Whoa: Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip’s Blowout Fight in ‘The Crown’ Season 1 Really Happened

Unless you were around in 1952 Britain, The Crown’s insight into Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s (rocky) relationship was likely a surprise. So we couldn’t help but wonder how much was fact and how much was fiction when it came to the hit Netflix show’s portrayal of the couple.

PureWow got to the bottom of things in an exclusive interview celebrating season two’s Blue-ray and DVD release with the show’s historian, Robert Lacey, and he revealed that one of the most contentious moments of season one was…real.

“The scene in episode eight where you see the queen and Prince Philip waiting for a photo opportunity with a koala bear, and then the queen chases him with a tennis racket and shouts at him? I couldn’t quite believe it, but I checked the research and it actually happened,” Lacey shared.

He reasoned that the fight made the queen and her consort more relatable or, as he put it, “human.” And while he admitted a lot of dialogue in the series “is a mixture of history and imagination,” Queen Elizabeth’s reaction to their fight being caught on film was not.

“In the show, you’ll remember the queen comes all the way up to the camera [that was filming] and says, ‘I’m terribly sorry about this little interlude. I think it happens in the best marriages,’” Lacey explained.  “Well, I did some research and that’s exactly what she said… So [The Crown creator] Peter Morgan used those very words.”

Wise words from a wise woman. 

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Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.