Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Did these moments in The Crown season four really happen? Find out here 

How much of The Crown season four is historically accurate? 

olivia colman
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
16 November 2020
Share this:

The Crown follows the Queen's reign over the years, but how much of it is actually historically accurate? From royal family pet names to major events in season four, we have looked into truth behind some of the main moments of the new series. So how much really did happen? Find out here... 

MORE: Viewers are saying the same thing about The Crown season four

Are Charles and Camilla's nicknames really Fred and Gladys?

In the early days of their relationship on the show, Diana realises the extent of Charles' continued feelings for Camilla after discovering designs for a bracelet using the initials of their nicknames 'Fred and Gladys'.

WATCH: Have you been enjoying The Crown season four?

According to Diana biographer Andrew Morton, this story is indeed true, and wrote that she confronted Charles about it with "angry and tearful protests" and confirmed to Andrew that the initials stood for their nicknames. 

camilla 1

Charles did indeed give Camilla a bracelet

Did the Queen really chat with Michael Fagan? 

A famous moment in the Queen's history is when a man broke into her bedroom at Buckingham Palace. While the urban myth is that they spoke calmly to one another before security arrived, which is indeed portrayed on the Netflix show, Michael himself has denied that it happened. 

the crown queen

Sadly, the Queen and Michael Fagan didn't have a long conversation

He previously told The Independent: "She went past me and ran out of the room; her little bare feet running across the floor."

Did Lord Mountbatten send a letter to Charles before he died? 

Before Lord Mountbatten's death in a terrorist attack orchestrated by the IRA, he pens a letter to Prince Charles where he firmly tells him to move on from Camilla and find a suitable wife to avoid a future similar to that of his uncle's, who abdicated the throne after falling with love with Wallis Simpson.


Lord Mountbatten died in 1979

While it is unknown whether Mountbatten actually wrote Charles a letter on the day he died, the Prince of Wales' close friend and mentor had previously instructed him to settle down, writing: "I believe, in a case like yours, the man should sow his wild oats and have as many affairs as he can before settling down, but for a wife he should choose a suitable, attractive and sweet-charactered girl before she met anyone else she might fall for." 

Of course, in the show it is used as a plot vehicle for Charles to move forward with dating Diana, despite still being in love with Camilla. 

Did Prince Philip really take Princess Diana stag hunting?

In the show, Diana receives the royal seal of approval from the family after going stag hunting with her future father-in-law, Philip, and helping him hunt down an imperial stag. While this moment between the two of them appears to have been created for the show, Diana and Philip did have a friendly relationship, as revealed in a letter from Philip to the late Princess of Wales. 


Diana earns Philip's approval during their day out

In it, he wrote: "Charles was silly to risk everything with Camilla for a man in his position. We never dreamed he might feel like leaving you for her. I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla. Such a prospect never even entered our heads." 

Is Andrew really the Queen's favourite child? 

In the Netflix show, the Queen is shocked to discover Margaret Thatcher has a favourite child, and wonders if she does too. After meetings with the four of them, Prince Philip confirms that Prince Andrew is indeed her favourite child. While the Queen has never publicly spoken about anything of the kind, royal historian Piers Brendon has previously opened up about how he is "obviously" her favourite son. 

andrew favourite

The Queen and Prince Philip share four children

Speaking on Jeremy Paxman’s Channel 5 documentary about the royals back in 2019, he said: "Andy skipped university and went straight to naval college, which went down well with his naval officer father.

"He completed the Marines Commando course, just to show he could, before qualifying as a helicopter pilot. Then, aged just 22, he fought in the Falklands. Prince Andrew is obviously the Queen’s favourite son. He was heroic during the Falklands War – she clearly has a soft spot for him." 

MORE: The Crown's Olivia Colman's home is ultimate interiors inspo

MORE: Gillian Anderson reveals 'boundaries' she made with partner and writer Peter Morgan on The Crown set

MORE: Margaret Thatcher's biographer talks 'silly' inaccuracies in season four of The Crown

Was Prince Charles caught in a deadly avalanche? 

In the show, Prince Charles is caught in an avalanche which kills one of his friends, Major Hugh Lindsay, and indeed, the truth of the matter was as serious as the show depicts. According to the helicopter pilot who airlifted Prince Charles and his party to safety, the Prince of Wales was "feet from death". 

charles 2

Prince Charles' close friend died in the avalanche

Swiss journalist Elizabeth Suter reported that he was seen trying to dig through the snow to find his friends, and was also in tears. He was heard saying: "I am shocked... The Queen must be told."

Was Margaret Thatcher really appointed as a member of the Order of Merit? 

Despite Margaret Thatcher and the Queen's many reported differences that are portrayed in The Crown, the former Prime Minister was indeed given the highly exclusive honour two weeks after her resignation, clearly suggesting that the monarch had a huge amount of respect for her. 


Margaret Thatcher is played by Gillian Anderson

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More TV and Film

See more