From Toys To Spam: How The Crown Season Four Gets Every Detail Right

A team of experts work to ensure everything we see on screen is accurate.

Diana The Crown

by grazia |
Updated on

If you have ever seen an episode of The Crown, then you know that the attention to detail is impeccable. Whether it’s something major, like the exploration of a real life plot point, or something small like a cardigan, a car or a cushion, everything fits perfectly. Season 4 will be no different, and as we approach the show’s return it’s clear that, behind the scenes, the team have been working tirelessly to ensure that the audience are witnessing a wholly accurate representation of 1980s Britain. It takes a village, led by Head of Research Annie Sulzeberger.

‘We’ll help casting by writing biographies on the people that they need to hunt down and giving them as much character work they need to really find the right actors’, she explains. ‘We will work with the art department in trying to give them as much visual information as possible to either create sets or buy items for a scene, even how many dogs and what kinds of dogs for a scene, for them to get in as animal actors. Graphics as well, for any printing of newspapers and so on and so forth. The research really spreads out after the writing process has finished.’

Using creator Peter Morgan's scripts as the jumping off point, no stone is left unturned. Actress Rebecca Humphries, who plays Carol Thatcher, found it wondrous. ‘You go into the Downing Street kitchen set and open a cupboard and it’s filled with Spam and ’80s foods’, she told us. ‘It’s like Disneyland.’

If Amy’s team of five hit a speedbump, or find themselves stumped, they get Robert Lacey on the phone. The show’s official historical consultant, and author of Battle Of The Brothers: William, Harry And The Inside Story Of A Family In Tumult, is always on hand.

Robert Lacey
©Robert Lacey

‘I’m on call to help the full-time team of researchers who are looking through the history then providing Peter with the raw material, which he shapes into dramatic, emotional themes,’ Robert tells us. ‘The idea is always to bring out important emotional characteristics or themes of different characters.’

Every single person involved is committed to ensuring unarguable accuracy. ‘t’s rare to have a show that cares this much about getting things right and that is every single person that works on this show. Everyone holds that in very high esteem and wants the show to be as strong as possible. It might even be the baby toys in Prince William’s room – were they created in 1982 or have we featured something that was a little bit too late or too early for him to have in that room? It’s that level of research and detail that makes the show particularly special.’

Robert is excited for audiences to explore the new dynamics, between Diana and The Queen, but particularly The Queen and Margaret Thatcher. ‘‘It’s the unexpected Prime Ministers that provide the greatest interests,’ he says. ‘The ones with whom she feels most uneasy blossom into the most fascinating relationships. We’ve got lots to look forward to.’

Indeed we do!

The Crown Season 4 arrives on Netflix on November 15th a

Robert Lacey’s Battle Of The Brothers: William, Harry And The Inside Story Of A Family In Tumult is out now

READ MORE: Rebecca Humphries On Playing Carol Thatcher In The Crown

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us