‘The Crown’: A Look Back at Season 1 and the History Behind It

‘The Crown’: A Look Back at Season 1 and the History Behind It


Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in the second season of “The Crown,” beginning Friday on Netflix.

Stuart Hendry/Netflix

LONDON — “The Crown,” the Netflix drama about the life of Queen Elizabeth II, returns for its second season on Dec. 8. It picks up roughly where last season left off, the latest installment in a series that aims to track England’s longest reigning monarch up to the present day. (Claire Foy, who currently stars as Elizabeth, will be replaced by the older Olivia Colman next season.)

The first season spanned the period from just before the death of Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, through the early years of her own reign, portraying the challenges she faced both as queen and as a mother, wife and sister. While the dialogue is fictional, the major events depicted were based on historical fact.

As a refresher, here’s an episode-by-episode summary of Season 1 of “The Crown,” and a look at how some of these events were covered in The New York Times.

Episode 1, ‘Wolferton Splash’

Princess Elizabeth is engaged to Lieut. Philip Mountbatten, the former Prince Philip of Greece. King George VI gives Philip his royal title ahead of the marriage to his daughter and heir to the throne, Elizabeth. The wedding is held at Westminster Abbey, in great ceremony, and the Princess vows to “obey” her consort, to much controversy. The royal couple have two children, Charles and Anne. Winston Churchill is elected prime minister for the second time. Upon finding out her father is to undergo lung surgery, Princess Elizabeth returns to London with her family.

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