If you’re a fan of the Royal Family and its attendant gossip, you’ve likely been a loyal viewer of The Crown. This Netflix series dramatizes the life and times of these messy monarchs, and there is plenty of fun to be had by seeing how the show plays up the events that really affected the royals.
Of course, “plays up” is the key term here: The Crown has never let the truth get in the way of telling a good story, and that’s particularly true when it comes to how the show portrayed the romance between Prince William and Kate Middleton. What did the show get right, what did it get wrong, and what really happened?
Keep reading to find out!
No proof that Kate’s mom played matchmaker
In The Crown, Kate Middleton’s mother Carol shamelessly plays the role of matchmaker. We see her encouraging Kate to take a gap year trip at the same time as William, but the two end up missing each other. Next, Carol convinces Kate to change her choice of college so that she will attend St. Andrews and get more face time with the future King.
Many parents in Carol’s position would do the same, and what we see in the show is based on some longstanding rumors. However, those rumors only came from anonymous sources who most likely wanted to stir the royal tea in the tabloids. Carol may or may not be a canny matchmaker like we see in the show, but there is no proof she was really like that when Kate was younger.
Kate wasn’t a teenage fangirl of William
It may seem hard to relate to someone as wealthy and famous as Kate Middleton, but The Crown goes out of its way to portray what a normal young woman she once was. Perhaps the greatest example of this is Kate getting so smitten by meeting Prince William that she decorates her dorm room with pictures of the prince that she cut out of various magazines.
The scene certainly makes Kate look like someone head over heels in love, but this scene is fictional in every sense of the word. In addition to their onscreen meeting as teenagers being fake, Today reports that the real Kate dismissed rumors of this kind of fangirl behavior in the couple’s engagement interview. As William laughingly insisted she had upwards of 20 images, Kate clarified, “No, I had the Levi’s guy on my wall. Not a picture of William. Sorry.”
Kate never met Princess Diana
Speaking of that fictional meeting, one of the odder scenes in The Crown goes beyond fabricating a story that a teenage Kate met a teenage William while shopping in London. In this completely fictional scene, we also see a young Kate meet Princess Diana herself.
It’s nice to think about these two iconic women getting a chance to meet, and the show’s suggestion that William and Kate had chemistry from the very beginning is quite sweet. But not only did Diana never meet Kate, but Kate never met William until the two of them went to St. Andrews together.
Very different reactions to Prince Harry’s Nazi costume
While this final season of The Crown mostly concerned itself with the relationship between Prince William and Kate Middleton, it also found the time to occasionally focus on the controversial Prince Harry. Harry was arguably never more controversial than when he wore a Nazi outfit (complete with swastika) to a party. Interestingly, The Crown gave William and Kate very different reactions to Harry’s unfortunate costume than they exhibited in real life.
In the show, we see Harry in a costume shop presenting the idea for the costume to William and Kate, causing Kate to express uncertainty and suggest he cover up the swastika. At this, William claims that wearing a Nazi uniform doesn’t make his brother a Nazi, which is the whole point of the joke costume.
As Page Six reports, Harry wrote in his memoir that he asked William and Kate for their opinions on the costume via phone (not in the costume shop). Not only did they allegedly give him their approval to wear that outfit over the pilot outfit he was considering, but when he tried it on, the couple howled with laughter at his “ridiculous” outfit.
Their first kiss wasn’t interrupted by a death in the family
In dramatizing the romance between William and Kate, The Crown eventually got to the famous (some would say infamous) evening where William saw Kate strut a seethrough dress for a charity modeling event. He is instantly smitten, and the show portrays the two of them meeting up at an afterparty and eventually locking lips, but their magic moment is broken when William’s bodyguard tells him that his great-grandmother has passed away.
The moment made for great television, but it was completely fake. Not only did the two of them not kiss at the afterparty (mostly because Kate was dating somebody else), but the Queen Mother didn’t die until four days after Kate impressed William with her transparent attire.