The Crown - Elizabeth (Claire Foy) and her father King George VI (Jared Harris)

‘The Crown’ Bows on Netflix – Time to Review 5 Key Plot Points from Episode 1

A lot of story unfolds in the premiere episode of Netflix’s new royal drama, The Crown. Complete with a lavishly, cinematic production, the ambitious series spans several years in it first episode alone. It begins in 1947, shortly before a then-Princess Elizabeth’s wedding and progresses from there.

The Crown‘s first season is comprised of 10 episodes. They briefly chronicle Elizabeth II’s life before becoming the Queen of England, and then focus on the period after she unexpectedly takes the reins in her mid-twenties.

Here are the 5 major plot points from Netflix’s The Crown, Episode 1: “Wolferton Splash”…

1. King George is dying

The Crown opens on a coughing King George VI (Jared Harris), as the ailing monarch preps for a final ceremony before his daughter can marry Philip Mountbatten (Matt Smith), Duke of Edinburgh.

As the episode progresses George’s health declines. His blood addled coughing fits eventually lead to a dire cancer diagnosis. George is not initially made aware of his own prognosis.

Netflix - The Crown - Elizabeth (Claire Foy) and Philip (Matt Smith)
[Image by Robert Viglasky/Netflix]

2. Princess Elizabeth II marries a controversial husband

Despite some controversy over the pairing, Elizabeth (Claire Foy) marries Philip in a regal ceremony. Elizabeth is portrayed hesitating in the midst of her vows. Is it a sign of a troubled marriage to come?

Elizabeth is depicted as quiet, smart, kind and bashful. While her husband Philip is portrayed as having a headstrong and vibrant personality. His and Elizabeth’s marriage while genuine, is also shown to be a tumultuous one.

3. Princess Margaret is having an affair

It is revealed that Elizabeth’s younger sister Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) is carrying on a secret affair with her father’s equerry, Peter Townsend (Ben Miles), a married father of two.

4. Princess Elizabeth settles into home life

Unaware of her father’s ailing health, Elizabeth settles into life as a wife, mother and moderately active princess. Through a montage of time progression, The Crown‘s audience is told that her oldest child and eldest son Prince Charles, and only daughter Princess Anne are born in 1948 and 1950, respectively.

Netflix - The Crown - Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) and Winston Churchill (John Lithgow)
[Image by Alex Bailey/Netflix]

5. Winston Churchill wins the election for Prime Minister

Winston Churchill (John Lithgow), England’s feisty former Prime Minister, wins back his old office at the age of 78-years-old. His wife, Clementine (Harriet Walter) is anxious over her husband’s return as PM. Churchill learns about King George’s cancer before George himself. Churchill shares the privileged news with his wife.

Behind-the-Scenes

-Peter Morgan, the screenwriter behind the Oscar-winning 2016 biopic The Queen, is the creator, showrunner, and sole writer of each episode of The Crown. Helen Mirren’s performance in The Queen won her an Oscar for Best Actress, back in 2007.

The Crown brought in some heavy hitters behind the camera to knock Netflix’s expensive new series out of the park. Oscar-winning music composer Hans Zimmer (Batman v Superman, Pirates of the Caribbean) conducts the series’ original theme.

-Zimmer conducted the score for the 2013 film Rush, which starred Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Daniel Bruhl (Captain America: Civil War). Peter Morgan was the screenwriter for that film.

-If you noticed any similarities between the feel of The Crown and HBO’s Game of Thrones, there is a connection between the two series. Game of Thrones‘ casting director Nina Gold acts in the same capacity for 5 of The Crown‘s 10 episodes.

Royal Reprisal

The Crown is not the first series or movie to adapt the events surrounding the current royal family.

-Elizabeth’s father, King George VI’s struggle with his speech, and the friendship, he developed with his therapist was the subject of the Oscar-winning 2010 film The King’s Speech. George was portrayed by Colin Firth in that film. He went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal.

-The fabled events of Elizabeth and her sister Margaret’s night out celebrating V.E. day in 1945 was the focus of the 2015 film A Royal Night Out, which is currently streaming on Netflix in the U.S.

The entire first season of The Crown is currently available to stream on Netflix.

[Featured Image by Alex Bailey/Netflix]

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