The Crown: Dressing the on-screen royal family

From the Queen’s wedding dress to Princess Margaret’s glamorous eveningwear, the costumes of TV drama The Crown have been extraordinary. The designers explain how they came about.

When Queen Elizabeth II first came to the throne, she was “like a goddess, an idol,” says Michelle Clapton, the costume designer of season one of The Crown, the historical drama series created by Netflix. “She was a young queen, she was the hope for the future.”

The costumes created for actress Claire Foy, who played the Queen in the first series, reflected this sense of freshness and glamour. From spectacular evening gowns to more ordinary day dresses worn in the newsreels of the time, the royal outfits created for the drama have echoed the real thing.

There was also room for some “artistic licence”, says Jane Petrie, who designed the costumes for season two. For example, Vanessa Kirby’s Princess Margaret, in modish black outfits, signalled the arrival of the swinging ‘60s and the bohemian milieu of London’s Soho.

“Everything is controlled,” says Petrie of the real-life Royals’ attire. “And it’s quite theatrical. In the way that what we do is theatrical as well.”

Click play on the video above to find out more.

The Crown series three drops on 17 November 2019 on Netflix.

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