

The docudrama focuses on Queen Elizabeth II’s life from the 1940s to modern times by covering a specific event in every episode.

Episodes are often brimmed with scandal, touching on topics from love affairs to political turmoil.

While they mostly stick to their historical facts, some scandals are inaccurate for creative purposes.

An example is found in the drama’s second season, where it conveys the basics of the Suez crisis but deviates from historical facts by showing the conversations between Prime Minister Anthony Eden and the Queen about the situation.

Although the two did meet, there was no record of what they discussed, according to the Mosaic.

Rather, the dramatized conversations provide the narrative of Eden’s plan to keep the collusion against Egypt a secret.

Additionally, season two covers another scandal troubled with inaccuracies – the Marburg Files, a collection of top-secret German records from the Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany.

In the collection is the Windsor File, which contains details of a possible alliance between the Nazi High Command and the Duke of Windsor, Edward VIII, and his wife, Wallis Simpson, during World War II. 

Although the Nazis considered the Duke and Duchess of Windsor allies, there is no evidence of the Duke colluding with the Germans against Britain, as the show hints. 

Diving into season three, its third episode depicts the tragedy in Aberfan, Wales, where a mountain of mining debris descends into the town. 

Accurately telling how the Queen took eight days to visit the people, “The Crown” also highlights her failure to respond to the tragedy as sovereign.

However, the show did a poor job showing her remorse according to Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s former press secretary Joe Hanes.

In the episode, the Queen shows a lack of emotion as she forces a tear for the press. Criticizing the show, Haynes explains the narrative the show reveals is “absolute nonsense.” 

While there are more historical inaccuracies to note, it is understandable as “The Crown” is a drama and not a documentary.

Regardless of how it deviates from history, the show does an excellent job portraying the modern royal family with its stories.

From accurate set design to impeccable casting, it is easy to see why viewers can’t get enough. 

In “The Crown’s” highly anticipated fifth season in 2022, viewers should expect new cast members to reflect the age of the favorite characters and stories likely covering royal life in the late 1990s. 

After season five, the show announced it would have a final and sixth season, which has yet to have a release date.

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