20 Things You Did Not Know About The Crown
Released in 2016, “The Crown” series is a drama that follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, showcasing the political rivalries and romances of the Royal Family. Season 4 finally has been announced and we couldn’t be happier! But many things about the show have been left behind the scenes - keep reading to find out 20 things you didn’t know about “The Crown”.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II WAS PAID LESS THAN PRINCE PHILIP ON SEASON ONE
Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth II in the show, was paid significantly less than her on-screen Duke of Edinburgh, played by Matt Smith. According to some sources, the reason why this happened was due to Smith’s fame from his previous work on Dr. Who.
Despite the salary gap, Foy went on to win a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and Screen Actors Guild Awards for her performance in the show. The production company of “The Crown” has since publicly apologized for the salary disparity, and reported they would back pay Foy with £200,000 ($274,000).
THE TABLES TURNED IN SEASON THREE’S SALARIES
Following the controversy from season one surrounding salaries, the roles were inverted in season three. Olivia Colman, who played the Queen, was paid a higher salary than her co-star Tobias Menzies, who played Prince Phillip. According to Suzanne Mackie, the show’s producer, “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.”
“I think broadly speaking, yes, greater transparency will lead to greater equality and that is absolutely the direction of travel that I think is necessary and good. It’s interesting … my understanding is, that this time around, I’m paid less than Olivia,” Menzies confessed in an interview. However, the actor seems to be comfortable with the producer’s decision.
THE SUSSEXES ARE FANS OF THE SHOW
According to Katie Nicholl, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have bonded over the show and were watching it together. "An accomplished cook, Meghan loved to make extravagant dinners for Harry, and they enjoyed staying in and eating her delicious homemade meals and watching films and TV shows like The Crown on Netflix," the royal biographer wrote.
However, they are not the only royals who fancy the show. In an interview with Hello, Princess Eugenie said “[the show] is filmed beautifully. The music is wonderful, the story is beautiful. You feel very proud to watch it. I can’t speak for everyone, but that’s how I felt when I watched it.”
TOBIAS MENZIES WAS NOT VERY KEEN ON THE ROYAL FAMILY
Tobias Menzies, the actor who played Prince Philip on season three, has mentioned in an interview that he wasn’t very interested in the royal family before being cast for the role. In January, Menzies told the Radio Times that "I wasn't massively interested in the royals before I took the part."
"I wasn't someone who read about them or involved myself with them, but I've been very intrigued by [Prince Philip's] life. He's a pretty interesting bloke. He's a complex person, with complex stories. I have a lot of regard for him,” the actor continued. Hopefully, since he has joined the cast he has grown his interest in the characters!
THE SHOW THAT WAS SUPER EXPENSIVE BECAME EVEN MORE EXPENSIVE
Making it to the top in the industry as one of the most expensive series to ever be filmed, “The Crown”’s budget keeps increasing. In an interview with Variety, the produces confessed they "sought planning permission for a new Buckingham Palace main gates and exterior, including the iconic balcony on which the royals stand at key moments.”
“The Downing Street plans show a new Number 10 and the road leading up to the building itself. The sketches for the new work, seen by Variety, show an aerial view of Downing Street with a Rolls Royce pulling up outside Number 10,” they added. According to some sources, the aim was to make the palace look massive.
MAJOR AWARDS WINNER: THE CROWN HAS TAKEN DOZENS OF PRIZES
Counting with 57 wins and 164 nominations, within the first two seasons alone the show had earned over 25 major awards from the cinematographic industry. “The Crown” has won three Primetime Emmy Awards, two BAFTA Television awards, and three Screen Actors Guild awards.
The cast of the series has also banked some awards themselves, including a Golden Globe for Olivia Colman, a Golden Globe for Claire Foy, and a Primetime Emmy Award for Helena Bonham Carter. From directing to writing, passing through music composition, and character styling, many teams of the series were also awarded victories.
THE SHOW BREAKS THE NORM OF NETFLIX VIEWERS
According to Deadline, Neilsen’s data about the audience of the series confirms that almost two-thirds of people who watched Season 2 of The Crown during its first three days of streaming were 35 or older and with 50 percent over 49.
That same study also recorded that 40 percent of the drama's viewers came from households with combined incomes of more than $100,000. Not only that, but Neilsen also stated that 65 percent of the viewers were made up by women. What can we say? We do love our Royal drama!
SCREEN PRINCESS MARGARET KNOWS THE REAL LIFE PRINCESS MARGARET
Helena Bonham Carter has told in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that she had previously met Princess Margaret. The actress mentioned that her “uncle was actually very close to her." But the actress confessed that her first impression was not great.
"She was pretty scary. At one point, she met me at Windsor Castle and she said, 'You are getting better, aren’t you?'" Carter said. Not only that but the actress also consulted a psychic to gain approval from Princess Margaret to play her on the show. “She said, apparently, she was glad it was me,” Bonham Carter explained.
CLAIRE FOY WAS SCARED THAT JOINING THE CAST WAS A MISTAKE
“On the first day of filming, I found myself halfway up a Scottish mountain [...] and no way of getting down to feed my baby,” she said. “I had to ring my husband and tell him to give her formula ... as I sat in a Land Rover trying to get my broken breast pump to work.”
“I felt I’d made the worst mistake of my life,” Foy confessed while remembering how she felt during that time. But gladly, she pushed through and made the changes needed in her routine to be able to act the role that would hand her several awards, while at the same time taking good care of her child.
PRINCE WILLIAM SHARES THE SECRETS ABOUT PRINCE PHILIP
Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip in seasons one and two, has opened up in an interview with The Graham Norton Show about his interaction with Prince William. Prior to the release of the show, Smith had the possibility of meeting William, who was informed that the actor would play his grandfather in the show.
However, even though Smith was embarrassed about being put to the test of playing a royal, he had the guts to ask Prince William for advice, who was prompt to help out! Smith admitted that the Prince simply took his hand, shook it, and said “Legend. He’s an absolute legend.”
THE WEDDING DRESS OF THE QUEEN WAS THE MOST EXPENSIVE COSTUME
Even though the series as a whole was quite expensive, there was one garment that took the top of the list as the most costly piece of clothing. According to Michele Clapton, the wedding gown that the Queen wore in season one was the "most elaborate [and] time-consuming" costume.
"I thought it was so important that it was as close as we could possibly make it. That whole procession with the bridesmaids and the train and everything was something which I thought, 'If we don't get that right, then we don't actually have the right to make anything else up,’” the costume designer admitted.
THE CORGIS ARE CHEESEAHOLICS
Everyone knows that the royal family always had corgis running around the house, and so the pups could not be left out of “The Crown”. They not only made the viewers’ heart melt but also allowed the starts to have some funny stories to share!
"Oh my god—the corgis. I’m not much of a dog person, to be perfectly frank. I really loved them, but they’re just, in general...the corgis are odd," Claire Foy mentioned in an interview. "They love cheese, like cheddar cheese. These corgis are cheesed up to the max—they’re eating like a whole block of cheddar every day. It’s scary."
PRINCESS MARGARET’S STYLE CAME FROM PARIS
"There were particular designers who were quite closely associated with the Queen, but with Margaret, I know she wore Dior and so there was always a bit of a flare and her wardrobe was a bit more daring," Michele Clapton said.
"I knew she was inspired by Paris so I looked at the shapes from there and throughout the process, we saw some really beautiful pieces. I think I copied one outfit and then tried to do an interpretation of the others,” the costume designer continued. Maybe that is the reason why Princess Margaret looked so good in every episode!
QUEEN ELIZABETH II’S WARDROBE WAS SIMPLE FOR A REASON
Michele Clapton also had something to say about the Queen’s wardrobe: "I always thought the Queen, even in season and listening to her, would have been just a country wife if she hadn’t been elevated to royalty. She seems to have a liking for sweet things and something pretty and her colors were quite simplistic."
She continued that "I also sense that clothes were really unimportant to her, so I tried to show that in the fact that the colors chosen for her are not sophisticated. Although the dresses are beautiful and I think she enjoyed wearing them they weren’t really important to her, unlike Margaret."
A LOT OF RESEARCH WENT ON TO MAKE THE ROYAL COUPLE BELIEVABLE
In an interview with Town & Country, Foy mentioned that "It wasn't just me and Matt doing it on our own. I don't think we would have got very far. There was a team of researchers..." Portraying such public figures couldn’t have been done without help!
"A lot of books. And we sourced as much audio and visual footage as we could find and really immersed ourselves in both the royal family and their emotional journey and the events that happened in their life, but also the cultural and political context of the '40s and the '50s." the actress continued about heir preparation.
PORCHEY AND THE QUEEN WERE CLOSE FRIENDS IN REAL LIFE
One of the characters that is often seen in the first season of the show is Lord Porchester, or as the Queen calls him, Porchey. Even though he was the source of some troubles in the Queen’s and Prince Philip’s relationship, the two of them were very close friends in real life.
As the series shows their close relationship, in real life there were some rumors going around whether or not it could have been more than just friendship, but there has never been any evidence or proof that the two had an affair. Unfortunately, real-life Porchey has passed in 2001, so we won’t be seeing more of him and the Queen.
THE REAL QUEEN ELIZABETH HAS SEEN THE SHOW
The Daily Express has announced that Her Majesty The Queen herself has seen the first season of “The Crown” and, not only that, but she actually enjoyed it! According to the publication from May 2017, the Queen has seen the show with her son Prince Edward and his wife Countess Sophie.
"It has been a longstanding arrangement that they drive to Windsor at the weekend to join the Queen for an informal supper while watching TV or a film. They have a Netflix account and urged her to watch it with them. Happily, she really liked it, although obviously there were some depictions of events that she found too heavily dramatized."
PRINCE PHILIP, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS NOT A FAN
Matt Smith, who plays the Duke of Edinburgh in the show, has told The Guardian about some rumors he had heard about Prince Philip and his opinion on the show. According to the actor, someone asked the Duke what he thought of “The Crown”, but the answer was nothing we could have expected!
According to the publication, someone close to the Duke asked: "Philip, I’m just wondering, because I have some friends who made The Crown, have you watched any?” Philip's response: "Don’t. Be. Ridiculous.” Well, not everyone has the same taste in television series, but at least we know that the Queen is a fan!
MATT SMITH SHARED HOW HE ALMOST DIED DURING THE FILMING OF THE SHOW
Smith confessed on The Graham Norton Show that "We were meant to get on [the horses] and trot off and have this lovely love scene, which didn’t even make the cut. In my stupidity, I got on the horse and cantered around and then it just went.”
“I tried to grab a branch and everyone was shouting, 'Oh my God, don’t grab the branch!' So I went under the branch and then down a ravine,” he continued, "I was so scared. As it galloped towards a herd of zebra, a huge man grabbed it by the reins and saved my life."
ENJOY WHILE IT LASTS: THE CROWN WILL ONLY HAVE SIX SEASONS
While many fans are going to be upset about this information, the truth is that the show is expected to end in a couple of seasons. Ted Sarandos, the person in charge of Netflix’ content, has commented that the series is expected to be complete by the sixth season.
In 2016, Sarandos has commented that "It's a crazy idea to come in with a 60-hour pitch. The idea is to do this over six decades, in six seasons presumably, and make the whole show over eight to 10 years.” So buckle up and take your time watching the series, because it will soon be done!
The next chapter of the series who has gotten everyone’s heart racing with royal delight will drop its fourth season on November 15th, just in time to do some binge-watching over the holidays! We will be waiting eagerly until then, and maybe even re-watch the previous seasons just to keep on top of things!