Putting together a Netflix original series of such royal proportions was no easy task for the creators of The Crown. From accurately portraying members of the British monarchy to recreating sets that perfectly mimic Buckingham palace, The Crown went to great lengths to put this on-going masterpiece together.
After releasing its fourth season this past fall of 2020, The Crown continues to enthrall audiences with its portrayal of its unique and complicated characters. For the cast and crew alike, bringing these stories to life on our screens was both a challenge and a life-changing experience. See what all went into the making of The Crown with these behind the scenes facts and photos and find out what really went into making such a smash-hit Netflix production.
Emma Corrin Can Thank Her Mom for Being Cast as Princess Diana
Actress Emma Corrin grew up with a special fondness for the late Lady Di. “My mum’s very fond of Diana, always has been and because she looks so similar to her it’s something that has always been commented upon in her life,” Emma shared. “I’m very close to my mum and I guess Diana’s become something that we’ve shared together.” When casting directors met Corrin, they were blown away by how much she resembled the princess.
“This was the first time we had an actor who can absolutely inhabit the essence of Diana, but also look scarily like her,” said director Benjamin Caron. Facial features were not the only thing that Corrin’s mom passed on to her daughter. “Mum’s a speech therapist and we used to go to cafes together and practice the voice. It felt like a joint effort because she was just as invested as I was,” said the star.
Claire Foy Had To Hide Her Baby Bump With a Corset
Actress Claire Foy was pregnant when she auditioned for the role of young Queen Elizabeth. And clearly, pregnancy did not keep her from impressing the casting team. By the time they began filming, Foy was already a new mom, which came with an unexpected advantage. The corset that she had to wear in order to hide the extra baby weight actually helped her get into character.
“I’d just had a baby when I started filming, so I had to wear a proper corset because I was about five dress sizes bigger than I normally am,” Foy shared. “The corset helps you not slouch. Now we’re doing the second series. I’m not wearing it anymore, but it stays with you, that posture, and being a lady.” Foy liked to joke about her new mom status on set calling herself a “breastfeeding queen.”
Princess Diana’s Wedding Dress is Almost an Exact Replica
Although Princess Diana’s wedding dress is only shown for less than a minute on screen, that does not mean that costume designers took any shortcuts when creating it. In fact, her dress took 14 weeks to make and actress Emma Corrin had to come in for several lengthy fittings. Costume designer Amy Roberts pulled all the stops to make the gown as close to the real thing as possible.
Roberts even got permission to reproduce the dress from Princess Diana’s original wedding dress designers, David and Elizabeth Emanuel. Not only that but David Emanuel was happy to help consult on fabric choices for the costume and brought in copies of the original designs. Once they had the final product, it took about 10 people to get Emma into the heavy dress and ready for its short but powerful moment.
Claire Foy Was Paid Less Than Matt Smith
There’s no doubt that actress Claire Foy was the star of The Crown’s first two seasons. However, that doesn’t mean that she was paid the most. In fact, there was a pretty big pay discrepancy between Foy and her on-screen husband, Matt Smith. This could have been due to the fact that Smith was already a well-known face from his time starring in Doctor Who, however, the fact did cause a major uproar in regards to the show’s clear gender pay gap.
Showrunners later apologized, however, for some this was not enough. “I understand they made an apology but, you know, an apology and a check would be more welcome,” said Jared Harris, who played King George VI. “She worked longer hours. Her performance is a huge reason why this thing is going to have a season three, four, five, and six … send her a paycheck and, in retrospect, bring her pay up to parity.”
The Cast Is Team Meghan and Harry
According to royal biographer Katie Nicholl, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle enjoyed watching The Crown and actually bonded over the series when they were engaged. And when it comes to their fandom, the feeling seems to be mutual.
When asked about how they felt about Harry and Meghan’s departure from the royal family, the cast of The Crown sounded hopeful for the couple. “I think the world is their oyster,” said Erin Doherty, who plays Princess Anne. “It’ll be very interesting to see what they do but now they’re masters of their own destiny and good luck to them.”
Prince Charles’s Investiture Scene Was Filmed at the Exact Location of the Event
While many moments throughout the series were filmed in locations far less royal than Buckingham palace itself, other filming locations were as authentic as they come. One powerful scene, in particular, was filmed in the exact same location where the event took place. That is when Prince Charle’s gave his controversial investiture speech.
As depicted in the show, On 1 July 1969 the investiture ceremony for Charles, Prince of Wales was in fact held at Caernarfon Castle in Gwynedd, Wales. Of course, set designers had to transport the castle back to the 60s in order to pull the scene off right. The cast was also joined by 250 extras, many of which were local people living in the area. The surrounding streets were also decorated with bunting and flags, especially for the occasion.
Coronavirus Halted Production with Only Six Days Left of Filming
Just like most plans made throughout 2020, the coronavirus swooped in at the worst timing for the cast of The Crown. They only had six more episodes to film when working on the show’s fourth season before production was unexpectedly halted by lockdowns and social distance mandates.
The cast and crew had to shut everything down before they could film some very important scenes. One of these being the dramatic moment when Charles gets caught in the 1988 avalanche while skiing in Switzerland. Instead, showrunners had to improvise and decided to use actual news footage from the event.
Meghan Markle is Welcome to Play Herself
While The Crown’s latest season has only just begun to introduce Prince William and Prince Harry in their infant years, the question as to whether or not they plan on portraying them as adults still looms. The series is set to run for six seasons and does plan to introduce more modern members of the royal family.
And this could include the relationship between Prince Harry and former actress, Meghan Markle. When it comes to playing Meghan, show producers have said that if she chose to come out of retirement, the duchess has an open invite to play herself.
Prince Philip Was Almost Played by Paul Bettany
While Tobias Menzies (in our opinion) makes the perfect candidate to take over for Matt Smith as Prince Philip in seasons 3 and 4, it seems that showrunners initially had someone else in mind. Actor Paul Bettany, who you might recognize from films like A Knight’s Tale and The Da Vinci Code, was reportedly on the shortlist for casting directors.
When asked about this casting rumor, Bettany confirmed it saying, “We discussed it. We just couldn’t come to terms on dates really. That is all that happened.” And while we are sure he would have done a stand-up job, we can’t help but feel relieved that it didn’t work out.
Olivia Colman Was Nervous To Take Over From Claire Foy
Those who have already seen all four seasons know that in season three of the series, the cast is switched to portray older versions of the royal family. Taking over as Queen Elizabeth for Claire Foy was Broadchurch star, Olivia Coleman. And she did not take this lightly. “It’s horrendous,” Coleman said when asked about having to take step-in for Foy. “Everyone loves Claire Foy, so I have got the worst job in the world at the moment,” she explained.
Coleman was already an award-winning star when she took on the role but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t ready and willing to take notes from Foy. “The first week, I did feel myself trying to do Claire impressions,” she admitted. Well, her strategy did pay off in the end. Her portrayal of the queen earned Coleman a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, among others.
Helena Bonham Carter Met Princess Margaret in Real Life
Many of the stars in The Crown did extensive research for their character by watching documentaries, old newsreels, and hitting the history books. For actress Helena Bonham Carter, however, she actually got to meet her character, Princess Margaret, in person.
“My uncle was actually very close to her,” Carter shared in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “She was pretty scary. At one point, she met me at Windsor Castle and she said, ‘You are getting better, aren’t you?’” Well, we are glad to know that Princess Margaret appreciated the stars acting skills.
Claire Foy Worried She Made a Huge Mistake
If auditioning for a role while pregnant sounds tasking, imagine playing the queen of England while raising a four-month-old. For Claire Foy, she was willing to rise to the occasion, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t met with many challenges along the way.
Foy shared her experience from her first-day filming saying, “I found myself halfway up a Scottish mountain with engorged boobs and no way of getting down to feed my baby. I had to ring my husband and tell him to give her formula… as I sat in a Land Rover trying to get my broken breast pump to work, I felt I’d made the worst mistake of my life.” Thankfully she overcame this challenge and managed to juggle being the queen and a new mother all at once.
Prince William Had Some Unhelpful Advice for Matt Smith
In an interview on The Graham Norton Show, actor Matt Smith revealed that he very briefly met Prince William while in a line-up at polo. Putting him on the spot, the person running the line-up introduced Smith to the prince and asked him if he had any advice for his upcoming role as Prince Philip, William’s grandfather.
Unfortunately, William did not have much insight for the actor. Instead, all the royal had to say was “legend, he’s an absolute legend.” No pressure right? Luckily, Smith found a way to take the advice to heart and managed to portray Philip in the most legendary way possible.
Olivia Colman Had No Chill About Being Cast as The Queen
By the time Olivia Colman was cast as Queen Elizabeth for seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown, she had already earned her place as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Known for roles in British programs like Broadchurch, Fleabag, and Peep Show, in recent years, Colman became the recipient of numerous prestigious accolades. This includes an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Queen Anne in 2018’s The Favourite.
Her many awards and in-demand status however did not keep her from showing just how excited she was about being cast as the lead in The Crown. “I was incredibly uncool about it,” Coleman shared. “The producers went, ‘So…’ [I said,] ‘Yes! Yes! I’m really excited! Thank you very much!’ I loved the first two seasons.”
Casting Directors Wanted the Role of Diana To Go To Someone Unkown
Before Emma Corrin was cast as Princess Diana, the relatively unknown actress only had 60 Instagram followers and was still a newbie to the acting scene. And while you might assume this would hurt her chances, show creator Peter Morgan actually thought this helped her become the perfect Lady Di.
“What was attractive to us was finding an unknown actor and giving them the same experience that Diana would have had, going from being unknown to becoming the Princess of Wales,” Morgan shared. He added to this sentiment saying, “As well as having the innocence and beauty of a young Diana, she [Corrin] also has, in abundance, the range and complexity to portray an extraordinary woman.”
The Cast Had a Disco To Celebrate Their Last Day
When wrapping up season 2, the cast of The Crown already knew that they would be replaced by their older counterparts in the next seasons. So naturally, they wanted to make their series wrap up as special as possible. Claire Foy shared her experience on her last few days on set in an interview with Metro Magazine.
“On our last day, the amazing cinematographer, Adriano Goldman had asked all the electricians to put multi-colored lights in all the lights around Buckingham Palace. So when I and Vanessa Kirby finished it turned into a disco and everyone was like ‘Woooo,'” Foy recalled. Unfortunately, Matt Smith was not there to enjoy the disco, however, Foy does admit that she got very emotional on her last day filming with her on-screen husband.
The Crown Is Reportedly One of the Most Expensive Series Ever Made
While putting together this series of royal proportions, showrunners were not willing to spare a single expense. And while the end result definitely paid off, some of these numbers are still hard to wrap our heads around. The first two seasons alone cost $130 million to create.
That comes out around $13 million per episode. In comparison, Friends cost around $10 million per episode, while Game of Thrones cost $15 million. If The Crown runs for its predicted six seasons that means the entire series will cost $390 million.
Queen Elizabeth’s Wedding Dress Was a Huge Challenge To Create
It cost $35,000 to create Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress which is seen in the very first episode of The Crown. And for costume designer Michele Clapton, doing so was no small task. According to Clapton, the dress was the “most elaborate and time-consuming costume” she and her team have ever made. And that is really saying something considering the fact that she was part of the team that helped bring Game of Thrones to our screens.
The pressure was on for Clapton to make the dress as close to the original as possible. “That whole procession with the bridesmaids and the train and everything was something which I thought, ‘If we don’t get that right, then we don’t actually have the right to make anything else up,’” she shared. Luckily the end result was spot-on, creating a powerful and memorable opening episode.
Emma Would Always Get Giggly After Six o’Clock
According to both Emma Corrin herself and as well as her co-star Josh O’Connor, every day while filming, come six o’clock, Corrin would always get extremely giggly. Like clockwork, the whole cast and crew would know that the day was wrapping up based on Emma’s inability to get through her lines without laughing.
Adding to this O’Connor shared that “sometimes she would just have this random spurt of madness and it might not be six o’clock and we would just say, ‘it’s six o clock somewhere.'” In the same interview, however, O’Connor also admitted that he would be the one that would most likely fall asleep on set. Guess nobody’s perfect, even those playing royalty.
Claire Foy Broke Her Elbow Three Months Into Shooting
Foy broke her elbow when she fell over at a wedding just three months into filming The Crown’s first season. “I wasn’t even drunk! It was so embarrassing phoning the producer to tell him,” admitted Foy. “I had to go back to work because we had these huge scenes to shoot of the Royal Wedding and the Coronation at Ely Cathedral.”
And being injured on set definitely had its challenges. “Getting into the costumes was tricky for quite a while,” Foy Shared. And not just any costume. Foy had to film the wedding scene while injured and we can’t imagine getting into that heavy, $35,000 wedding dress was easy.
The Role of Queen Elizabeth II Almost Went To Felicity Jones
Actress Felicity Jones, who you might recognize from her role as Jyn from Star Wars Rogue One, was reportedly set to take on the role of Queen Elizabeth before the part eventually went to Claire Foy. Jones even participated in a special reading of the show’s early scripts.
The actress, along with 25 other potential cast members joined together in London to read the first five episodes to Netflix executives who had flown in from Los Angeles for the occasion. When asked about casting decisions at the time, one executive responded, “We really don’t know at this stage if Felicity or any of the others will continue to the series, as we’re just beginning the process.”
Matt Smith Wore a Wig on the Show
When it comes to finding the right actor to portray a historical figure, having a skilled casting team is key. However, they shouldn’t get all the credit. In order to achieve the closest likeness to the cast’s real-life counterparts, a great deal of credit is owed to the show’s hair and makeup team.
“We had many wigs for all the actors that made them resemble the real characters more,” shared makeup and hair designer Ivana Primora. “Matt Smith’s not a blond, so we tried to get as close to the real characters as we possibly could,” she added. According to Primora, the Windsors, in general, have “strong hairlines.” So sometimes in order to achieve this, they had to rely on the help of a wig or two.
Claire Foy Almost Wasn’t Cast at All
While in hindsight Claire Foy seems born to portray a royal, it turns out that her audition was initially overlooked. “I tried to cast almost everyone in Britain before Claire Foy,” creator Peter Morgan admitted in an interview with Variety Magazine. “It was weird. Every time I went to a read-through where we were doing auditions for ‘The Queen,’ I was interested in actress A or B I would skip the bit where Claire was in there,” he added.
“And then after about the fourth time, I went, ‘This one is sensational, who’s this?’ And they said, ‘Pete, she’s been in four times. And you’ve gone for a better-known actress.’ She very queen-like, slipped in, and has proven to be very queen-like. Brilliantly effective.” It seems Foy has proven that it definitely pays off to try and try again.
Matt Smith Had a Near Death Experience While Filming
According to Matt Smith, he had a near-death experience while filming in South Africa. And it was all thanks to his not so great horseback riding skills. “These horses were being a bit frisky,” Matt Smith said during an interview on the Graham Norton Show. “We were meant to get on them and trot off and have this lovely love scene, which didn’t even make the cut. In my stupidity, I got on the horse and cantered around and then it just went.”
But the story didn’t stop there, “I tried to grab a branch and everyone was shouting, ‘Oh my God, don’t grab the branch!’ So I went under the branch and then down a ravine.” Smith continued, “I was so scared. As it galloped towards a herd of zebra, a huge man grabbed it by the reins and saved my life.”
John Lithgow Stuffed Cotton in His Nose To Play Winston Churchill
Since it’s Netflix debut, The Crown has earned numerous prestigious awards. And it should come as no surprise that one recipient was John Lithgow who earned himself an Emmy Award as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award for his phenomenal portrayal of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. As one of the only Americans to be cast in the series, the pressure was on to do the late British PM justice.
And Lithgow had quite an interesting strategy to nail down the sickly diplomat’s nasally tone of voice. Before every scene, the actor would stuff cotton up his nostrils. “It was rather repulsive watching me pluck cotton out of my nose after every scene, but they just had to put up with it,” Lithgow shared. The actor also had cheek plumpers in his mouth and had to wear a fat suit which Lithgow compared to “putting on a lady’s one-piece bathing suit.”
Emma Was Hospitalized After Filming In Spain
First of all, the scenes that were filmed on tour in Australia, were actually filmed in Spain. The cast spent weeks on location in Spain and it was actually Emma Corrin’s favorite filming location. Somehow this fact still remained even after she ended up in the hospital after filming. “I’m asthmatic and I had been ill for a while with a bad cough,” Corrin explained.
“I had to film a scene in a freezing-cold swimming pool, with the kids…It was honestly the hardest scene to film because I was genuinely keeping myself alive treading water.” She goes on to explain, “We were meant to be flying back that night to the UK, so we went past a hospital to get me antibiotics. The doctors gave me an oxygen test and said, ‘We cannot let you go because your oxygen levels are so low,’ so I was hospitalized.”
The Set Had to Be Adjusted To Make Lithgow Appear Shorter
In addition, to adding 80 extra pounds to the actor’s waistline, the fatsuit that John Lithgow had to wear while portraying Prime Minister Winston Churchill also helped the actor appear shorter than he is in real-life. But this was not the only strategy used to make up for the huge height discrepancy between Lithgow and Churchill (Churchill was 5’6”; Lithgow is 6’4”).
The set itself also had to be adjusted. “He was a little bulldog, and I’m a big lummox,” Lithgow joked in an interview with The Guardian. And while the actor stooped down as much as he could while filming, set designers also had to scale up the fake door to 10 Downing Street just to make him look shorter.
None of the Scenes Were Filmed in Buckingham Palace
As you might have guessed, the queen of England wasn’t exactly opening her doors to the cast and crew so that they could film The Crown at the actual Buckingham Palace. Instead, the research team had to take regularly scheduled public tours of the Palace in order to create the most accurate recreation on set.
In addition, the Palace also did not lend any resources when it came to props. When asked about the props by the LA Times, production designer, Martin Childs said he felt flattered that people might think they are real. “We must be getting our fakery right!” he told the interviewer.
Princess Margaret Was a High Fashion Princess
If you thought Vanessa Kirby’s glamourous style while portraying a young Princess Margaret stood out among the rest, well there’s a good reason for that. According to the costume designer Michele Clapton, Margaret was all about high-fashion. “I know she wore Dior and so there was always a bit of a flare and her wardrobe was a bit more daring.”
And it was not just any designer that caught Margaret’s eye. According to Clapton, the royal had a particular fondness for Paris fashion. “I knew she was inspired by Paris so I looked at the shapes from there and throughout the process, we saw some really beautiful pieces. I think I copied one outfit and then tried to do an interpretation of the others.”
Olivia Colman Struggled To Keep a Straight Face Around Gillian Anderson
No one can deny that Gillian Anderson did an outstanding job portraying Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Her appearance, mannerisms, and accent were absolutely uncanny! And it was like were watching Ms. Thatcher herself on our screens. Well, it turns out that in order to nail the accent down, Anderson decided to bring headphones to her first table read so that she could listen to Thatcher speak as she read her lines.
In fact, no one had even heard Gillian’s Thatcher voice, other than her vocal coach, prior to the second day of rehearsals. According to the actress, she was “quite shy” to show off her accent. And for good reason too. Olivia Colman admitted that it was “very difficult to keep a straight face” while sharing the screen with Gillian.
Emma Was Initially Only Hired To Read Lines for Camilla Bowles’ Auditions
When actors began coming in to audition for the role of Camilla Bowles, they needed to hire someone to stand behind the camera and read the lines for Diana’s part. This paying job ended up going to Emma Corrin who was still an unknown face and name at the time. Corrin had no intention of actually auditioning for the series.
By the end of the day, however, showrunners had noticed something special about Corrin and asked if she would be willing to stand in front of the camera and actually audition for the role of Diana. As we now know, her spontaneous audition impressed the showrunners and she was given the role of a lifetime.
Emma Used One Word To Get Into Character as Diana
In order to best practice the inflection of Diana’s voice and to get herself into character Emma Corrin relied on one particular word. Before filming she would say the word “alright” in Diana’s voice over and over again. When talking about how she perfected her Diana voice on The Graham Norton Show, Corrin explained that “Everything she [Diana] says always goes down at the end.”
The actress went on to say that, “It’s almost like even if she [Diana] had the best time ever, it would always sound a little bit sad.” Co-star Josh O’Connor, who plays Prince Charles also admitted that he spent a good deal of time trying to perfect his “alright.”
Elizabeth’s Clothes Are Purposefully Simplistic
While Princess Margaret might have earned her reputation as a high-fashion royal, her sister, Queen Elizabeth seems to prefer a much more laid-back style. And costume director, Michele Clapton, found it of utmost importance to emphasize this contrast in the series. “I also sense that clothes were really unimportant to her, so I tried to show that in the fact that the colors chosen for her are not sophisticated, shared Clapton.”
According to Caplan, she wanted her style to emphasize the queen’s country girl tendencies. “I always thought the Queen, even in season and listening to her, would have been just a country wife if she hadn’t been elevated to royalty. She seems to have a liking for sweet things and something pretty and her colors were quite simplistic.”
Gillian Had To Hold Her Mouth So It Looked Like She Had an Overbite
These days there are many life-like prosthetics or CGI strategies to make an actor look exactly like the character they are portraying. However, Gillian Anderson decided to stick to the old fashioned way when she prepared to take on the role of Margaret Thatcher. And while Andreson and Thatcher were already close in age, had relatively similar noses and eye shapes, there was one physical feature that proved a bit more difficult to embody.
“She had very distinctive teeth,” Anderson said in an interview with Vogue Magazine. “They weren’t great, and she had them capped a couple of times while she was in office. Someone built a prosthesis that matched, but it was too much and didn’t look natural at all.” After the prosthetics failed to work, Anderson instead figured out how to hold her mouth while on-screen so that it appeared she had more of an overbite.
The Scene of Diana Dancing To Elton John Was Completely Improvised
The scene where we see Lady Diana dancing alone in the palace was initially supposed to be choreographed and taught to Emma Corrin prior to filming. However, Corrin requested that they skip the choreography since, as she put it, she really wanted “to just completely lose it.” And she didn’t think that choreography would allow that to happen. Corrin also requested that she be able to choose the song that she dances to.
So while in the film we see her dancing to Elton John, in reality, she is dancing to Cher’s “Do You Believe.” Corrin recalls this day on set saying “I just danced for three minutes without stopping and I remember I fell to the floor and I felt ecstatic.” Unfortunately, though the scene had to be reshot because Corrin was mouthing the lyrics to Cher’s hit, which showrunners did not have the rights to.
There Were 17 Diana Outfits Created For Just One Episode
Costume designer Amy Roberts created 17 different looks for Lady Diana in the episode titled “Terra Nullius.” This is the episode that follows Diana and Charles on their official tour of Australia in 1983. If you recall, this was a huge turning point for Diana where she really begins to earn her reputation as “the people’s princess.”
It’s no doubt that the clothes she wore on the trip added greatly to her appeal. In real life, Lady Di reportedly brought more than 200 ensembles with her on the trip. So it was important for the design team to reflect this in the episode. They went all out creating everything from glamorous evening dresses, to colorful daytime frocks, with matching hats of course.
Claire Foy and Matt Smith Had a Whole Research Team To Help Them Prepare
As you might imagine, Claire Foy and Matt Smith had to do a ton of research when preparing for their roles as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. But they were not left to do so on their own. According to the stars, they had a whole team of researchers helping them out.
When asked about their strategies, Smith shared that they read a lot of books and watched old footage of the royals. “We sourced as much audio and visual footage as we could find and really immersed ourselves in both the royal family and their emotional journey and the events that happened in their life, but also the cultural and political context of the ’40s and the ’50s.”
The Sets Were Designed To Be Huge On Purpose
Although The Crown was not able to actually film at Buckingham Palace, that does not mean they didn’t do their best to recreate the royal abode as accurately as possible. “You are dealing with Buckingham Palace, which is a very complex place to try to reproduce,” said Director Steven Daldry. For him as well as production designer Martin Childs it was important to also convey the vastness of what it meant to live a royal life.
They used the set to symbolize this concept in quite a clever way. “We always try to get this feeling that these people are living in this huge, vast space, in particular when you get to Buckingham Palace,” Daldry shared.”It’s a gilded cage in lots of ways, so you want to always get this sense of a huge, unfriendly place that they are rattling around in.”
Most of Elizabeth’s Wardrobe Was Made From Scratch
While many of the costumes worn in The Crown were actual vintage pieces, costumer designer Michele Caplan did find this to be a challenge. “It’s so rare to find vintage costumes of that level of beauty you’d need for royals,” She told Grazia Magazine. “We decided really early on to make 80, 90 percent of Elizabeth’s wardrobe; it just seemed the best way forward.”
This meant that Caplan and her team really had their work cut out for them. “We had a really busy workroom from day one, making inspiration boards and working out the pieces that we might have to copy,” Caplan shared. While the majority of her dresses were made from scratch, Elizabeth’s coronation dress was a rental.
Emma Trained With a Movement Couch for Six Months
Although we can all agree that Emma Corrin naturally resembles a young Princess Diana, that doesn’t mean she didn’t receive some help to best nail down Lady Di’s mannerisms. In fact, she had to work with a movement coach for a whole six months in order to learn how to carry herself.
In her training, Corrin was tasked with learning an assortment of random habits such as how Diana would always stand in a doorway centered and leaning to one side. In addition to Emma, Gillian Anderson also worked with a movement coach who taught her how to best mimic Margaret Thatcher’s unique walk.
Helena Bonham Carter Has a Bizarre Taste in Music
Both Emma Corrin (Diana) and Olivia Colman (Elizabeth) are in agreement that when it comes to playing music on set, their co-star Helena Bonham Carter (Margaret) was by far the worst DJ. They joked about moments in the makeup van, sometimes as early as 7:00 in the morning, when Carter would play a strange assortment of music.
They shared in an interview with Netflix that Carter would play bizarre tunes ranging from “obscure clarinet solos” to songs from the Mulan soundtrack. Not to mention “some very funny yurt type music,” as Colman put it. Corrin shared that when this would happen, the rest of the cast members would just “sit in a row and text each other ‘wtf is this’.”
During the Big Family Scenes, the Cast Would Play Games Between Takes
If it looked like the Royals were having a great time whenever the whole family got together, you might be delighted to hear that there was not that much acting involved. The cast became very close on set and generally loved filming the scenes where they could all be together.
Often times, during the big family scenes, the filming crew would simply let their cameras keep running as the cast hung out, played games, and played with the dogs. Olivia Colman shared that sometimes the cast would play a game called fives “for hours on end.”
Benjamin Caron Had a Unique Strategy To Build Up Tension Between Camilla and Diana
There’s no arguing that the scene where Camilla Bowles and Diana go out for lunch together is an extremely awkward and tense moment. And for director Benjamin Caron, it was very important for him to achieve just that. In order to build up the tension during rehearsals, Caron had Josh O’Connor, who plays Prince Charles, sit in between Emerald Fennell (Camilla) and Emma Corrin (Diana).
He then told the actors that only one of them could have their hand on O’Connor’s at one time. Fennell managed to put her’s on O’Connor first and she kept her hand on his the whole scene. According to Caron, this “made it really uncomfortable for Emma,” causing the unspoken battle between the two characters to come alive in the scene.