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How historically accurate was the Queen's trip to Ghana portrayed in Episode 8 of The Crown?

How historically accurate was the Queen's trip to Ghana portrayed in Episode 8 of The Crown?


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OK let me be more specific. In episode 8 of The Crown (Netflix), it is implied that Queen Elizabeth II went to Ghana (because she heard a sly comment from JFK's wife) to prevent the country from going into the arms of the USSR despite the warning of her PM. It is portrayed in the show that the Queen pulled off a diplomatic victory for the west by dancing with PM Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.

First, I don't fully comprehend the significant of the dance and why her PM was shocked. And second, did the event happen like the show illustrates? I know that she did dance with Nkrumah, but was it in the context shown on the show?


SHORT ANSWER

In several respects, it is at best misleading. Ghanaian leader Kwame Nkrumah's primary interests lay in Pan-Africanism and promoting the continent's freedom, independence and unity. He never had any intention of aligning himself with either the Eastern bloc or the West; rather, he sought to play them off against each other to the benefit of his own country.

While Queen Elizabeth II's visit was important in that it helped to cement cordial relations between Britain and Ghana and keep the latter in the (then British) Commonwealth, securing American co-financing of the Volta River Project shortly after the visit was of far greater importance in limiting Nkrumah's reliance on Soviet aid at the time.

Thus, as the Queen's dance with Nkrumah in November 1961 was just one event during an 11-day visit, it was of little significance on its own. Nor does there appear to be any evidence of the Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, being 'shocked' at the dance. On the contrary, he was very satisfied at the overall success of the royal visit. Further, the suggestion that the Queen went to Ghana because of a comment by Jacqueline Kennedy is pure fiction.


DETAILED ANSWER

Kwame Nkrumah was, above all else, a Pan-Africanist. From before the time he attained power in 1957 up until his death in 1972, Nkrumah's writings and speeches consistently promoted the cause of Pan-Africanism. Thus, although he was impressed by some aspects of the Soviet Union, Nkrumah's intention was always for Africa to control its own destiny rather than become a satellite of the either of the superpowers.

Nkrumah was greatly influenced by the Pan-Africanist George Padmore. As stated by Ahmad Rahman in The Regime Change of Kwame Nkrumah,

Nkrumah could not be a true nationalist or a Pan-Africanist if he did not put Africa's interests before those of the Soviet Union or any power outside Africa. He had to be true to his own vision for Africa's future and not be diverted by the propaganda of Soviet and Chinese Communists. This was Padmore's principal lesson. It was one that Nkrumah would never forget.

The 1957 CIA report 'The Outlook for Ghana', cited by Rahman, puts more emphasis on Nkrumah's nationalism and emphasizes his policy of not siding with either the eastern bloc or the west:

Nkrumah was a “fanatical nationalist” who was determined “to manipulate all issues - including the conflict between the Soviet bloc and the West - to the betterment of Ghana's position.”

This Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (McGeorge Bundy) to President Kennedy, dated December 1, 1961, also says:

A group of British African experts which has just concluded talks with the Department stressed that Nkrumah is “balancing” between East and West and despite occasional evidence to the contrary they believe Ghana must be placed in a neutral category and will remain there unless pushed in another direction.

As further evidence of Nkrumah's intent not to align with either superpower, he was a key figure in the non-aligned movement (along with Tito of Yugoslavia, Nehru of India, Sukarno of Indonesia and Nasser of Egypt), attending the Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries in 1961.

Jawaharlal Nehru (India), Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Abdel Nasser (Egypt); Sukarno (Indonesia) and, Josip Tito (Yugoslavia) meet in New York, Sept. 30, 1960 shortly before forming the Non-Aligned Movement. Source: Graphic Online

Nonetheless, the Soviets would have been well-positioned to increase their influence had John F. Kennedy not gone ahead with the co-financing of the Volta River Project, the details of which had been hammered out during the Eisenhower administration. The building of a dam to supply the electricity needed for the aluminium industry and to make Ghana self-sufficient (not mention to Nkrumah's grandiose plans for industrialization) was seen as the key to Ghana's future development. The State Department recognized the importance of US co-financing (along with the IDBR and the UK), writing in a memo dated 17 Feb 1961

that a refusal to aid the Volta Project or a withdrawal of the aluminium companies from the Valco smelter would have very undesirable effect on Western relations with Ghana

The Akosombo Dam, completed in 1965, created the world's largest (by surface area) man-made lake. Source: GhanaNation

Kennedy, angered by Nkrumah's anti-western rhetoric, held back on rubber-stamping the deal and its confirmation was still pending at the time of the Queen's visit in November 1961. Due to a spate of bombings in the Ghanaian capital Accra, the visit almost didn't go ahead as the House of Commons was against it. Both the Queen and her Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, though, knew it was important for future relations and the visit went ahead.

Although Macmillan believed that the visit was important to maintaining good relations between Ghana and the West, he knew that Kennedy agreeing to the Volta River Project had to follow if Ghana was to not to move closer to the Soviet Union. Thus, after the visit, he told Kennedy:

I have risked my Queen, you must risk your money.

Important though these two events were (the visit and the financing) though, Nkrumah continued to play both sides of the fence and, given his long-held beliefs, this is hardly surprising.

The Netflix version of events may make for good TV drama but it's not very good history (surprise, surprise). This Pathe news report from the time of the visit shows scenes from the evening of the dance (though not the Queen and Nkrumah dancing); the voice-over simply says

The Queen danced with President Nkrumah and thoroughly enjoyed it all.

Queen Elizabeth II dances with Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah at a ball in Accra, Ghana, in 1961. Original source: Central Press/Getty Images

The idea that this dance kept Ghana 'from going into the arms of the USSR' is, in the words of the amateur historian and former Mayor of Accra (capital of Ghana) Nat Nunoo-Amarteifio, "a lot of bulls**t." Nuno-Amarteifio adds,

I'm surprised that the dance has attained this retroactive reputation… Nobody talked about it then.

These views are shared by other experts on Ghanaian history, according to the article 'The Crown' Says One Dance Changed History. The Truth Isn't So Simple. This is not to say, though, the Queen's visit did not create a good impression; it clearly did, but to infer that it was pivotal in influencing Nkrumah's attitude towards the Soviet bloc has no basis in fact.

Nor can I find any evidence that the Prime Minster Harold Macmillan was 'shocked' by the Queen's dance with Nkrumah; this is hardly surprising as it was Macmillan's cabinet that had advised the Queen to carry out the visit in the first place. Also, the Duchess of Kent (Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark), as the Queen's representative, had danced with the Ghanaian leader in 1957.

Finally, the idea that the Elizabeth II's visit to Ghana happened "because she heard a sly comment from JFK's wife" is also a fabrication. The visit had originally been planned for 1959 (see also this Pathe news report), whereas the Queen did not meet the Kennedys until June 1961.


Queen Elizabeth And Jackie Kennedy's Real Relationship

Let's just say 2017 was the year of the powerful woman. With Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins' box office breaking run with Wonder Woman, to The Silence Breakers behind the #MeToo movement being named Time's Person of the Year, now is as good a time as ever to talk about women in positions of power, both contemporary and historically.

Enter the late, great First Lady Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy, and the curious relationship she had with Queen Elizabeth II, reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Both icons in their own right, the two women held powerful positions at a time in history when few others did. And, as reflection tells us, those positions may have had a profound effect upon their relationship. C'mon, we all know royals (whether actual royalty or the US equivalent) can be a little weird.

The subject of the relationship between these two figureheads has come back into the public imagination with the dramatized portrayal of Jackie Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth in a 2017 episode of Netflix's hit show The Crown. A historical drama series, The Crown is a semi-biographical telling of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, starring Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth. Season two episode "Dear Mrs Kennedy" sees the Queen and Jackie Kennedy meet for the first time at Buckingham Palace.

Spoiler alert!

Let's just say that they don't exactly hit it off. We'll explore the depiction of their interaction on the show, as well as reveal which parts are historically accurate.


Princess Margaret Never Urged The Royal Family To Call Off Charles And Diana's Wedding

Photo : Netflix

What The Show Portrays: Shortly before Prince Charles and Diana Spencer's high-profile wedding, Princess Margaret urges the rest of the family to call it off. Recalling her own wounds, she believes the marriage will be a disaster and thinks it will be better for everyone if it doesn't happen at all.

What Really Happened : If Princess Margaret objected to the wedding, she forever held her peace about it. In fact, Princess Margaret's plea came from actor Helena Bonham Carter's imagination rather than the pages of history - Bonham Carter reportedly suggested that Margaret vocalize her reservations about the marriage.

Though Margaret didn't try to derail the wedding, both Prince Charles and Diana apparently harbored their own doubts they each wondered if they should cancel the wedding.

Princesses Margaret and Diana enjoyed a positive relationship initially, but they eventually fell out.


'The Crown': Did Jackie Kennedy really badmouth the Queen?

Netflix’s glossy royal family drama “The Crown,” now in its second season, turns its viewers into amateur historians. (Who among us has not scurried off to Google in the middle of an episode, itching for factoids about the Suez Crisis and the Profumo affair?) The hit series takes many liberties with the historical record, of course — but NBC News is here to help you separate fact from fiction.

Let’s move on to Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy, the queen of Camelot. (Fact check: That's not a real title.) In the second season of “The Crown,” the first lady (Jodi Balfour) pays a visit to Buckingham Palace with her husband, President John F. Kennedy (Michael C. Hall). That really happened. What’s far less clear is whether a feud between Jackie and Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) touched off a small-scale diplomatic tiff.

Did the two regal women really butt heads? Let’s go to the record.

Jackie didn’t really say those nasty things about Elizabeth, did she?

Well, sort of. On “The Crown,” Jackie Kennedy trashes the queen as “incurious, unintelligent and unremarkable” and dismisses Buckingham Palace as “second-rate, dilapidated and sad.” Ouch! That’s quite a Yelp review. (She also slams the palace as a “tired institution without a place in the modern world,” in case we didn’t get the message.)

In real life, “there is some evidence that Jacqueline Kennedy was critical of Buckingham Palace and the Queen,” said Carolyn Harris, a historian and author of “Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting.” She explained: The legendary photographer Cecil Beaton “claimed that Jackie was unimpressed with the palace furnishings and the Queen’s comparatively old-fashioned wardrobe and hairstyle” during the 1961 visit.

OK, so that’s not exactly a compliment. But it appears the writers of the eighth episode, “Dear Mrs. Kennedy,” turned up the heat on Jackie’s insults, giving them a more cutting edge for dramatic effect. And that leads us to our next question …

Did an Elizabeth-Jackie rivalry really shape foreign policy?

Almost definitely not. On “The Crown,” Elizabeth is jealous of the American first lady, who wows world leaders with her charm, elegance and command of the French language. And so Foy’s Elizabeth, eager to even the scales with Jackie, travels to the commonwealth nation of Ghana to prove that she, too, is a major player on the world stage. It’s a good conceit — if only it were true.

“There is no evidence that the Queen traveled to Ghana in the aftermath of a rivalry” with Jackie O., Harris said. “The Queen has … taken her role as Head of the Commonwealth seriously and undertaken Commonwealth tours.” In other words: Her Majesty did not go on a high-stakes diplomatic odyssey just to get back at the first lady.

The Queen's stunning foxtrot with President Nkrumah of Ghana in 1961. A dance floor worth revisiting. pic.twitter.com/fNJcPxso8G

— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) December 20, 2017

But that visit to Ghana went pretty well, right?

That seems to be the case.

“There were security concerns regarding the Queen’s visit to Ghana, but the tour was a success,” said Harris. The high-point of “Dear Mrs. Kennedy” was inspired by an indelible real-life moment: Elizabeth danced with Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah at a banquet thrown in her honor.


The Crown: What Really Happened Between Queen Elizabeth and Jackie Kennedy

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

When JFK and Jackie Kennedy visited London in 1961, according to The White House Historical Association, the Queen and Prince Philip threw “a splendid dinner in their honor.” Splendid? If you’ve watched Season 2, Episode 8 of The Crown, that may seem like an odd way to describe it (if you haven’t, stay far away from this article—there are spoilers ahead.)

In that episode, the whole thing seemed like a hot mess. First, the president and First Lady address Prince Philip and the Queen incorrectly, and therefore, impolitely. Then Jackie goes off and trash-talks Elizabeth, calling her “a middle-aged woman so incurious, unintelligent, and unremarkable that Britain’s new reduced place in the world was not a surprise but an inevitability,” and Buckingham Palace “second-rate, dilapidated, and sad.” That gets back to the British monarch, and Jackie, tail between her legs, apologizes months later, confiding in the Queen about her husband’s infidelity and their (alleged) drug habits.

Is that all true? The Crown is based on real-life people and real-life events. However, as with all great historical fictions, it does often take creative liberties—for example, Winston Churchill’s secretary didn’t die in the Great Smog. So what actually happened, what may have happened, and what came from the writer’s room when Elizabeth met Jackie?

Those meetings were all real occurrences. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, John F. Kennedy, and Jackie Kennedy did all dine together at Buckingham Palace in June 1961. And Jackie did visit Queen Elizabeth several months later in March 1962.

As to whether or not Jackie made those incendiary comments, well, that’s murkier. Rumor has it that some shade may have been thrown. According to the The Telegraph, Gore Vidal remembers Jackie Kennedy saying Elizabeth was “pretty heavy going” and that she felt “resented” by her. Cecil Beaton allegedly wrote in his diary that Jackie said she was unimpressed by the monarch and the palace.

But Robert Lacey, historical consultant for The Crown and author of The Crown: The Official Companion, tells Vogue that the comments are “imagined,” yet not unlikely.

“I think that the personal tension between Elizabeth and Jackie is speculative. I’m not saying it didn’t exist—you can’t say it’s false, you can’t say it’s true,” he says. “I think it’s perfectly plausible that the Queen felt upstaged by Jackie,” he says.

However, if she did feel upstaged, and if it inspired her to step up her game a bit, that’s something only she would know.

Says Lacey: “The Queen then goes off to Africa and wows everybody and wows President Nkrumah in particular. Well, that did happen and she was a star but at the time, nobody talked [about it] in terms of competing with Jackie Kennedy.”

No matter what was or wasn't said or done, there’s one thing we don’t have the heart to debunk about the meeting of the two powerful women: Jackie and Queen Elizabeth’s snuggle session with corgi puppies.


Contents

Part I: Join or Die (1770–1774) Edit

Episode 1 opens in Boston 1770 on the cold winter night of the Boston Massacre. It portrays John Adams arriving at the scene following the gunshots from British soldiers firing upon a mob of Boston citizens. Adams, a respected lawyer in his mid-30s known for his dedication to the law and justice, is sought as defense counsel for the accused Redcoats. Their commander, Captain Thomas Preston, asks him to defend them in court. Reluctant at first, he agrees despite knowing this will antagonize his neighbors and friends. Adams is depicted to have taken the case because he believed everyone deserves a fair trial and he wanted to uphold the standard of justice. Adams' cousin Samuel Adams is one of the main colonists opposed to the actions of the British government. He is one of the executive members of the Sons of Liberty, an anti-British group of agitators. Adams is depicted as a studious man doing his best to defend his clients. The show also illustrates Adams' appreciation and respect for his wife, Abigail. In one scene, Adams is shown having his wife proofread his summation as he takes her suggestions. After many sessions in court, the jury returns a verdict of not guilty of murder for each defendant. Additionally, the episode illustrates the growing tension over the Coercive Acts ("Intolerable Acts"), and Adams' election to the First Continental Congress.

Part II: Independence (1774–1776) Edit

The second episode covers the disputes among the members of the Second Continental Congress toward declaring independence from Great Britain as well as the final drafting of the Declaration of Independence. At the Continental Congresses Adams is depicted as the lead advocate for independence. He is in the vanguard in establishing that there is no other option than to break off and declare independence. He is also instrumental in the selection of then-Colonel George Washington as the new head of the Continental Army.

However, in his zeal for immediate action, he manages to alienate many of the other founding fathers, going so far as to insult John Dickinson, who is for conciliation to the Crown, implying that the man suffers from a religiously based moral cowardice. Later, Benjamin Franklin quietly chastens Adams, saying it is "perfectly acceptable to insult a man in private. He may even thank you for it afterwards. But when you do it in public, they tend to think you are serious." This points out Adams' primary flaw: his bluntness and lack of gentility toward his political opponents, one that would make him many enemies and which would eventually plague his political career. It would also, eventually, contribute to historians' disregard for his many achievements. The episode also shows how Abigail copes with issues at home as her husband was away much of the time participating in the Continental Congress. She employs the use of then pioneer efforts in the field of preventative medicine and inoculation against smallpox for herself and the children.

Part III: Don't Tread on Me (1777–1781) Edit

In Episode 3, Adams travels to Europe with his young son John Quincy during the Revolutionary War seeking alliances with foreign nations, during which the ship transporting them battles a British frigate. It first shows Adams' embassy with Benjamin Franklin in the court of Louis XVI of France. The old French nobility, who are in the last decade before being consumed by the French Revolution, are portrayed as effete and decadent. They meet cheerfully with Franklin, seeing him as a romantic figure, little noting the democratic infection he brings with him. Adams, on the other hand, is a plain spoken and faithful man, who finds himself out of his depth surrounded by an entertainment- and sex-driven culture among the French elite. Adams finds himself at sharp odds with Benjamin Franklin, who has adapted himself to the French, seeking to obtain by seduction what Adams would gain through histrionics. Franklin sharply rebukes Adams for his lack of diplomatic acumen, describing it as a "direct insult followed by a petulant whine". Franklin soon has Adams removed from any position of diplomatic authority in Paris. His approach is ultimately successful and was to result in the conclusive Franco-American victory at Yorktown.

Adams, chastened and dismayed but learning from his mistakes, then travels to the Dutch Republic to obtain monetary support for the Revolution. Although the Dutch agree with the American cause, they do not consider the new union a reliable and credit-worthy client. Adams ends his time in the Netherlands in a state of progressive illness, having sent his son away as a diplomatic secretary to the Russian Empire.

Part IV: Reunion (1781–1789) Edit

The fourth episode shows John Adams being notified of the end of the Revolutionary War and the defeat of the British. He is then sent to Paris to negotiate the Treaty of Paris in 1783. While overseas, he spends time with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and Abigail visits him. Franklin informs John Adams that he was appointed as the first American Ambassador to Great Britain and thus has to relocate to London. John Adams is poorly received by the British during this time—he is the representative for a recently hostile power, and represents in his person what many British at the time regarded as a disastrous end to its early Empire. He meets with his former sovereign, George III, and while the meeting is not a disaster, he is excoriated in British newspapers. In 1789, he returns to Massachusetts for the first presidential election and he and Abigail are reunited with their children, now grown. George Washington is elected the first President of the United States and John Adams as the first Vice President.

Initially, Adams is disappointed and wishes to reject the post of Vice President because he feels there is a disproportionate number of electoral votes in favor of George Washington (Adams' number of votes pales in comparison to those garnered by Washington). In addition, John feels the position of Vice President is not a proper reflection of all the years of service he has dedicated to his nation. However, Abigail successfully influences him to accept the nomination.

Part V: Unite or Die (1788–1797) Edit

The fifth episode begins with Vice President John Adams presiding over the Senate and the debate over what to call the new president. It depicts Adams as frustrated in this role: His opinions are ignored and he has no actual power, except in the case of a tied vote. He's excluded from George Washington's inner circle of cabinet members, and his relationships with Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton are strained. Even Washington himself gently rebukes him for his efforts to "royalize" the office of the Presidency, although Washington values Adams' counsel in other areas, considering him to be "reasonable company" when compared with Jefferson and Hamilton. A key event shown is the struggle to enact the Jay Treaty with Britain, which Adams himself must ratify before a deadlocked Senate (although historically his vote was not required). The episode concludes with his inauguration as the second president—and his subsequent arrival in a plundered executive mansion.

Part VI: Unnecessary War (1797–1801) Edit

The sixth episode covers Adams's term as president and the rift between the Hamilton-led Federalists and Jefferson-led Republicans. Adams's neutrality pleases neither side and often angers both. His shaky relationship with vice president Thomas Jefferson worsens after taking defensive actions against the French Republic because of failed diplomatic attempts and the signing of the Alien and Sedition Acts. Adams also alienates himself from the anti-French Alexander Hamilton after taking all actions possible to prevent a war with France. He disowns his son Charles, who soon dies as an alcoholic vagrant. Adams sees success late in his presidency with his campaign of preventing a war with France, but his success is clouded after losing the presidential election of 1800. After receiving so much bad publicity while in office, Adams loses the election against his vice-president, Thomas Jefferson, and runner-up Aaron Burr (both from the same party). Adams leaves the Presidential Palace (now known as the White House) in March 1801 and retires to his personal life in Massachusetts.

Part VII: Peacefield (1803–1826) Edit

The final episode covers Adams's retirement years. His home life at Peacefield is full of pain and sorrow as his daughter, Nabby, dies of breast cancer and Abigail succumbs to typhoid fever. Adams does live to see the election of his son, John Quincy, as president, but is too ill to attend the inauguration. Adams and Jefferson are reconciled through correspondence in their last years. Both die hours apart on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was 83, Adams was 90.

    as John Adams as Abigail Adams as Thomas Jefferson as George Washington as Benjamin Franklin as Alexander Hamilton as John Hancock as Samuel Adams as Edward Rutledge as John Dickinson as John Quincy Adams as Abigail Adams Smith as William S. Smith as Benjamin Rush as Sally Smith Adams
  • Caroline Corrie as Louisa Adams as Thomas Adams as Charles Adams as King George III as the Duke of Dorset
  • Damien Jouillerot as King Louis XVI as Jonathan Sewall as Robert Treat Paine as Richard Henry Lee
  • Tom Beckett as Elbridge Gerry
  • Del Pentecost as Henry Knox
  • Tim Parati as Caesar Rodney
  • John O'Creagh as Stephen Hopkins
  • John Keating as Timothy Pickering
  • Hugh O'Gorman as Thomas Pinckney
  • Timmy Sherrill as Charles Lee as Madame Helvetius as Count of Vergennes
  • Jean Brassard as Admiral d'Estaing as Francis Dana
  • Sean McKenzie as Edward Bancroft as Lieutenant James Barron
  • Patrice Valota as Jean-Antoine Houdon as Chevalier de la Luzerne as Lord Carmarthen
  • Alex Draper as Robert Livingston as Edmond-Charles Genet as William Maclay
  • Sean Mahan as Gen. Joseph Warren
  • Eric Zuckerman as Thomas McKean
  • Ed Jewett as James Duane
  • Vincent Renart as Andrew Holmes as Captain Thomas Preston as Sally Hemings as Patsy Jefferson
  • Lucas N Hall as Continental Army Officer, New York light infantry battalion
  • Steven Hinkle as Young John Quincy Adams
  • Buzz Bovshow as John Trumbull

The 110-day shoot took place from February to May 2007 in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia Richmond, Virginia and Budapest, Hungary. [2] [3] Some European scenes were shot in Keszthely, Sóskút, Fertőd and Kecskemét, Hungary. [4]

British officers ransacked an abandoned Continental Army war room in a scene shot in the Robert Carter house. Williamsburg's Public Hospital was in the background of the tent encampment of the Continental army which Adams visited in the winter of 1776, which was replicated using special-effects snow. The College of William and Mary's Wren Building represented a Harvard interior. Scenes were also filmed at the Governor's Palace. [5]

Sets, stage space, backlot and production offices were housed in an old Mechanicsville AMF warehouse in Richmond, Virginia. Some street scenes with cobblestone pavements and colonial storefronts were shot in historic neighborhoods of Washington, D.C., Boston, and Philadelphia. Countryside surrounding Richmond in Hanover County and Powhatan County was chosen to represent areas surrounding early Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. [6] [7]

The score for the miniseries was composed by Rob Lane and Joseph Vitarelli. Lane wrote the main theme and scored "Join or Die," "Independence," "Unite or Die" and "Peacefield," with Vitarelli doing "Don't Tread on Me," "Reunion" and "Unnecessary War." The two composers worked independently of each other, with Lane writing and recording his segments in London and Vitarelli in Los Angeles. There are also pieces by classical composers, including Mozart, Boccherini, Gluck, Handel and Schubert. [8] The soundtrack was released on the Varèse Sarabande label.

The critical reception to the miniseries was predominantly positive. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series has a rating of 81% based on 37 reviews, with an average rating of 8.56/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Elegantly shot and relatively educational, John Adams is a worthy addition to the genre -- though its casting leaves something to be desired." [9] Metacritic assigned the series a weighted average score of 78 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [10]

Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly rated the miniseries A-, [11] and Matt Roush of TV Guide praised the lead performances of Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney. [12] David Hinckley of the New York Daily News felt John Adams "is, quite simply, as good as TV gets . Best of all are two extraordinary performances at the center: Paul Giamatti as Adams and Laura Linney as his wife, Abigail . To the extent that John Adams is a period piece, it isn't quite as lush as, say, some BBC productions. But it looks fine, and it feels right, and sometimes what's good for you can also be just plain good." [13]

Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times had mixed feelings. She said the miniseries has "a Masterpiece Theatre gravity and takes a more somber, detailed and sepia-tinted look at the dawn of American democracy. It gives viewers a vivid sense of the isolation and physical hardships of the period, as well as the mores, but it does not offer significantly different or deeper insights into the personalities of the men — and at least one woman — who worked so hard for liberty . [It] is certainly worthy and beautifully made, and it has many masterly touches at the edges, especially Laura Linney as Abigail. But Paul Giamatti is the wrong choice for the hero . And that leaves the mini-series with a gaping hole at its center. What should be an exhilarating, absorbing ride across history alongside one of the least understood and most intriguing leaders of the American Revolution is instead a struggle." [14]

Among those unimpressed with the miniseries were Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times [15] and Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle. [16] Both cited the miniseries for poor casting and favoring style over storytelling.

The series deviates from David McCullough's book on several occasions, using creative license throughout. [17]

Part I Edit

  • John Adams addresses Captain Preston immediately after the massacre, while deliberating whether to defend the soldier he says: "As of this morning, five are dead". Only three men were killed immediately: Samuel Maverick died the next morning, and Patrick Carr did not die until two weeks later.
  • Around the time of the trial, John Adams' son Charles is depicted playing with his sister, though he was not born until May 29, 1770 (making him still an infant). Likewise, his older son John Quincy Adams was born in July 1767, but he is depicted as a near-adolescent. is depicted as disapproving of John Adams's decision to defend Captain Preston and the other Boston Massacre soldiers, when no other lawyer would act as their counsel. It is implied that the Sons of Liberty also disapproved, and that John for his part disapproved of their group. In fact, Samuel Adams encouraged his cousin John to take the case. [18] John and other leading members of the Sons of Liberty also convinced Josiah Quincy II, another cousin who was a lawyer, to aid Adams in his preparation of the case. [19]
  • Captain Preston and the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre are shown being tried in a single trial in what seems to be the dead of winter, and declared not guilty of all charges. In actuality, Captain Preston's trial took place on October 24 and ran through October 29, when he was found not guilty. The eight soldiers were brought to trial weeks later in a separate trial that concluded on November 29. Six of the soldiers were found not guilty, but Hugh Montgomery and Matthew Killroy were convicted of manslaughter. They both received brands on their right thumbs as punishment. [20] is confronted by a British customs official, and he orders the crowd to "teach him a lesson, tar the bastard". Hancock and Samuel Adams then look on while the official is tarred and feathered, to the disapproval of John Adams. The scene is fictional and does not appear in McCullough's book. According to Samuel Adams biographer Ira Stoll, there is no evidence that Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were opposed to mob violence, were ever present at a tarring and feathering, and so the scene succeeds in "tarring the reputations of Hancock and Samuel Adams". [21] Jeremy Stern writes, "Despite popular mythology, tarrings were never common in Revolutionary Boston, and were not promoted by the opposition leadership. The entire sequence is pure and pernicious fiction." [17] According to Stern, the scene is used to highlight a schism between Samuel and John Adams, which is entirely fictional. [17]
  • The tar and feather scene also improperly uses a black, modern tar. In reality, the liquid known as tar in the 18th century was pine tar, a liquid which is more often light-brown in color. The tar that we know today is actually called petroleum tar or bitumen. Pine tar also has a low melting point, and would not burn the skin the way that hot petroleum tar would.
  • While in bed, Adams mentions his parents, saying his mother couldn't read. However, in his memoirs, John Adams himself wrote that "as my parents were both fond of reading. I was very early taught to read at home," indicating that his mother likely possessed at least a basic level of literacy. [22] However, in the book McCullough does speculate that Adams' mother may have been illiterate, citing the lack of written correspondence either to or from her and evidence that she had letters read aloud to her. [23] 's biography makes no mention of a pulpit speech by John Adams after being chosen, in summer 1774, to be one of Massachusetts' representatives to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. The text for that speech, at the end of Part I, comes mainly from two documents Adams penned during the Stamp Act crisis 8 years earlier, apparently stitched together in the film so as to evoke the similar-sounding famous passage in the United States Declaration of Independence, about men being created equal and endowed thereby with unalienable rights. Adams (instead of Jefferson) might have served as lead author of the Declaration two years later, and might have foreshadowed key portions of it oratorically before leaving Massachusetts for Philadelphia, but actually did neither. While rhetorically impressive in the film, the climactic final words of that speech, "Liberty will reign in America," appear to be a dramatic invention, not a passage Adams is known to have ever spoken or written. [24]
  • When Adams is set off to join the 1774 First Continental Congress, Abigail Adams is shown pregnant with a child. Adams is seen saying if the child was a girl, they would name her Elizabeth. While Abigail did give birth to a stillborn daughter they named Elizabeth, this happened in 1777, not 1774.

Part II Edit

  • In the opening scene, the final meeting site of the First Continental Congress is incorrectly shown as the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall). In fact, the First Continental Congress was held in Carpenters' Hall, located approximately 250 yards (230 m) east of the state house, along Chestnut Street. Carpenters' Hall was and still is privately owned by The Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia. It offered more privacy than the Pennsylvania State House. The venue depicted for the Second Continental Congress, however, is correctly depicted as the Pennsylvania State House. [25]
  • Benjamin Franklin is shown being brought to the Continental Congress in a litter, but he did not use this mode of transport in Philadelphia until the Constitutional Convention, 11 years later.
  • John Adams did not ride to Lexington and Concord while the battle was still in progress he visited on April 22, several days later. [26]
  • The first version of the Declaration of Independence read by Adams' family was depicted as a printed copy in reality, it was a copy in Adams' own hand, which led Mrs. Adams to believe that he had written it himself. [27]
  • General Henry Knox's ox-driven caravan of cannon (taken from Fort Ticonderoga) is depicted passing by the Adams' house in Braintree, Massachusetts en route to Cambridge, Massachusetts. In reality, General Knox's caravan almost certainly did not pass through Braintree. Fort Ticonderoga is in upstate New York, northwest of Cambridge, and Knox is assumed to have taken the most likely routes of the day, from the New York border through western and central Massachusetts via what are now Routes 23, 9, and 20, never entering Braintree, which is located approximately 15 miles (24 km) southeast of Cambridge. [28]
  • General Knox is played by actor Del Pentecost (b. 1963), who at the time of filming was age 45, far older than the 25 years old that Henry Knox was in 1775. [29]
  • The illness of the daughter following the inoculation of smallpox was inaccurate. In fact, it was their son Charles who developed the pox and who was unconscious and delirious for 48 hours. [30][31]

Part III Edit

  • Adams is shown departing for Europe without an upset nine-year-old son Charles, leaving only with older son John Quincy Adams. Adams actually took multiple trips to Europe. According to David McCullough's book, on one such trip young Charles accompanied his brother and father to Paris. He later became ill in Holland, and traveled alone on the troubled vessel South Carolina. After an extended journey of five months, Charles returned to Braintree at 11 years of age.
  • During Adams's first voyage to France, his ship engages a British ship in a fierce battle while Adams assists a surgeon performing an amputation on a patient who dies. In reality, Adams helped perform the amputation several days after the capture of the British ship, following an unrelated accident. The patient died a week after the amputation, rather than during the operation as shown in the episode. [32]

Part IV Edit

  • Abigail and John are depicted reuniting outside Paris after many years, but in reality were first reunited in London and traveled to Paris together.
  • Abigail Adams is depicted reprimanding Benjamin Franklin for cheating on his wife in France, but his wife died seven years earlier in 1774.
  • Abigail and John are depicted reuniting with their grown up children Nabby, John Quincy, Charles, and Thomas Boylston after returning to the United States, but in reality Nabby accompanied her mother Abigail to London where they reunited with John, and after joined by John Quincy, the four traveled to Paris where they stayed for a year until 1785 when John was appointed the first American ambassador to Great Britain, at which Nabby accompanied her parents to England while John Quincy returned home to Massachusetts to attend Harvard.
  • Multiple references are made in dialogue throughout the episode to the impending "Constitutional Convention." In reality, the Constitutional Convention was only referred to as such after it disbanded, since the Philadelphia convention was originally called only to revise the Articles of Confederation. When the Convention met, strict secrecy was imposed on its proceedings. It was only under this veil of secrecy that the convention goers changed their mission from one of revising the Articles to one of crafting a new constitution.

Part V Edit

  • Vice President John Adams is shown casting the tiebreaker vote in favor of ratifying the Jay Treaty. In reality, his vote was never required as the Senate passed the resolution by 20–10. [33] Furthermore, the vice president would never be required to cast a vote in a treaty ratification because Article II of the Constitution requires that treaties receive a two-thirds vote. is portrayed as a Senator during the debate of whether the President would require the Senate's consent to remove Cabinet officers. Pinckney was never a Senator and at the time of the debate (July 18, 1789), Pinckney held no political position.
  • Nabby Adams meets and marries Colonel William Stephens Smith upon her parents' return to America from London. John Adams is depicted as refusing to use his influence to obtain political positions for his daughter's new husband, though Colonel Smith requests his father-in-law's assistance repeatedly with an almost grasping demeanor. Mr. Adams upbraids his son-in-law each time for even making the request, stating that Colonel Smith should find himself an honest trade or career and not depend upon speculation. In reality, Nabby met Colonel Smith abroad while her father was serving as United States minister to France and Great Britain, and the couple married in London prior to the end of John Adams' diplomatic posting to the Court of St. James. Both John and Abigail used their influence to assist Colonel Smith and obtain political appointments for him, although this did not curb Colonel Smith's tendency to invest unwisely. [citation needed]
  • Following his election as president, John Adams is shown delivering his inauguration speech in the Senate chamber, on the second floor of Congress Hall, to an audience of senators. The speech was actually given in the much larger House of Representatives chamber on the first floor of Congress Hall. [34] The room was filled to capacity with members of both the House and Senate, justices of the Supreme Court, heads of departments, the diplomatic corps, and others. [35]
  • Though Adams was inaugurated as president on March 4, 1797, Washington, DC would not become the capital city until November 1, 1800. John and Abigail Adams moved in to the President's House in Philadelphia where he had been inaugurated as it was still the temporary capital city. Adams had moved to a private home in Washington, DC during the summer of 1800 and under the provisions of the plans for Washington to become the capital, took up residency in the unfinished President's House (renamed the White House later in the century) on November 1, 1800. His wife was home in Quincy. She was not with him as depicted in the series. This is especially important to note because due to her not being with him, President Adams wrote a letter to Abigail on his second night in the mansion that included a very famous quote which President Franklin Roosevelt had inscribed in the fireplace mantle in the State Dining Room--"I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof."

Part VI Edit

  • After President Adams refuses to assist Colonel Smith for the last time, Smith is depicted as leaving Nabby and their children in the care of the Adams family at Peacefield according to the scene, his intention is to seek opportunities to the west and either return or send for his family once he can provide for them. In reality, Smith brought his family with him from one venture to the next, and Nabby only returned to her father's home in Massachusetts after it was determined that she would undergo a mastectomy rather than continue with the potions and poultices prescribed by other doctors at that time.
  • After President Adams consults with his wife as to whether he should sign the laws, Adams is seen affixing his name to the ‘Punishment for Certain Crimes Against the United States’. In reality, it is entitled ‘An Act in addition to an Act entitled “An Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes Against the United States”. The “Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes Against the United States” was done during the second session of the first congress on April 30, 1790 by President Washington. [36][37]

Part VII Edit

  • Nabby is living with her family when she discerns the lump in her right breast, has her mastectomy, and dies two years later. Smith does not return until after Nabby's death and it is implied that he has finally established a stable form of income whether he was returning for his family as he had promised or was summoned ahead of his own schedule by the Adams' pursuant to Nabby's death is not specified. Smith was with her during and after the mastectomy, and by all accounts had thrown himself into extensive research in attempts to find any reputable alternative to treating his wife's cancer via mastectomy. The mastectomy was not depicted in the series as it is described in historical documents. In fact, Nabby's tumor was in the left breast. She returned to the Smith family home after her operation and died in her father's home at Peacefield only because she expressed a wish to die there, knowing that her cancer had returned and would kill her, and her husband acceded to her request. Dr. Benjamin Rush was also not the surgeon who conducted the operation which was actually performed by the noted surgeon Dr. John Warren. [38] Throughout the miniseries, Dr. Rush is shown making occasional house calls to the Adams residence. However, this is highly unlikely as Rush's practice was in far-away Philadelphia, not New England. That said, John and Abigail did consult with Rush regarding Nabby's condition, albeit this consultation was done through the mail.
  • Adams is shown inspecting John Trumbull's painting Declaration of Independence (1817) and stating that he and Thomas Jefferson are the last surviving people depicted. This is inaccurate since Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who is also depicted in the painting, survived until 1832. In fact, Adams never made such a remark. In reality, when he inspected Trumbull's painting, Adams' only comment was to point to a door in the background of the painting and state, "When I nominated George Washington of Virginia for Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, he took his hat and rushed out that door." [39]
  • Benjamin Rush is portrayed as encouraging Adams to start a correspondence with Thomas Jefferson after the death of Abigail Adams. Abigail's death occurred in 1818 but the Adams-Jefferson correspondence started in 1812, and Rush died in 1813. [17]

Primetime Emmy Awards Edit

John Adams received twenty-three Emmy Award nominations, and won thirteen, beating the previous record for wins by a miniseries set by Angels in America. It also holds the record for most Emmy wins by a program in a single year. [ citation needed ]

Year Category Nominee(s) Episode Result
2008 Outstanding Miniseries Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Kirk Ellis, Frank Doelger, David Coatsworth and Steve Shareshian Won
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries or Movie Kirk Ellis Episode 2, Independence Won
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Paul Giamatti Won
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Laura Linney Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Tom Wilkinson Won
Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries or Movie Gemma Jackson, David Crank, Christina Moore, Kathy Lucas and Sarah Whittle Won
Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Kathleen Chopin, Nina Gold and Tracy Kilpatrick Won
Outstanding Cinematography For A Miniseries or Movie Tak Fujimoto Episode 2, Independence Won
Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Donna Zakowska, Amy Andrews and Clare Spragge Episode 4, Reunion Won
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special Trefor Proud, John R. Bayless, Chris Burgoyne and Matthew W. Mungle Won
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Stephen Hunter Flick, Vanessa Lapato, Curt Schulkey, Randy Kelley, Kenneth L. Johnson, Paul Berolzheimer, Dean Beville, Bryan Bowen, Patricio A. Libenson, Solange S. Schwalbe, David Lee Fein, Hilda Hodges and Alex Gibson Episode 3, Don't Tread On Me Won
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or a Movie Jay Meagher, Marc Fishman and Tony Lamberti Episode 3, Don't Tread On Me Won
Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special Erik Henry, Jeff Goldman, Paul Graff, Steve Kullback, Christina Graff, David Van Dyke, Robert Stromberg, Ed Mendez and Ken Gorrell Episode 1, Join or Die Won
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special Tom Hooper Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Stephen Dillane Nominated
David Morse Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie Tak Fujimoto and Danny Cohen Episode 3, Don't Tread On Me Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries or a Movie Jan Archibald and Loulia Sheppard Nominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries or a Movie (Non-prosthetic) Trefor Proud and John R. Bayless Nominated
Outstanding Original Dramatic Score for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Robert Lane Episode 2, Independence Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie Melanie Oliver Episode 2, Independence Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Jon Johnson, Bryan Bowen, Kira Roessler, Vanessa Lapato, Eileen Horta, Virginia Cook-McGowan, Samuel C. Crutcher, Mark Messick, Martin Maryska, Greg Stacy, Patricio A. Libenson, Solange S. Schwalbe, Hilda Hodges and Nicholas Viterelli Episode 6, Unnecessary War Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or a Movie Jay Meagher, Michael Minkler and Bob Beemer Episode 5, Unite Or Die Nominated

Golden Globe Awards Edit

It was nominated for four awards at the 66th Golden Globe Awards and won all four. [40]

Year Category Nominee(s) Result
2009 Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Won
Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Paul Giamatti Won
Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Laura Linney Won
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television Tom Wilkinson Won

Screen Actors Guild Awards Edit

It was also nominated for three awards at the 15th Screen Actors Guild Awards and won two.

Year Category Nominee(s) Result
2009 Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Laura Linney Won
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Paul Giamatti Won
Tom Wilkinson Nominated

Other awards Edit

The show also won a 2008 AFI Award for best television series [41] and a Peabody Award "for exploring both public and private elements in the life of a truly great man." [42] It won the Movieguide 2009 Faith & Freedom Award for Television. [43] Part 1 of the show won three awards at the 7th Visual Effects Society Awards in the categories of Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or Special, Outstanding Created Environment in a Broadcast Program or Commercial, and Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program or Commercial. [44]


What is the true story of the Aberfan disaster?

In the third season, The Crown covers the Aberfan disaster - the collapse of a colliery mining tip in the South Wales coal mining village, which took place in 1966. The colliery created an avalanche, that fell down onto the local village - tragically killing 144 people, many of them children from the local school, which was directly in the line of the landslide.

It seems that the depiction of the monarchy's relation to the devastating tragedy is somewhat debatable in the show. In the episode, the Queen is seen dismissing the idea that she should pay a visit to Aberfan immediately after the tragedy, saying, "We don’t do disasters sites, we do hospitals". Other members of the family do go though - Prince Philip and her brother-in-law, Lord Snowdon.

In the programme, she eventually visits Aberfan eight days after the disaster (which is true), but comes across as unemotional about the entire thing. However, at the end of the episode, viewers see her shedding a tear, when she listens to a hymn sung by mourners at a burial service.

Of course, pictures of the day show the Queen looking incredibly sombre during her visit to Aberfan. But as with much of the royal family's private feelings, there won't ever be any way of knowing how the monarch really felt at the time.


The People v. O.J. Simpson (2016)

Yes, but the true story behind The People v. O.J. Simpson TV show reveals that it didn't unfold exactly how it does onscreen. On the show, a neighbor immediately notices blood on Nicole's Akita's paws. In real life, Nicole Brown Simpson's Akita followed the neighbor home first. The dog then led the neighbors back to the scene where Nicole and Ron Goldman had been murdered. Listen to Mark Fuhrman describe how he believes the murders unfolded. -E! Online

Did Robert Kardashian really call Robert Shapiro to hire him to defend O.J.?

Did Johnnie Cochran initially call the case a "loser"?

No, at least not according to the real Johnnie Cochran. Portrayed by Courtney B. Vance on the TV show, the character is seen calling the case a "loser" in episode one, stating that he only takes winners. This is in Jeffrey Toobin's The Run of His Life book (which provided the basis for the show), but Cochran later denied saying it. -E! Online

Did O.J. Simpson really contemplate suicide in Kim Kardashian's bedroom?

According to Chloe Kardashian, it was in her bedroom that O.J. contemplated suicide, not her sister Kim's room. Kim would have been 14 at the time and Chloe 10. The TV show actually used the late Robert Kardashian's former home. "We actually got to shoot in Kardashian's house where all of this went down," says David Schwimmer, who portrays Robert Kardashian on the show. -The Late Late Show with James Corden

Did the Kardashian kids really chant "Kardashian, Kardashian" when their dad was reading the suicide note?

No. According to sisters Chloe and Kim Kardashian, the kids did not chant "Kardashian, Kardashian, Kardashian" as their father, Robert Kardashian, was reading O.J.'s potential suicide note (watch a video of the real Robert Kardashian reading O.J.'s suicide note). That part of The People v. O.J. Simpson TV show is pure fiction. -The Late Late Show with James Corden

Is the TV show nearly word-for-word accurate?

No. "This series is not a documentary," says author Jeffrey Toobin, who consulted on the show and wrote the book on which it was based. "It is not a word-for-word recreation. But in terms of the essential truths of the events, in terms of the insights into the characters, it is brilliant and everyone will learn a lot and be entertained a lot." -E! Online

Did O.J. and Nicole's daughter Sydney leave a tearful message on her mom's answering machine?

How long did the O.J. Simpson chase last?

In fact-checking The People v. O.J. Simpson TV show, we learned that the O.J. Simpson chase lasted approximately an hour and fifteen minutes. Like on the show, friend Al Cowlings (A.C.) was at the wheel of the white Ford Bronco, while O.J. Simpson held a gun in the back seat, threatening to kill himself.

Were there really two white Broncos?

Yes. In researching The People v. O.J. Simpson true story, we learned that like on the TV show, O.J.'s friend Al Cowlings (A.C.) bought the same car as O.J., his idol. The white Bronco seen in the chase was Cowling's, not O.J.'s white Bronco that the police found blood on. -E! Online

Did Fred Goldman tell Marcia Clark that his son became "a footnote to his own murder?"

No. Though the father of the slain Ron Goldman did make his feelings regarding the case known to the media, the exchange in Marcia Clark's office is fiction. The TV show's writers created the scene, including the remark by Fred Goldman, that his son became "a footnote to his own murder."

Was there really a hearing to decide whether the prosecution could use more than ten hairs from O.J.'s head for DNA testing?

Yes. While investigating The People v. O.J. Simpson true story, we learned that this actually did happen. A hearing was held to determine whether the prosecution could procure more than ten hairs from O.J.'s head for DNA testing. Unlike on the show, Johnnie Cochran was not yet a member of the Dream Team (he joined July 18th). -E! Online

Was Marcia Clark going through a divorce at the time?

Yes. Fact-checking The People v. O.J. Simpson revealed that Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark filed for divorce three days before the killings. -Inside The People v. O.J. Simpson

Did Marcia Clark really tell Judge Lance Ito that she had to go home to her children?

Yes. "I just, I can't be here," an exasperated Marcia Clark told Judge Lance Ito during the trial. -Inside Edition

Did Johnnie Cochran receive death threats while defending O.J. Simpson?

Yes. According to Lawrence Schiller's book American Tragedy, the majority of the defense team received threats and were harassed.

Was Johnnie Cochran really pulled over by the police?

Yes. According to The People v. O.J. Simpson true story, this happened in 1979, not 1982. Cochran was driving his first Rolls-Royce (with his initials on the plates) down Sunset Boulevard when he was pulled over for no apparent reason. Two of his three young children were in the back seat. The officers drew their guns and told Cochran to get out of the car with his hands up. His children started crying. The officers searched his European-style purse and found his DA office badge. -The Washington Post

Did Marcia Clark cry in court?

No. On the American Crime Story TV show, Marcia Clark cries in court after just having seen tabloid photos of herself. Despite the photos really happening, the crying in court didn't. "Trial lawyers all know, you can't show anything," says the real Marcia Clark. "You have to have a poker face, and believe me, if I had cried in court, can you imagine what they would have said? Things were bad enough guys." -The View

Did Detective Mark Fuhrman own a Nazi medal?

Did Alan Dershowitz really fax messages directly to the courtroom?

Yes. The real Alan Dershowitz did fax messages directly to the L.A. courtroom while teaching at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. -CSMonitor.com

Did Johnnie Cochran really say "n---er, please. " to Chris Darden after rebutting Darden's request to have the N-word banned from the courtroom?

Yes. According to author Jeffrey Toobin, Cochran did in fact lean over and whisper "n---er please" to Christopher Darden after Cochran annihilated Darden's argument to have the N-word stricken from the courtroom. "I was so furious with him," Cochran told TIME magazine. "I felt it was an insult to all black people." Darden had been worried that if the defense brought up Detective Mark Fuhrman's alleged use of the N-word, it would immediately turn the jury against him.

Did the defense really redecorate O.J.'s house for the jury's visit?

Yes. One might think it would have been required that O.J.'s house remain in the state it was in at the time of the murders, perhaps to be used for evidence. Surprisingly, the defense was indeed able to stage O.J. Simpson's house to emphasize to the jury that O.J. was a respectable family man. -Dateline

Did prosecutor Bill Hodgman really collapse in court?

No. On The People v. O.J. Simpson TV show, Deputy District Attorney Bill Hodgman becomes upset and collapses on the courtroom floor after Johnnie Cochran introduces witnesses that had not been disclosed to the prosecution. It is implied that he has a heart attack. In real life, Bill Hodgman never collapsed on the floor of the courtroom. He had chest pains later in the day and was taken to the hospital. The doctor concluded that it was stress-related but was not a heart attack. -NYDailyNews.com

Did Robert Shapiro really fiddle with the gloves and realize they'd be too small on O.J.?

Yes. Jeffrey Toobin writes in his book The Run of His Life that most of the defense lawyers were playing with the gloves. It was both Shapiro and Cochran (not just Shapiro) who observed that the extra-large gloves seemed slightly small. Like on the show, when O.J. tried the gloves on in real life, he appeared to struggle somewhat to get them on his hands. What the show doesn't reveal is that a lot of people, including legal experts and prosecutors, didn't think the gloves looked that small on O.J.'s hands. Yet, it was something that the defense embraced and ran with, leading to Johnnie Cochran's quote, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." In real life, the former Isotoner exec actually testified that the latex gloves Mr. Simpson wore underneath while trying them on was the reason for the snug fit. "At one point in time, those gloves would actually be, I think, large on Mr. Simpson's hands," the exec told the court. -E! Online

Did O.J.'s visitors really play poker with him in jail?

Was prosecutor Marcia Clark a rape victim?

Yes, according to her memoir Without a Doubt, she was assaulted by a waiter while vacationing in Israel with friends when she was 17.

Did the jury really deliberate for four hours?

No. According to the real Marcia Clark, the jury deliberated for two hours before coming back with a verdict, not four, meaning there was almost no deliberation. Clark says that unlike what is seen on The People v. O.J. Simpson TV show, the prosecution had no doubt that Simpson would be let off. Watch Oprah's audience react to the O.J. Simpson verdict as it's read live. -Vulture.com

Did one of the deputies guarding O.J. really tell him the verdict?

Yes, at least in so many words. The deputy asked for O.J.'s autograph and told him that a fellow deputy on jury detail said that O.J. shouldn't be nervous. -The Run of His Life

Did Christopher Darden confront Johnnie Cochran after the verdict?

No. The People v. O.J. Simpson true story reveals that the confrontation between Darden and Cochran is more of a mash-up of real conversations than an actual event. After Cochran's win, the TV show has Darden telling him that the victory "isn't some civil-rights milestone. Police in this country will keep arresting us and beating us, keep killing us. You haven't changed anything for black people here. Unless of course you're a famous rich one in Brentwood." -VanityFair.com

Did Chris Darden really break down at the press conference after the trial?

Yes. Despite saying, "I'm not bitter, and I'm not angry," like on the show, Darden then walked away from the podium to hug the Goldmans. He later told Oprah Winfrey that his statement was a lie, saying on her show that the trial was "a mockery, a circus, a joke. It was a waste of my life. A waste of the lives of my colleagues. It was pointless." -VanityFair.com

Did TIME magazine really Photoshop O.J.'s face to make him look darker?

Yes. TIME really did use a filter on O.J.'s face for its "An American Tragedy" cover. Controversy ensued, as some insisted that it was a racist move. The then director of the NAACP, Benjamin Chavis Jr., remarked, "The way he's pictured, it' like he's some kind of animal." Jesse Jackson appeared on CNN and likened the cover to "institutional racism."

Did O.J. Simpson's son really give him a puppy as a welcome home gift after the trial?

Did O.J. deliver the statement at his Rockingham house?

No. In researching the true story behind The People v. O.J. Simpson, we learned that it was his oldest son Jason who delivered the statement, not O.J.

Did O.J. really throw the "party of the century" after he was released?

Yes. On the night of his release, the party was held at his Rockingham estate. Star magazine paid O.J. a six figure sum to photograph the party, which was reportedly a much quieter event than Simpson had originally hoped for. -VanityFair.com

Was the relationship between Marcia Clark and Chris Darden really that flirtatious?

It appears so. Despite Marcia Clark calling rumors that they hooked up "ridiculous," in his 1996 book In Contempt, Chris Darden wrote, "We sat up listening to hip-hop and R&B. We danced a few times and drank a few bottles of wine. In my mind, that is a relationship." They both have mentioned a trip to the Bay Area together, but the scene at Marcia's hotel room door when they almost kiss is more fiction than fact. Marcia then being mad that Chris didn't make a move is the show's creation as well.


The Railway Man (2014)

Our research into The Railway Man true story revealed that Eric joined the Royal Corps of Signals when he was twenty and departed for Southeast Asia in 1941. The Royal Corps of Signals are a combat support arm of the British army responsible for setting up battlefield communications. In addition to providing the telecommunications infrastructure in the field, the Corps of Signals also engage in electronic warfare, scrambling enemy communications, radar, etc.

Were the POWs rescued from their duties on the railroad by the arrival of allied forces following the Japanese surrender?

Not exactly. As Dr. Philip Towle of the University of Cambridge points out in the History Extra article "Historian at the Movies: The Railway Man reviewed," the movie compresses the war to make the audience think that the prisoners were still suffering on the railroad at the time of their rescue. In reality, the railway had been completed, to the extent that it was ever going to be, and at that point the main dangers to the POWs were disease, starvation, Allied bombing, and the constant realization that the Japanese would likely kill all of them at the end of the war.

Was Patti Eric's first wife?

No. Completely absent from The Railway Man movie are Eric Lomax's first wife Agnes ("Nan"), whom he married on November 20, 1945, just three weeks after he was liberated. He had been courting her in their native Edinburgh prior to leaving for the war in 1941. Eric and Nan got engaged the night before he left. Following his capture by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore in 1942, Nan waited for three-and-a-half years not knowing whether he was alive or dead. After the war, they were together for 37 years and shared three children: Linda May Lomax (born December 14, 1946, died December 13, 1993), Eric Lomax Jr. (born June 18, 1948, died at birth), and Charmaine Carole Lomax (born June 17, 1957). In his 1995 book, Eric refers to Nan merely as "S." He left her in 1981. -The Guardian

Did Eric and Patti meet on a train?

Yes. While riding on a train to Glasgow in 1980, the real Eric Lomax met the then 43-year-old Canadian nurse Patricia "Patti" Wallace, who was seventeen years his junior and back in Britain visiting her mother, sister and some close friends. A fondness for one another developed and in 1982, Patti left Canada for the United Kingdom, her place of birth. Soon after, Eric officially ended his marriage with Nan and married Patti in 1983. "It was hard," says daughter Charmaine, "but we wanted to concentrate on our mum. Dad had made life very tough for her: Mum deserved better." -The Guardian


Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman portray Eric and Patti Lomax in The Railway Man movie (left). The real Eric and Patti Lomax share a moment of happiness together (right).

Had Patti been married prior to Eric?

Yes. In his book, Eric states that Patti, portrayed by Nicole Kidman in the movie, had been in a marriage that was as reduced as his own. She had grown up in England where she became a nurse, but she moved to Canada after marrying her first husband who was part of the Canadian air force. Eric and Patti were "both living rootless and not altogether happy lives." Patti had three sons of her own, Graeme, Nicholas and Mark, and she also had a daughter. -The Railway Man book

What did Eric do when he came home from the war?

In researching The Railway Man true story, we learned that not only did Eric Lomax have to deal with his physical and emotional scars from the war, he also had to face the reality that while he was a prisoner of war, his mother had died and his father had remarried, leaving Eric without a place to call home. Upon his return, he ended up staying with his fiancée Nan and her parents, a living situation that likely hastened their impending nuptials.


The real Eric Lomax with his daughter Charmaine in the late 1960s. Charmaine (inset at the 2013 movie premiere), her sister, and mother were left out of the film.

"My mum told me that on their first night together she rubbed cream into the sores on Dad's back and asked him what had happened," recalls Eric's daughter Charmaine. "He said he didn't want to talk about it and that she should never ask him again." According to Charmaine (pictured), she never did.

Eric went to work for the Colonial Office and he was posted to West Africa to help construct a 600-mile railway traversing what is today Ghana. His first wife Nan and their daughter Linda went with him. While there, his son Eric Jr. was born in Takoradi, but the baby only survived for four hours. The family returned from Africa in 1955, and Eric went on to work as a lecturer at Strathclyde University. An emotional chasm had developed in his marriage. Eric became distant and he struggled with meeting the demands of daily life, including paying the bills. To make matters worse, his daughter Linda had a brain hemorrhage when she was 12. Linda recovered but was faced with lasting complications, which eventually claimed her life in 1992 at the age of 46. -The Guardian

Did Eric's emotional scars from the war cause his first marriage to crumble?

Did Eric see his children after he separated from his first wife in the early 1980s?

No. Eric's daughters, Linda and Charmaine, cut off contact with him after he left their mother. Charmaine didn't see her father again until her sister Linda died in 1993 at the age of 46. She suddenly found herself standing between her mother and father at Linda's graveside. Following the funeral, Eric asked her if she'd meet him sometimes for a cup of tea. She began to see him every year and a half or so, and more often after her mother died in 2003. However, Charmaine says that their time together was not easy since he still never talked about his feelings, but she's glad that they were at least in touch. -The Guardian


Unlike Colin Firth's character in the film (left), the true story behind The Railway Man movie reveals that the real Eric Lomax (right) had been married for 37 years and had 3 children prior to meeting Patti (Nicole Kidman's character).

Was Eric Lomax's daughter upset that she, her sister, and her mother were left out of the movie?

No. Eric Lomax's daughter Charmaine wasn't upset that she, her sister Linda, and her mother Nan were left out of The Railway Man movie. She doesn't blame the movie's screenwriter, Frank Cottrell Boyce. She says that it goes back to her father, who had left them out of his book. "But we were always there," Charmaine says. "What happened to him happened to us, too." -The Guardian

Did the POWs, including Eric Lomax, really endure the unspeakable horrors seen in The Railway Man movie?

Yes. Though it is at times hard to watch, the Japanese army's treatment of the POWs who worked on the Burma-Siam railway is accurately portrayed in the movie. Years of schooling had indoctrinated young Japanese men with the notion of Emperor worship, and their training to become soldiers in their native country was based on brutality. The soldiers were also taught to fight with relentless ferocity as part of the Japanese counter-insurgency against Mao Tse-tung's forces. All of these factors played a part in creating soldiers who could carry out the most cruel acts of torture without a second thought. -History Extra

As Eric himself states in his book, past movies like David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) gave a misleading impression of POW life. "Who ever saw such well-fed POWs?" Eric writes. Many Americans believed Lean's film to be true and perhaps slept better because they were left with a false picture of POW life, one that ignored the unspeakable horrors that the POWs had endured in the hands of the Japanese. By the time the war ended, Eric himself weighed only 105 pounds, roughly 60 pounds less than his average, pre-war weight. In all, of the more than 60,000 Allied troops captured by the Japanese, approximately 12,399 prisoners died (VancouverSun.com).


William Holden's well-fed character in 1957's The Bridge on the River Kwai (left) stands in stark contrast to the reality of being a POW of the Japanese. This includes the experience of British POW Jack 'Becky' Sharpe, pictured on the right in Changi Hospital shortly after the war ended (which is why he's grinning).

Were Eric and six comrades really tortured for building a secret radio to follow the progress of the war?

Yes. The radio was discovered by the Japanese in August 1943. As punishment, Eric and his six comrades were first forced to stand out in the searing heat for hours without water or food. Then the Japanese soldiers stomped on them and beat them unconscious with pickaxe handles. Two of the POWs did not survive.

For Eric, the punishment for the radio did not end there. He was left lying on the ground for two days. His ribs were cracked and his arms and hips were broken. The Japanese then subjected him to more interrogation and torture. They kept him in a coffin-sized cage for hours at a time. Eric was found guilty of "anti-Japanese activities" and was sentenced to five years hard labor. He was transported to a disease infested jail, where he spent the rest of the war. -Daily Mail Online

Did Eric's wife Patti really encourage him to seek psychological help for his nightmares?

Yes. Eric Lomax's second wife Patricia "Patti" Wallace, portrayed by Nicole Kidman in the film, encouraged him to seek help for his nightmares, rages and feelings of isolation (The Railway Man book). She told him that she was going to leave him if he did not seek help. "My dad's feelings were locked inside himself," says Charmaine, his daughter from his first marriage. "He was there physically, but emotionally he was 100% absent" (The Guardian).

Yes. The poem is an Eric Lomax original. He would recite it in his darkest hours in an effort to help isolate his mind and feelings during difficult times. It is displayed below. -Glam Adelaide

How was Eric Lomax eventually able to talk about his horrific experiences as a POW?

Not shown in the movie, the real Eric Lomax benefited psychologically with the help of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (known today as Freedom from Torture), a British charity that provides therapeutic care for survivors of torture. It marked the first time that Eric was able to talk about his experiences at length and helped him to prepare for his meeting with one of his former Japanese tormentors. -History Extra

Did Eric really recognize Takashi Nagase's face in a newspaper clipping?

Yes. The Railway Man true story confirms that in 1989 the real Eric Lomax did in fact recognize the Japanese interpreter Takashi Nagase in a Japan Times newspaper clipping that was given to him by a fellow POW. He remembered how Nagase would bark at him in broken English, accusing him of being a spy, while the other Japanese soldiers tortured him. -Daily Mail Online

Is the Finlay character portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård based on a real person?

Not entirely. The "Uncle Finlay" character is a composite of several POWs that Eric Lomax was friends with. There is no one named "Finlay" in The Railway Man book. However, with regard to the book, Finlay seems to most likely resemble Jim Bradley, a fellow POW who had been in the bed next to Eric's in Changi, Singapore in 1944. Eric reconnected with Bradley in 1989, and it was Jim Bradley's wife Lindy who gave Eric the photocopy of the article from the August 15, 1989 edition of the Japan Times, which contained a picture of Takashi Nagase, Eric's former tormentor. Unlike the movie, Bradley did not commit suicide.

In the article that accompanied the photo, it talked of Nagase's ongoing battle with heart disease, stating that each time he suffered a heart attack, he had flashbacks of the Japanese military police in Kanchanaburi torturing a POW accused of having a map of the railway. Eric immediately knew that he was the POW that Takashi Nagase was referring to. -The Railway Man book

Did Eric Lomax really track down his former captor with the intent to kill him?

No, but Eric's wife Patti says that until he set eyes on his former Japanese tormentor, Takashi Nagase, he had been threatening to do him harm. However, The Railway Man true story reveals that, unlike the film, the real Eric Lomax's intention was more about finding closure rather than seeking revenge. The movie depicts Eric (Colin Firth) meeting with his unsuspecting former captor in order to seek retribution, only to change his mind during the encounter. This is largely fiction that was injected into the film in order to build suspense for dramatic effect. -History Extra


Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) revisits his past by walking across the bridge over the River Kwai in the movie (top). Eric Lomax and his former torturer, Takashi Nagase, pose on the bridge with Eric's book in the 1990s (bottom).

Did Eric's former tormentor, interpreter Takashi Nagase, really have no idea Eric was coming?

No. Takashi Nagase knew Eric was coming to see him, as Eric's visit was never based on seeking revenge. As indicated earlier, correspondence had prepared Nagase for the meeting. -History Extra

Where did Eric Lomax meet his former Japanese tormentor Takashi Nagase?

The emotionally loaded reunion between Eric Lomax and Takashi Nagase (pictured below) took place in Thailand on March 26, 1993 at the World War II museum in Kanchanaburi near the bridge over the River Kwai. Eric's wife Patti made the trip with him and was there for the first meeting, as was a documentary film crew that was recording the encounter (see the video below). Eric later wrote that the reunion gave him "a resolution for which I had been searching for years." Eric and Patti saw Takashi Nagase and his wife Yoshiko several times after the first meeting and they also kept in touch via phone calls and letters.


The real Eric Lomax (right) confronts his former tormentor, Takashi Nagase (left), in Thailand on March 26, 1993. Unlike in the movie, Nagase knew Lomax was coming and the meeting was civil.

Was Takashi Nagase remorseful for his treatment of the POWs?

Yes. In the years following the war, Imperial Japanese Army officer and interpreter Takashi Nagase made more than sixty missions of atonement to the River Kwai in Thailand (as of Lomax's 1996 book). Nagase also became a devout Buddhist and as part of his atonement financed a Buddhist peace temple near the bridge on the River Kwai. As Eric Lomax states in his book, Takashi Nagase did not "make reparation some occasional thing it was truly almost a way of life. "

Did Eric Lomax forgive his former tormentor Takashi Nagase?

Yes. In his memoir, Eric writes, "Meeting Nagase has turned him from a hated enemy, with whom friendship would have been unthinkable, into a blood-brother. If I'd never been able to put a name to the face of one of the men who had harmed me, and never discovered that behind that face there was also a damaged life, the nightmares would always have come from a past without meaning."

How did Eric Lomax remember everything that happened to him by the time that he wrote the book in the mid 1990s?

Immediately following his return from World War II, Eric wrote a 40,000 word manuscript detailing his experiences. Following his reconciliation with Takashi Nagase, he revisited his detailed account and developed it into his autobiography, The Railway Man.

How did Eric Lomax die?

Have any other films been made about Eric Lomax?

Yes. Mike Finlason's 1995 documentary Enemy, My Friend? features footage of Eric Lomax's 1993 reunion with his former torturer, Takashi Nagase. Also, shortly after Lomax's book was published in 1995, the Everyman TV series featured an episode starring John Hurt, titled "Prisoners in Time," in which Hurt portrays Eric Lomax, an ex-prisoner of war who comes face to face with his former Japanese torturer.

After reading about The Railway Man true story vs. the movie above, check out the related videos below, including footage of Eric Lomax meeting Takashi Nagase, Eric visiting The Railway Man movie set, a news segment remembering his life, and the movie trailer.

This powerful clip shows former POW Eric Lomax meeting Takashi Nagase, his Japanese tormentor, for the first time since World War II. "As a member of the Japanese army, we treated your country very, very badly," Nagase tells Lomax. As Takashi Nagase opens up to Lomax, he takes hold of Lomax's arm, remembering where it had been broken when he was tortured. If you've seen The Railway Man movie or have read the book, this clip from Mike Finlason's documentary Enemy, My Friend? is a must watch.

WWII veteran Eric Lomax pays a visit to the set of The Railway Man starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. Colin Firth chats with Lomax in several brief clips and Nicole Kidman can be seen talking with Eric's wife, Patti Lomax, her counterpart in the film. Sadly, Eric passed away before the movie was completed.

This BBC segment aired shortly after Eric Lomax's death in 2012. It features photos and clips of Lomax recalling his torture, his experience as a POW held by the Japanese, and his eventual reunion with his tormentor, Takashi Nagase.

Colin Firth portrays World War II prisoner of war survivor Eric Lomax, who years later attempted to reconcile with the past that haunted him by tracking down one of his Japanese captors. In the film, Nicole Kidman portrays his second wife Patti and Stellan Skarsgård portrays his best friend Finlay. Watch The Railway Man movie trailer for an overview of the movie's interpretation of the story, which was adapted from Lomax's book of the same name.


The Queen and Jackie Kennedy's Blood-Covered Dress: Did Elizabeth Really Meet Jacqueline Onassis?

The Crown Season 2 syncs up British history with American pop culture by dedicating an entire episode, "Dear Mrs. Kennedy," to Queen Elizabeth II's relationship with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The episode speeds up Elizabeth (Claire Foy) and Jackie's (Jodi Balfour) fraught rivalry, fitting their entire relationship into a single hour.

By the end of the episode, Jackie appears on television after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, and Elizabeth is mesmerized to see she's still wearing her blood-soaked pink Chanel dress. In the episode's final scenes, the queen can only pace around Buckingham Palace, unable to help her frenemy beyond grand political gestures.

So how did Jackie and Elizabeth treat each other in private?

As with all subjects The Crown touches, it's difficult to say for sure whether Netflix's drama takes liberties with connecting the dots. (The "dots," however, are pretty realistic in this episode.) We don't know, for instance, if Jackie insulted Elizabeth at a bar because the first lady was allegedly high on a cocktail of drugs.

We do know, however, that the infamous Max Jacobson, aka "Dr. Feelgood," visited the White House more than 30 times between 1961 and 1962. Feelgood's other clients&mdashincluding Marilyn Monroe, Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams&mdashwere given injections of "highly addictive liquid methamphetamine and steroids" loosely masked as vitamins. It's not confirmed, though it's plausible, that Jackie may have been under the good doctor's influence while visiting the queen.

That said, historians agree that the queen resented Jackie before they even met. Despite being the same age as Elizabeth, Jackie was considered a style icon (not to mention almost a modern American queen in her own right).

As Vogue describes, the exact nature of the rivalry between the two women is among the most plausible plotlines on The Crown, though Robert Lacey, the show's historian, says, "I think that the personal tension between Elizabeth and Jackie is speculative. I'm not saying it didn't exist. You can't say it's false you can't say it's true."

Still, The Crown does pull some punches. The show ignores, for example, the complex, passive-aggressive situation that preceded Jackie and Elizabeth's meeting. The queen hosted a dinner for the Kennedys, and she knew Jackie would want to be photographed with her stylish sister, Princess Margaret. So Elizabeth kept the princess off the guest list. That was on top of Elizabeth's refusal to allow Jackie's sister and brother-in-law, a twice-divorced man, to attend the dinner. All of that added up to a tense situation before the Kennedys even reached the palace, which explains a bit more of the ill feelings between the two women on display in The Crown.

The Crown also underemphasizes the harrowing nature of President Kennedy's assassination and the way both Elizabeth and Jackie responded to his murder.

On November 22, 1963, while President Kennedy was riding with Jackie in a motorcade in Texas, he was shot twice and killed. After the first shot hit Kennedy in the upper spine, Jackie reacted by trying to put her arms around her husband. A second bullet entered the back of Kennedy's skull, spraying Jackie with blood, bone fragments and brain matter. Jackie later explained that she had tried, in her immediate panic, to climb onto the trunk of the car she and her husband were riding in, in order to grab the piece of his skull that was sliding down and onto the street. According to his memoir, Secret Service agent Clint Hill ran up to the car and shoved Jackie back into the seat in order to protect her.

In the final few scenes of the episode, Elizabeth and the queen mother watch Jackie on television, climbing into a car while still wearing her pink Chanel suit, splattered with her husband's blood. That image is real&mdashJackie defiantly wore the bloody suit while standing in the photographs of Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in as president on Air Force One, telling the aides who tried to help her, "Let them see what they've done."

The Crown doesn't suggest that Elizabeth knew the full horrors of Kennedy's assassination. But what is clear, on both the show and in real life, is that the queen wasn't used to seeing such a public display of grief, and it inspired a period of mourning at the palace. As Claire Foy does in The Crown, the real Elizabeth decreed that the bell in Westminster Abbey should ring for Jack Kennedy as it had for late members of the royal family.

We'll never know what the women said to each other behind closed doors, but it's clear that the queen reacted with deep grief and horror to the death of Jackie's husband.


Watch the video: The Crown: Funny Behind-The Scenes Moments And Bloopers OSSA Movies (May 2022).