11th November 2020

Crowning Achievement

Looking Back at Four Seasons of The Crown and Timothy Everest

It was the tail end of 2014 when the press announced that Netflix had bought the rights to adapt Peter Morgan’s acclaimed stage play The Audience into a multi-seasoned television series. The Audience, like its Morgan-penned big screen predecessor The Queen, studied Queen Elizabeth’s conversations and motivations behind closed doors, imagining her reactions to real events in her life and those of the country at large. Over the course of a planned six seasons, we would see her grow from a young girl in post-war Britain to a septuagenarian monarch in the early years of the 21st century, against a backdrop of the political, personal and social upheavals of the time.
As the biggest budget production undertaken by Netflix, no expense was to be spared on the production of the show, in order to nail an authentic look and feel to the proceedings; the most important aspect in conveying the ‘truth’ at the heart of the writing and performances.
To help provide some of that authenticity, our bespoke tailors were consulted by the production team’s costume department before shooting began in 2015. Our expertise were called upon to help create the looks for the principal male leads. The filming for seasons 1 & 2 were scheduled to shoot back to back with the same cast playing their roles from the reign of George VI (played by Jared Harris), through the Queen’s wedding in 1947 to Prince Phillip (here portrayed by Claire Foy and Matt Smith), her coronation in 1953 and ending with the birth of Prince Edward in 1964.
This provided a rich and exciting framework for our team to study and work on, poring over old Pathé news reels, press photos and royal portraits to bring everything from lounge suits and evening wear to hunting ensembles to life. Of particular historical and stylistic interest were the Queen’s uncle Edward Windsor’s infamously flamboyant suiting, modelled perfectly by the irascible Alex Jennings and a rather dashing hacking jacket for the Queen’s younger sister Margaret, brought to life by the sparkling Vanessa Kirby.
Season Two also brought us a very concrete accolade in the form of our first ever Emmy Award for “Outstanding Period Costumes” recognising our contribution to the episode “Dear Mrs. Kennedy”, in particular the elegant evening wear created for the rather fabulous JFK, played by Dexter’s Michael C. Hall.
Season three ushered in a new era, the Aquarian age of the mid sixties, and a new cast, introducing important new players to the story in the form of the teenaged Royal children and their their struggles with lining up their regal duties with the realities of a changing world. Much of the action centred on the young heir to the throne, Prince Charles in a stellar performance by English actor Josh O’Connor. Once again, our flair for period-specific detail was evident in his formal and everyday wardrobes, along with some wonderfully off beat and eccentric choices for the reprised Edward Windsor (this time inhabited by the legendary Derek Jacobi) and man-about-town Antony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon, played deftly by Ben Daniels.
Windsor’s salmon pink cord suit and Snowdon’s suede safari jacket becoming something of a hit with critics and customers alike. That season’s costuming Emmy Award for the Margaret and Lord Snowdon bottle episode “Cri De Coeur” was the show’s tenth among 39 nominations to date, and our second win.
With the imminent arrival this week of season four, all eyes will again be on Josh O’Connor’s Prince Charles and this time, his tumultuous relationship with Diana Spencer. We were extremely honoured to once again work on the show, getting our teeth into some of the prince’s trademark looks of that time – his safari suits for royal visits, kilt jackets worn in residence at Balmoral, and the sober pinstripe suits and evening wear so elegantly donned by him and the other members of the royal household. 
Rest assured, while viewers will be transfixed by the onscreen intrigue and antics, we will be hard at work behind the scenes, beginning work on the forthcoming seasons 5 & 6, bringing us almost up to the present day with a brand new cast to fit, research and make for.

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