The Crown: Wedding secrets

The 1947 royal wedding cheered a postwar nation - and sparked controversy.
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Like his mother Queen Mary would a year later, King George (Jared Harris) died of lung cancer.
The Crown

Q. Was King George very sick during this time?

The Crown sows the seeds for King George’s untimely death right from the get-go. The opening scene of Episode 1 shows him coughing up blood. His advisers assure him it’s just the cold weather, but we’re led to believe this is the beginning of the end.


While the exact state of the King’s health is not known during Elizabeth’s wedding in 1947, there is no proof to back up the claim he was on the decline. The first official announcement regarding his health came in 1948 when he scaled back public duties due to artery trouble in his right leg. This was then followed by an operation on his lung in 1951, from which he never fully recovered. He died on Feb. 6, 1952 from a coronary thrombosis. 

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Like his mother Queen Mary would a year later, King George (Jared Harris) died of lung cancer. (Credit: The Crown)

Q. Did the King give Elizabeth a video camera as a wedding gift?

One of The Crown’s more touching moments between father and daughter comes on Elizabeth’s wedding day. The King pulls her aisle and gifts her a video camera. “If your marriage is as happy as mine has been, I don’t want you to miss a single thing,” he says.


Credit to the show’s writers for this lovely story, but sadly it’s not true. The official present list records Elizabeth’s parents giving her a sapphire-and-diamond necklace and earrings. However, the future queen became known for her love of using a video camera, with her home moves being released as a documentary in 2016.

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For more palace secrets and the real life story behind ‘The Crown’, pick up a copy of the WHO collector’s edition on sale now! (Credit: WHO)

Q. Did Elizabeth promise to obey Philip during the ceremony?

The Crown’s stunning re-creation of Elizabeth’s wedding also included the couple exchanging their vows. Somewhat controversially Elizabeth promised to “obey” Philip, earning a strong rebuke from a rather unimpressed Winston Churchill. “She insisted, it was discussed,” snaps Churchill at his wife.


The Crown was spot on with this one. During their ceremony, Elizabeth included in her vows a promise to “love, cherish and obey.” This sentence was recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio to more than 200 million people listening around the world.

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“Elizabeth has always been clear that she’s a wife,” said People books editor Allison Adato. “She wanted the tradition vows.” (Credit: The Crown)

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