Queen Elizabeth II death: What the Queen thought of her life’s depiction in The Crown

Did Her Majesty ever give the show her royal seal of approval?

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 12 September 2022 08:29 BST
Queen Elizabeth II's playful moments

Queen Elizabeth II’s life has long been a source of inspiration for film and television writers.

On Thursday (8 September), the royal family announced that the monarch died peacefully at Balmoral, aged 96, leading to tributes from world leaders and entertainment stars.

The Queen’s life has been documented most thoroughly on screen in the Netflix series The Crown, which began in 2016.

Follow the latest updates as the world pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Peter Morgan’s hit drama charts her rise to power, her relationship with Prince Philip and her dealings with several prime ministers over the past 75 years.

The forthcoming season is set to explore her life in the 1990s, and will bring the series up to the 2000s.

But did the Queen ever watch The Crown? While King Charles III’s friends have criticised the show for “presenting fiction as fact”, it was reported in 2017 that the drama was a hit with the late sovereign, who was said to have watched the first season after being encouraged to do so by her son and daughter-in-law, the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

According to The Sunday Express, the couple arranged Saturday night screenings of the show in Her Majesty’s private apartments at Windsor Castle.

“Edward and Sophie love The Crown,” a senior royal source said, adding: “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.”

They added: “Happily, she really liked it, although obviously there were some depictions of events that she found too heavily dramatised.”

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in season four of ‘The Crown’ (Netflix)

It’s unknown how many episodes of the series the Queen watched in total.

Claire Foy and Olivia Colman played her in the series, with Imelda Staunton set to take over when the show returns later this year.

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In the wake of the Queen’s death, Netflix is reportedly temporarily halting production on the sixth and final season.

Many are remembering the Queen’s more playful moments, with particular focus being given to her skits alongside Daniel Craig’s James Bond and Paddington Bear.

The latter in particular was recalled after news of her death broke due to a post by Paddington’s official Twitter account, which featured an emotional callback to their scene together just three months ago.

The Crown is available to stream on Netflix now.

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