If there’s one thing that Netflix’s The Crown gets right (and occasionally wrong), it’s the details. The streaming giant’s sprawling historical drama about the rise of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) is a stunning masterpiece that pulls directly from real-life events, footage, quotes, and letters to construct a compelling and realistic narrative about the life of the British royal family. Season two dives even deeper into iconic milestones from the monarch’s impressive reign, including a 1961 dinner with President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy at Buckingham Palace, which is rumored to have had a hand in spurring on the queen’s bold choice to visit Accra, the capital of Ghana.
After hearing rumors that the first lady considered her to be conservative and stuck in her ways, Queen Elizabeth reportedly decided to take action. Tensions were running high between Britain and Ghana, a commonwealth nation, so she decided to step in herself despite strong backlash from both her personal advisers and members of parliament. “I am not a film star,” the queen said to then-Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. “I am the head of the Commonwealth — and I am paid to face any risks that may be involved. Nor do I say this lightly. Do not forget that I have three children.”
Against the wishes of those around her due to bombing incidents in the country, Queen Elizabeth moved forward with her plans, which is portrayed in a later season two episode. Although not every single word that was shared between the queen and Ghana’s King Kwame Nkrumah can be known for sure, the broad strokes of her visit — which included a beautiful dance with the king at a party thrown in her honor — seem to line up with history. As far as clothing goes, The Crown‘s costume designers also nailed it. Elizabeth wears an understated, pale yellow dress and matching hat when she touches down in Ghana and later dons a beautiful cream ball gown when she makes her momentous decision to dance with Nkrumah.
See the real-life photos side by side with Netflix’s interpretation ahead!