20 AUGUST 2015
When the Queen – then Princess Elizabeth – and Prince Philip married in November 1947, thousands of well-wishers lined Westminster Abbey in London to catch the first glimpse of the newlyweds. In the streets of Ely, Cambridgeshire earlier this week, a similar scene was re-enacted.
Hundreds of passers-by watched as filming for The Crown, a new show airing on Netflix next year, brought the city to a standstill.
Actress Claire Foy, who plays the Queen, was spotted wearing the royal’s replica white satin wedding gown, which featured a flowing train and a matching veil. She completed her bridal look with a glittering tiara and a double strand of pearls.
The actress was filmed stepping out of a gold horse-drawn carriage and entering Ely Cathedral, which was used as a stand-in for Westminster Abbey.
She was joined by her co-stars – her eight bridesmaids and two page boys – and former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith, who plays her husband Prince Philip.
The Queen, who was 21 at the time, had eight bridesmaids including her sister Princess Margaret
No expense was spared in the filming for the new 10-part series, which follows the life of the Queen from her wedding to the present day. From a replica Irish State Coach to pretend 1940s newspaper photographers, every detail was arranged to make the occasion look as authentic as possible.
Netflix is said to be staking £100 million on the new show, but in real fact, the Queen married during a time of high austerity. Her nuptials took place just two years after WWII had finished when rationing was still in place.
The Queen, who married two years after the end of the war, saved up ration coupons for her wedding dress
Ahead of the wedding, Elizabeth, who was 21 at the time, saved up ration coupons to pay for the material for her Norman Hartnell gown and excited women from around the country sent the Princess extra coupons. However, she graciously returned them and, like other brides, was allowed an extra 200 by the government.
Her sister Princess Margaret and her cousins Princess Alexandra of Kent and Lady Mary Cambridge acted as bridesmaids, while royals from Spain, Norway, Greece, Denmark and the Netherlands attended the ceremony.
Hundreds of well-wishers waited outside Westminster Abbey in the hope of seeing the newlyweds, while thousands more lined the Mall and Buckingham Palace. The ceremony was recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio to 200 million people around the world.
The Crown will feature 60 episodes over six series. It will focus on the inside story of Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street and the tagline reads, “Two houses, two courts, one Crown”.
Protagonists Claire and Matt will play the Queen and Prince Philip for the first two series, after which producers will decide if they want to cast older actors or use make-up and prosthetics to play the royals in their later years.