3 massive errors in The Crown season 4 – wrong dates and edited photos

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The Crown is back on our screens for a fourth series, promising drama, heartbreak and scandal.

Olivia Colman is returning as the Queen, with Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher featuring for the first time.

While the programme is based on true events, a lot of poetic licence has gone into making it an award-winning Netflix show and many experts have criticised countless inaccuracies. 

Robert Lacey, who acts as the programme's royal expert, told Town and Country magazine : "I defend very strongly that this show recreates the past very plausibly."

He later added: "There are two sorts of truth. There's historical truth and then there's the larger truth about the past."

But there are several things in the new series that we know aren't true.

We've had a look at three of the biggest historical errors.

"One is not amused…"
(Image: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

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A relocated famous photo

Princess Diana made history when she refused to leave her young son, Prince William, at home when she joined her husband for a 45-day royal tour of Australia and New Zealand.

So the young royal, who was just nine months old at the time, made the trip with his mum and dad, resulting in some adorable family photos.

One of the most famous moments of the trip was when the Wales family laid out a rug in the garden of Auckland’s Government House on April 23, 1983 and let William play freely.

The real photos were taken in New Zealand
(Image: Getty Images)

However the show relocated them to Australia
(Image: netflix)

Dressed in shorts and white shirt, William was fascinated by his wooden Buzzy Bee toy, while his proud parents watched on.

The sweet moment is featured in season four of The Crown, but they've changed a key element of it.

Writer Peter Morgan and his team appear to have relocated the shoot to the Australian Outback, claiming it happened at a different part of their tour.

A very, very delayed retirement

Martin Charteris, who is believed to have been the Queen's favourite and most trusted private secretary, has featured in the first three seasons.

He was first played by Harry Hadden-Paton before Charles Edwards took over the role in season three and returns this time around.

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However season four is meant to run from 1979 up to about 1990 – but Charteris actually retired in 1977.

Eton-educated Charteris was the Queen's private secretary before she became Monarch, and they hit it off straight away.

Charles Edwards plays Martin Charteris in the later series
(Image: Sophie Mutevelian/Netflix/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

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He has previously said: "I simply fell in love with her when I met her. She was so young, beautiful, dutiful, the most impressive of women."

Charteris was one of the first people to learn the Queens father, King George VI, had died – and worked to make sure Philip was woken so he could be the one to tell the Queen.

When she took the throne, Charteris came with her – but was only her assistant private secretaty.

There are claims she later fought to have him promoted, but aides didn't agree.

Martin Charteris worked at the Queen's side for decades
(Image: ANL/REX/Shutterstock)

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However about 20 years later he finally got the job, which he held until 1977.

When he finally retired the Queen gave him a silver tray which was engraved with the message: "Martin, thank you for a lifetime".

The wrong Royal Variety Performance

Filming for the new series earlier this year saw the crew and cast take over the Lyceum Theatre to shoot a scene at the Royal Variety Performance.

It shows the Queen mixing with lots of celebrities with Prince Philip at her side.

But a poster spotted outside reveals a big error.

(Image: SplashNews.com)

The blue sign reads: "The Royal Variety Performance 1984. In the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

However a quick look at the history books shows that the Queen and Philip didn't attend that year's show.

Instead, the Queen Mother, Prince Charles and Princess Diana went on her behalf.

The Crown season 4 on Netflix

  • Release date and cast

  • Review

  • Princess Diana bulimia storyline

  • Michael Fagan speaks out

That year's event was held on November 19 and had a comedy theme.

Max Bygraves hosted, with Jimmy Cricket, Terry Wogan, Ronnie Corbett, Paul Daniels and Les Dennis also taking to the stage.

After the show, Charles was asked if Diana enjoyed the evening, to which he replied:"I've had a word with the missus. She said she enjoyed it."

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