Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - The pictures that Tony takes of Margaret, as I say, are unlike anything that has ever been seen, and when they end up on the front page of the paper, well, it's almost enough to make the queen choke on her Corn Flakes. My name is Katie Nicholl, Vanity Fair's royal correspondent, and today I'll be reviewing clips from the television show "The Crown". [regal instrumental music] I'm here in London, in isolation like many of you, house-bound, so what better opportunity than now to dip into the three brilliant series of "The Crown" to really depict what is fact and what is fiction? Please excuse any technical difficulties because we are recording on Skype. It's the best way that we can bring our VF reviews to you at home. Sit back and enjoy. - [Winston] Ma'am, word has reached me that it is your desire that you and your children keep your husband's name, Mountbatten. - It is. - Ma'am, you must not. It would be a grave mistake. - This is from actually my favorite series of "The Crown," the first series, partly because I just think Claire Foy was absolutely outstanding playing Princess Elizabeth and then the queen. This scene is a really powerful scene because as Elizabeth comes to terms with being queen, she became queen when she was just a young girl, her father George VI had died. There was so much change for her after that, and one of the major changes was Philip and what his position in the household was going to be. And this scene, you see Churchill making it very clear what Philip's title has to be. - His real name, you'll not need reminding, was Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg of the Royal houses of Denmark and Norway and, latterly, of Greece. - It is absolutely the case that the prime minister at the time, Winston Churchill, had concerns about Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, what his title, what his name should be. - [Winston] And should be no exception. - Yes, I am queen, but I am also a woman. - You see the queen explaining that she isn't just a queen, she is a wife as well. And she knows that, you know, Philip is a strong man, he could be quite opinionated, and he had already felt very much relegated to second place, like he was always going to play second fiddle to his wife, so she knew that giving him a title, a name in his own right, so that he had a place and a prominence in the family was really important. You know, and the queen did put her foot down, she made it clear that he had an important role within the royal family, and his past, and his history, and his heritage couldn't simply be erased because it was more convenient for the British government. Well, I was lucky enough to visit the set of "The Crown" for the first series, and I was absolutely blown away by how beautifully produced this series was. The attention to detail, the recreation of Buckingham palace, you know, I have to say, they did do a brilliant job. - Trade Unionists and businessmen in the Abbey? - If you want to stay on the throne, yes. - In a trimmed-down televised coronation? - If you want to avoid a revolution, yes. You forget, I have seen first-hand what it is like for a royal family to be overthrown because they were out of step with the people. - Not a lot of people realize that Philip has been a huge modernizer for the royal family. You know, this about her coronation, whether or not it's going to be televised. Elizabeth feels that it cheapens everything by having it in people's living rooms that she feels that she has been taught by her father that the magic of monarchy is its mystique. - I left Greece in an orange crate. My father would have been killed. My grandfather was, I'm just trying to protect you. - From whom, the British people? You have no idea who they are or what they want. - Oh, oh, I'm just Johnny Foreigner, again, who doesn't understand, fine, fine. - A lot of this background is accurate about Greece, where Philip came from. He's able to bring a different perspective to Elizabeth. Philip is astute enough to recognize that the people need to get behind her as Queen. They want to feel a part of this. - You want a big overblown ceremony costing a fortune while the rest of the country is on rations, have it. But don't come bleating to me when your head and the heads of our children are on spikes. - I think it's true to say that the depiction of Philip is a little bit of a stereotype, you know, that he is very brusque and abrupt. Without a doubt, he's a strong character, I think probably the producers on this show have capitalized on that. - If you put it in their homes, allow them to watch it with their dinner on their laps. - It will democratize it, make them feel that they share in it, understand it. - All right. All right. - Well, you see the queen in this scene, giving into her husband. It was the first coronation to be televised, and it was a great success. So ultimately, I think on many key occasions, the queen does listen to her husband when actually it goes against her natural instinct, and I don't think people give Philip enough credit for being the modernizer in the royal family that he has been on so many things, from driving electric car to saying to his wife, "You want the people to get behind you? "Let them into your living room." - Bermuda, Jamaica, Australia, Ceylon, Uganda. It's going to be hot, Your Majesty. To that end, we've been working a great deal with organza, crepe de Chine and shantung silk. - This would have absolutely happened. The queen would have been presented with a look-book, with textures, with fabrics, with gowns, with ideas, nothing is by chance when it comes to the royal wardrobe, everything has been carefully coordinated, carefully picked. - We also wanted to feature something particular to each location, so we thought sprigs of native wild flowers indigenous to each country that you're visiting. - She will color coordinate or her aides will color coordinate her outfit so that she uses the colors to pay tribute to the host nation. - On Her Majesty's arrival in Sydney, we propose a white organza dress scattered with pale yellow wattle blossom. - How many dresses are there? - [Hartnell] One hundred. - One hundred. And hats? - Thirty-six. - Pairs of shoes? - [Hartnell] Fifty. - Isn't this all a bit much? - Well it does sound like a lot, doesn't it? That many pairs of shoes. For queen Elizabeth, who was about to embark on an all important tour of the common world, she was away for nearly six months, but when you look at that common world's tour wardrobe, she really wore some spectacular hats, she played with color, and don't forget that this was a tour designed to grab headlines around the world. It made her visible, she had the world stage as a platform, what she wore was incredibly important, whether that is her use of block color, her absolute passion for hats, her penchant for Launer handbags, she has owned these styles, these brands, she has made them her own. Being quite short, you know, she's not much over five foot, a hat and a strong color is a great way to pop out and be seen in the crowd. - We don't know who you are, either. The rest of us, outside the palace gates. - That's because we keep feeding you the fairy tale. - So in this clip, we're seeing Tony Armstrong-Jones, who Margaret went on to marry, photographing her in his studio. - Like this. - Ah. Jesus. I'm sorry, but, [photo falls] Cecil is a disgrace. - When they refer to Cecil, they're talking about Cecil Beaton, who for many years was the photographer that the royal family would go to for official portraits and pictures, but the pictures that Tony took of Margaret were completely different. [camera clicks] - But that business with Peter Townsend. - One of the things I love about Margaret is the love affairs that she has were so well captured in "The Crown". There is a real sexual tension between them, but I think it's really well captured. [soft sensual music] The pictures that Tony takes of Margaret, as I say, are unlike anything that's every been seen, and when they end up on the front page of the paper, well, it's almost enough to make the queen choke on her Corn Flakes, as you see later on in this series. Vanessa Kirby plays Margaret beautifully, there is an amazing, not just physical resemblance, but the way that she has Margaret's isms, from the way that she lights her cigarettes, to the way that she dances, the way that she moves, she really does have Margaret down to a T 'cause she's everything that the Queen can't be, because she's the younger sister who can be the Queen of Mustique, the royal rebel, flamboyant when it comes to partying and entertaining, and an absolute lover of all things sartorial, and the royal wardrobe for Margaret is absolutely fantastic in this series of "The Crown". - So what are you going to do? - Princess Anne has a reputation for being probably the most down to Earth royal, and there is a brilliant scene in that episode where Prince Philip, her father, is sat down, and said, "We need you to sit down with the journalist." - Actually I was hoping we might talk about what you're going to do. I would like to offer you to the Manchester Guardian. - Prince Philip, as we said earlier, was in charge of the royal family and its image. So he sends Anne to be interviewed by The Guardian, not a paper that was going to be sympathetic to the royal family. On this particular moment, the Duke of Edinburgh suggests going for a left-wing paper. - Why them? Why not the Daily Telegraph or the Daily Mail or someone we could expect to be a little bit friendly? - Not only is the likeness so uncanny, she has all of Princess Anne's feistiness, she has Anne's one-liners down to a T. - Because in the light of all this criticism, an endorsement from our most vocal critics would represent more of a turn around. - If we can get an endorsement. - You're the most thrifty, feet-on-the-ground, low profile, unpretentious royal we've got. If anyone can salvage this, you can. - And the interview is a great success because it really scratches beneath the surface. So this idea that Princess Anne was really pushed out to promote a different image of the royal family, it did happen. So this idea of the royals using the press is something that continues today. Happened then, still happens now.