The Crown season 4: Lord Mountbatten death – did it happen like shown in episode 1 of Netflix show?

Lord Mountbatten was killed from injuries suffered in a bomb explosion in 1979

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 23 November 2020 15:19 GMT
The Crown - Official Trailer

The Crown's new season addresses one of the most shocking events in the royal family's history.

Season four of the Netflix drama begins in 1977, shortly after Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 25th year on the throne.

By the end of episode one, the series has jumped forward a few years to 1979 where it depicts the assassination of Lord Mountbatten (Charles Dance).

Showrunner Peter Morgan has been known to take artistic licence with several historical points in the past, but did Dickie's death really happen as it's shown in in the series?

In short, it happened under very similar circumstances: Lord Mountbatten was killed from injuries suffered in a bomb explosion on his private boat in Mullaghmore, County Sligo, in August 1979.

The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) took responsibility for the bombing, which also killed three others: two teenage boys – Mountbatten's grandson Nicholas, 14, and local fisherman's hand Paul Maxwell, 15 – and Doreen, Dowager Lady Brabourne, 83.

Doreen’s death isn't shown in the series. It’s also not revealed that Lord Mountbatten initially survived the blast – he was pulled from the wreckage alive, but died as he was being brought to shore.

Prince Charles, with whom Dickie was close, is depicted as being particularly affected by the events. In a scene following the bombing, he is shown reading a letter from his grandfather, who is seen to write it within days of his death.

Lord Mountbatten’s assassination occurs in 'The Crown’ season four premiere
Lord Mountbatten’s assassination occurs in 'The Crown’ season four premiere (Netflix)

It's no stretch to assume the timing of this letter is an example of Morgan taking some artistic licence, but it was no less emotional for Josh O'Connor to film.

"There's a scene where Charles is reading a letter he received from him after he died and there I am, sat on a plane, reading the letter and I didn't just cry, I sobbed," the actor told the Irish Mirror.

"It was one of those moments on The Crown that are kind of ethereal, almost mythological in their specialness."

Find a rundown of the current season’s accuracy here.

Meanwhile, viewers have spotted a mouse running into shot in the third episode.

The Crown is available to stream on Netflix.

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