While us fans of Netflix’s extravagant original series The Crown are waiting patiently for the second season, it seems we could be in for more drama and controversial storylines than originally anticipated.
As the show is based on the life of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, as well as those closest to her, the creators have been careful not to extend their creative license too much when reimagining royal happenings and palace scandals (although there was the odd fabrication and embellishment of truth).
The show tackled some controversial subject matters in its first series, namely the forbidden relationship between Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend (a Group Captain in the RAF during World War Two), and that, following his abdication in 1936 after less than one year as King, Edward VIII (who was then re-titled to become David, Duke of Windsor) had some unsavoury nicknames for his relatives – nicknames that were penned in private letters which then became public property.
Matt Smith as young Prince Philip in The Crown
One of the biggest focus points of the show is the Queen’s marriage to Prince Philip, which is depicted as strained due to her royal duties taking priority and his reluctance to abide by them. Now though, it seems that the show's creator Peter Morgan is interested in exploring the difficulties within their marriage with great velocity; there may be nods to Philip’s alleged affairs in the early years of their marriage - affairs which have always been denied by the royal family. ‘Doesn’t everyone in Britain know he had an affair?’ were the words spoken by Morgan.
The rumours of cheating circulated in the Fifties, when the Duke of Edinburgh was linked to actress Pat Kirkwood TV star Katie Boyle. It was also speculated that he had invited a woman on the Royal Yacht Britannia while touring overseas.
The Queen and Prince Philip
Matt Smith - who plays young Prince Philip in the first two seasons before the cast are replaced with older actors to portray the characters living in the late 20th century - spoke to Radio Times about playing the Prince: ‘What's interesting about him is that he has always spoken his mind and has never been afraid to say what he thinks, and was certainly in the early days a bit of an outsider, a bit of a maverick.’
Season Two will cover the period between 1955 and 1964, and will also feature the Kennedys – USAs First Family in the 1960s.