Creating The Crown

Netflix’s flagship period drama tracing the reign of Queen Elizabeth II has become a must-watch series, thanks to its clever casting, scandalous storylines and decadent surroundings. Here, production designer Martin Childs discusses building the world of The Crown

Whether you love or loathe the royal family, there’s no denying that Peter Morgan’s retelling of its colourful past has made for compelling viewing over the years. The screenwriter’s ongoing fascination with what he has described as “the imprisonment of the institution” has dominated the past decade of his life, with Helen Mirren taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth II both on-screen in his 2006 film The Queen, and later on-stage in The Audience.

Launched in 2016, The Crown is undoubtedly the crowning glory of this obsession. With the generous backing of Netflix (there has even been speculation as to whether the show costs as much as the real-life Queen does to the taxpayer) the series has taken viewers on a tumultuous journey through the second half of the 20th century, as seen through the lens of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.