20 December 2017

The Jewels of The Crown, Season 2, Episodes 5-10

The Crown has always taken great care with the big historical moments they depict on the show, replicating everything as closely as possible. The second half of Season 2 offers up a handful of these big moments and, though they were a little light on the historical context (really, if you aren't well-versed in the politics of Britain in this era, you'd do well to google every player mentioned; they often lean towards inaccurate emotional motivations while underplaying the actual historical significance of events - it is a drama, after all), the show once again does an admirable job with recreations.

Episode 5: After depicting the struggle to modernize the monarchy, the show includes The Queen's 1957 Christmas message, the first ever to be televised. This was pretty faithfully recreated, down to the unusual sight of The Queen sitting with her legs crossed.
There was no brooch for this big event, just pearls and a metallic dress. (You can watch that first broadcast here.)

Episode 7: An engagement ring for Princess Margaret, after many drunken nights listening to music all alone (so says the show). Her real ring was described as "a ruby set like a rosebud with a diamond marguerite," a nod to Margaret Rose.

Episode 7: We've finally arrived at Princess Margaret's wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones, and I genuinely don't envy the costume department for this one. They've done an admirable replica of Margaret's magnificent Hartnell dress, their task made even more difficult by the fact that Margaret was short and the actress that plays her is not. They've only really missed the volume of the skirt, and I expect that's down to those differences in height. They'd need an awfully full skirt to get the same effect.

The jewels are about as close as you can get, really: a good replica of the Poltimore Tiara, and a nod to the diamond collet necklace Margaret received from Queen Mary. Both of these (real) items were auctioned after her death.

The Queen's own Hartnell look for the day might be one of the best replicas the show has done. They've ticked all the right jewel boxes, too: two larger strands of pearls and the True Lover's Knot Brooch. This is the first time we've seen this brooch on the show.

Episode 8: It took this long to finally dig into The Queen's colored gemstones, but they were a must to authentically recreate her look for the dinner hosted at Buckingham Palace for the Kennedys. (The show also recreated the rumored tension between the two ladies and...well, leaned into it a bit too far.) Her blue gown was paired with the George VI Sapphires and Prince Albert's Sapphire Brooch, then and now. 

Episode 8: The Crown does The Queen's 1961 trip to Ghana a disservice by suggesting that she went on the trip because she had been upstaged by Jackie Kennedy, but at least they got the jewels correct.

She did wear the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara in its emerald setting, the first time the show has featured that, along with pieces from the Cambridge Emerald and Delhi Durbar Parure.

Embed from Getty Images
The dress for her dance with Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah is another faithful recreation, as you can see from the real moment above.

Episode 10: The season ends with The Queen's family now complete, at Prince Edward's christening in 1964. Rather than attempt to imitate her actual look at Edward's christening, the show's nodding in the direction of the Cecil Beaton portraits of her with infant Edward and young Andrew, which are much more famous anyway. She's wearing the Teck Corsage Brooch, another first for the show - and not a bad replica at all.

They take a few liberties with the guest list, as well (understandable, in the name of ending on a family portrait); there's Princess Margaret cradling Lady Sarah Chatto, who in reality was born the day before Edward's christening.

And that's a wrap for season 2! What did you think? Season 3 will see new actors take over the roles of Elizabeth and Philip; I'm excited to see Olivia Colman step into The Queen's shoes.

Photos: Netflix and via Getty Images as indicated