King George VI wasn’t sick yet in 1947
The Crown opens in 1947 with King George VI (Queen Elizabeth II’s father) coughing up blood. However, in real life, King George VI, who died of lung cancer in 1952, was not yet ill in 1947. It wasn’t until a year later that George VI began to suffer from leg pain. Doctors diagnosed a circulatory blockage and performed surgery for that, and his lung cancer wasn’t diagnosed until 1951.
The wedding didn’t go nearly so smoothly as depicted
In the show, the wedding of the then-Princess Elizabeth and the then-Philip Mountbatten is treated as a fairytale-like affair. In real life, it involved a comedy of errors:
The diamond tiara Elizabeth wore – her ‘something borrowed’ – snapped in half on the way to the wedding. It was quickly fixed by an on-call court jeweller, but not to perfection. In the real-life wedding photos, a gap in the tiara is clearly visible.
Elizabeth forgot her pearl necklace and sent her secretary to retrieve it, but the traffic was so bad, the secretary had to make most of the journey on foot.
Elizabeth’s bridal bouquet went missing (but was eventually discovered in a cooler).
The Queen’s mother-in-law didn’t show up to the wedding dressed as a nun
The first time we see Philip’s mother in The Crown, the Princess Andrew (also known as Princess Alice of Battenberg), she’s dressed as a nun, as if to illustrate her well-documented eccentricities. Eccentric as she was, however, in real life she wore a simple, silk dress to her son’s wedding. That’s not to say she didn’t wear a habit to Elizabeth’s coronation several years later, which, in fact, she did (by then, she had actually become a nun).