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The Crown is the new Netflix drama all Downton Abbey fans need in their lives

Let it fill that historical drama-shaped hole in your life.

LOOKING FOR A new show to get stuck into this weekend? You won’t do better than The Crown.


The historical drama premieres on Netflix today, and if you were a Downton fan, you will LOVE it.

What’s it about then?

In short: Queen Elizabeth II.

Elizabeth_II_greets_NASA_GSFC_employees,_May_8,_2007_edit Source: Wikimedia

Over six seasons, The Crown will tell her life story – the first will focus on her as a 25-year-old newlywed in the years after World War II, as well as her relationship with Winston Churchill.

Going by the trailer, which shows her arguing with husband Prince Philip, it won’t be pulling any punches:

Source: Netflix US & Canada/YouTube

Who’s in it?

TheCrown_102_3495r1 Source: Alex Bailey/Netflix

The most instantly recognisable face in the main cast probably belongs to Matt Smith, AKA Doctor Who’s Eleventh Doctor. He sports a blond coiffure as Prince Philip – his queen is played by Claire Foy, who has been in more historical BBC dramas than you can shake a stick at.

TheCrown_101_0008r Source: Alex Bailey/Netflix

Jared Harris (son of actor Richard Harris) is her da King George VI, while the great John Lithgow appears as Churchill, which just seems right.

What’s the big deal about it?

TheCrown_101_0763r Source: Alex Bailey/Netflix

Well, it’s the most expensive drama produced by Netflix to date, costing £100 million (€112.6m) to make. The Telegraph reports that a significant chunk of that money went towards costuming – the Foy’s version of the Queen’s wedding dress probably cost more than the real thing did.

It was produced by Stephen Daldry, who has given us such gems as Billy Elliot and The Reader, and written by Peter Morgan, who previously dealt with all things QEII while writing The Queen (which gave Helen Mirren her Oscar).

Is the Queen herself happy with it?

TheCrown_101_1507r Source: Alex Bailey/Netflix

Morgan claims the royal family are “very, very aware” of the series, and they’re hoping that the Queen might sit down and watch it herself.

Matt Smith told Graham Norton that Prince William had simple advice for how Smith should play his grandfather: “He’s an absolute legend.” Fair enough.

The entire 10-episode first season is available to stream on Netflix from tonight – so get your snacks and settle in.

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