British Royal Family

Did that really happen? All the wild royal plot lines in The Crown season 3 explained

The latest season isn't short of some major royal bombshells, but did they really happen?

By Jess Pullar
The third season of The Crown is proving to follow up its previous seasons with rip roaring success - and not least because of its drool-worthy cast.
As the latest season premieres on Netflix, you'll no doubt be stocking up on the popcorn and clearing your calendars for a good old binge-watch - and we really can't blame you, because we're all in for a treat of a season.
If you're anything like us, you'll like have watched the first two seasons with your smartphone not far away - because how could you not witness some of those explosive story lines and immediately search them online to see if they actually happened in the way the dramatic show depicts it?
But instead of searching far and wide as you make your way through the latest season's plot bombshells, we decided to make things a little bit easier for you.
Yep, we've taken a closer look at the most dramatic plot lines that feature in The Crown season 3 and measured them against the real-life royal events they were based off.
Keep scrolling as we answer the question you'll know doubt be asking multiple times - did that really happen?
Oh, and a brief warning - spoilers are most definitely ahead!
WATCH: See the dramatic trailer of The Crown season 3. Story continues after video...

What was Princess Margaret's visit to the US really like?

In Season 3 of The Crown, one of the earlier episodes depicts Princess Margaret's whirlwind journey to the United States, where she tours with her then-husband Antony Armstrong-Jones, AKA Lord Snowden.
The tour is depicted in the plot as a roaring success, one that even leads to a new phenomenon in the country called 'Margaretologists', after the brunette royal charms the masses with her light-hearted and cheeky nature.
But as it happens, the real life tour, which took place in 1965, wasn't actually as glamorous and smooth sailing as The Crown would have you believe.
In fact, a royal biographer has revealed that Princess Margaret even managed to offend several American celebrities during the tour.
"Her rudeness knew no bounds. It was almost as though, early in life, she had contracted a peculiarly royal strain of Tourette syndrome, causing the sufferer to be seized by the unstoppable urge to say the first thing that came into her head, just so long as it was sufficiently unpleasant," the biographer, Craig Brown, penned.
As for that whirlwind dinner with President, Lyndon B. Johnson, as depicted on The Crown, it seems that it wasn't so special after all IRL.
Going by what's on record, all that really happened was the Princess giving a toast and telling guests about how welcome she and Lord Snowden had felt in the US.
So essentially, Margaret's colourful, wild and oh-so-successful tour of the States portrayed in The Crown was, in fact, not quite so glamorous.
Princess Margaret's 1965 United States tour is reenacted in season 3 of The Crown. (Getty)

What was the documentary about the royal family really like?

Any insight into the lives of the royals is often met with glee from their fans, which is why a 1969 documentary behind the walls of Buckingham Palace really got people talking - and garnered an inclusion in the latest season of The Crown.
The whirlwind documentary Royal Family provided insight into the royals' daily routines like never before.
Made in order to make the regal family appear more relateable and accessible, the documentary had all the ingredients for success, as is suggested in the Netflix reenactment.
The Crown depicts its origins quite accurately - Prince Philip was a spearhead when it came to setting up the documentary - one of many things he did that shook things up inside Buckingham Palace.
The royal documentary took viewers behind the walls of Buckingham Palace like never before. (Getty)
To its credit, The Crown certainly delivers a well-rounded insight into the magnitude of allowing cameras inside palace walls at the time.
Alongside the documentary plot line, the episode also features Philip's mother, who comes to stay with the royal family while the documentary airs.
His mother sadly passed away in 1969 at Buckingham Palace.

Did Prince Philip really try to fly his plane to the moon?

In one dramatic scene in The Crown, we're given insight into the turmoil felt by Prince Philip after he does something rather drastic.
The episode begins with the global milestone of the first humans landing on the moon - and Philip is noticeably enthralled.
The episode focuses largely on the Duke of Edinburgh's reluctance in accepting that he gave up a life outside of being a royal, which had since confined his dreams and aspirations of being a pilot.
Then, in a scene following the moon landing, Philip is seen flying one of his planes alongside an assistant.
Spotting the distant moon, Philip decides to take the controls into his own hands, and literally propels the plane towards it - much to his poor assistant's terror.
Eventually, Philip levels the plane again, saying, "look, we've also lived... just for a minute."
Prince Philip was a passionate pilot. (Getty)
Let's be frank here, there isn't any real-life evidence or indication that Philip took such an extreme measure to "live", so it's likely this was a slight exaggeration on the show's part.
That being said, there's no denying Philip would have battled with the idea of never pursuing his dreams of flying, and this would likely have been exacerbated with the moon landing.
An insightful episode to say the least!

Was Prince Charles a passionate stage actor at university?

One of the most intriguing characters to watch this season is Prince Charles, who is depicted in his early 20s and is slowly coming to terms with the pressures of being his country's future King.
In his debut episode, we see Charles practising for a play he was taking part in while studying at Cambridge University.
There's no denying how passionate Charles feels about acting, with the young Prince seen warming up backstage with much enthusiasm.
We must admit, it came as a surprise to find that Prince Charles did indeed dabble in stage acting during his time at Cambridge, with some brilliant vintage photos of his time there revealing the Prince getting right into character - in real life!
Yep, Prince Charles certainly was into acting back in the day! (Getty)

Did Princess Anne really have a romantic relationship with Andrew Parker Bowles?

In one of the show's most dramatic storylines, characters Princess Anne, Prince Charles, Camilla Shand and Andrew Parker Bowles are caught up in an almighty love-square.
Princess Anne is depicted engaging in somewhat of an affair with Andrew whilst he is still in a relationship with Camilla.
Meanwhile, Prince Charles is seen beginning a romantic relationship with Camilla at the very same time.
So did this really happen in real life?
Princess Anne is depicted in The Crown engaging in a romantic relationship with Andrew Parker Bowles - whilst he is still seeing Camilla. (Images: Getty (L), Netflix (R))
In real life, it is understood Princess Anne did date Andrew Parker Bowles, who later married Camilla Shand.
But why Anne and Andrew did not continue their relationship was for quite a different reason that what appears to happen on The Crown.
According to a 2002 Channel 4 documentary The Real Princess Anne, which aired in the UK, Andrew and the royal were very much together, but ultimately knew they could never marry because Andrew was Roman Catholic, and under royal tradition, she was not allowed to marry someone of this faith.
So with that said, Andrew did indeed go on to marry Camilla, while Anne married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973.
WATCH: See the cast of The Crown next to their real life counterparts: