Belfast Telegraph

The Crown – the story so far

Everything you need to know if you skipped the first two series of the hit Netflix show.

The Crown Season 1 (Netflix)
The Crown Season 1 (Netflix)

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Want to watch the new series of The Crown but worried you don’t have time to watch the first two series?

Here is everything you need to know about the story so far.

It starts with a wedding

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The Crown (Netflix)

The first episode of the first series sees Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (Matt Smith) renounce his titles and citizenship before marrying Princess Elizabeth (Claire Foy).

The newlyweds move to Malta, where she gives birth to Charles and Anne, but return to England when her father King George VI becomes ill.

Elizabeth becomes Queen while in Kenya

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The coronation (Netflix)

The royal couple learned of the death of the king while on a tour of the Commonwealth and the new Queen returns to England for the funeral and subsequent coronation.

Marital strife

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(Netflix)

Philip’s restlessness in his role is a key plot point in the first two series of the show.

He becomes frustrated at being used as a prop and spends more and more time away from Buckingham Palace.

Matters escalate in the second series, when Philip embarks on a solo tour and Elizabeth becomes convinced he is having an affair after finding a photograph of eminent Russian ballerina Galina Ulanova in his briefcase, but the pair decide divorce is not an option.

Margaret’s turbulent love life

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Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret (Netflix)

The first series follows Princess Margaret’s affair with Royal Air Force Group Captain Peter Townsend, which divides the country as the public love their romance and the establishment disapprove.

Margaret ultimately decides not to marry him and the second series focuses on her romance with the womanising photographer Antony Armstong-Jones, who goes on to become her husband.

Charles’ difficult childhood

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(Netflix)

The second series sees Philip arrange for Charles to attend Gordonstoun in Scotland, where he went to school, despite protests from Elizabeth.

Charles struggles with Gordonstoun’s rigorous curriculum and during a challenging physical task he goes missing, only to be found crying by his bodyguard.

Philip takes him home, admonishing him for being “bloody weak”.

Meetings with Prime Ministers

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John Lithgow as Winston Churchill (Netflix)

The Queen’s meetings with her prime ministers are a key element of the show, starting with Winston Churchill in the first series, followed by Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan.

The third series will see the arrival of Harold Wilson in Downing Street.

The Profumo Affair

The second series ends with the scandal that rocked the heart of the establishment, the discovery of a sexual relationship between secretary of state for war John Profumo and model Christine Keeler.

The scandal becomes public knowledge and throws the government into chaos.

It also impacts relationship between Elizabeth and Philip, as the press speculates about a “mystery man” in a photograph taken at a party hosted by London osteopath Stephen Ward, who is charged with immorality offences.

Ward later commits suicide and when the police search through his belongings, they find a hand-drawn portrait of Philip.

The third series of The Crown will launch on November 17.

PA

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