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How accurate was Netflix's The Crown season 2?

We looked at what is fact and what is fiction in season two so you don't have to

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Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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With season three right around the corner, we think it's high time we had a refresher on Netflix's historical drama, The Crown, chronicles the shocking events of the Queen's early reign, so we'll be looking back on season two, and just how much of the show really happened. In the second series Her Majesty, who is portrayed impeccably by Claire Foystruggles with both her personal and work life thanks to Prince Philip's restlessness and the political turmoil in the UK. So which parts of The Crown actually took place in history, and which were embellished for the drama? We answer your most pressing questions about season two from Her Majesty's real relationship with Jackie Kennedy, to those questionable rumours surrounding Prince Philip ahead of the season three premiere on 17 November...

Was the Queen envious of Jackie Kennedy?

In the show, Queen Elizabeth was shown to be envious of and to deeply admire Jackie Kennedy's effortless allure and intelligence, so much so that she defies her government advisors and visits Ghana to keep the country from leaving the Commonwealth. The show also revealed that the Queen was made aware of unkind personal comments made at her expense by Jackie, who later apologised to the royal for what she said. But did this really happen?

the crown jackie kennedy

Jackie attended a dinner at Buckingham Palace

According to the biography The Royals, Jackie actually insisted of bringing her sister and brother-in-law to Buckingham Palace for the dinner against the Queen's wishes. Although she got her own way, the Queen omitted Princess Margaret and Princess Marina from the guest list, perhaps deliberately to disappoint the First Lady. Speaking about the dinner, Jackie reportedly told her friend, Gore Vidal: "No Margaret, no Marina, no one except every Commonwealth minister of agriculture they could find." Jackie also once told Gore: "The Queen was pretty heavy-going. Philip was nice, but nervous. One felt absolutely no relationship between them."

Was Prince Philip really unfaithful?

In the show, it is strongly hinted that Prince Philip was unfaithful to his wife, the Queen, during his five-month solo tour, and again at a gathering orchestrated by Stephen Ward, the socialite who was instrumental to the Profumo affair. Upon suggesting that she is happy to turn a blind eye to Philip's indiscretions, the Prince promises her that he belongs to her – but were these claims embellished in the first place? According to royal biographer Ingrid Seward, the rumours surrounding Philip's infidelity could have been just that. She told "He couldn’t even look at another woman without the press saying that he was probably having an affair. There is absolutely no proof that he was unfaithful. But I imagine he might have been." The Prince himself once addressed the reports, and said: "How could I? I've had a detective in my company, night and day, since 1947."

READ: The Crown star Olivia Colman admits she'd 'rather give birth' than do terrifying Children in Need gig

prince philip

Prince Philip is hinted to be unfaithful in the show

Was the former King, the Duke of Windsor, a Nazi sympathiser?

In The Crown, not only was the Duke of Windsor a Nazi sympathiser who visited Hitler, he also plotted to overthrow Queen Elizabeth's father and reinstate himself as King, while giving Nazis free reign to Western Europe. The show also hints that the former King visited a concentration camp, leading Elizabeth to confront him and turn down his request for employment in the UK, sending him into exile.

In reality, although the Duke did visit Hitler, it was never decided whether he was a Nazi sympathiser, or visited the country on official business and to help his new bride, Wallis Simpson, feel included on official matters. Royal biographer Andrew Morton seemed to believe the former King was sympathetic to Hitler's regime, and wrote in 17 Carnations: The Royals, the Nazis and the Biggest Cover-Up in History: "[Edward] was certainly sympathetic...even after the war he thought Hitler was a good fellow and that he'd done a good job in Germany, and he was also anti-Semitic, before, during and after the war."

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The Queen refuses the Duke's request to return to the UK in the show

Did Prince Charles truly hate his boarding school?

In the show, Prince Charles is all set (and excited) to attend Eton college before his father intervenes and sends him to his old school, Gordonstoun. Prince Charles is seen to hate his time there, and fails at one of the school's traditional challenges, disappointing his father. In reality, Prince Charles certainly seemed to loathe this time at the school, and did indeed once call it "Colditz with kilts". He was also bullied, and once wrote: "The people in my dormitory are foul. Goodness, they are horrid. I don't know how anybody could be so foul." However, as an adult, the Prince spoke fondly of the school, telling the Observer: "I am glad I went to Gordonstoun… I didn't enjoy school as much as I might have, but that was only because I'm happier at home than anywhere else." That being said, both of his sons, Princes William and Harry, were educated at Eton College.

READ: The Crown's Olivia Colman meets real life royalty

the crown charles

Prince Charles reportedly hated his boarding school

Did Princess Margaret's husband have illegitimate children?

Princess Margaret's complicated beau-turned-husband Lord Snowdon is portrayed as being a womanising, polyamorous man who had relationships with both men and women, and one relationship with his best friend Jeremy's wife, Camilla Fry, led her to fall pregnant. Though little is mentioned about the pregnancy after he weds Margaret, did he really have an illegitimate child?

the crown princess margaret

Princess Margaret's husband did indeed have an illegitimate child

Camilla gave birth to a daughter, Polly, three weeks into her honeymoon. Although Polly grew up believing Jeremy was her father, a DNA test when she was aged 45 confirmed that Lord Snowdon was actually her biological father. Speaking about the discovery on the Daily Mail, she wrote: "Finding out at the age of 45 that the man I had idolised and put on a pedestal higher than Nelson's Column since I was a small child was not in fact my father was a hard burden to bear. Rather than being twisted with guilt and shame at what I've done in uncovering a secret that I should have been told long ago, I can just carry on being little old me, the person I am today."

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