If you spent all weekend binge-watching Netflix's new period drama The Crown, then you probably understand what all the hype is about. Scandals, feuds, forbidden romance, political power plays—it's a decadent recipe that fans of the Royal family will eat right up and lick the spoon.
The ten-episode series following Queen Elizabeth II's ascension to the throne is among the most extravagant and expensive ever made, boasting an astronomical price tag of $130 million—and once you watch it, it's obvious why there has been so much buzz about its sky-high budget and where exactly it all went.
The Queen's wedding dress, for example, cost a whopping £30,000 (roughly $37,000) and took seven weeks to make. The gown, which graces the screen a mere nine minutes into the first episode, is an exact replica of the one Queen Elizabeth wore when she wed Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey in 1947.
The original ivory silk duchesse satin dress, designed by royal couturier Norman Hartnell, featured elaborately embroidered star lily and orange blossom motifs (said to be inspired by Botticelli's "Primavera") and was encrusted with 10,000 seed pearls imported from America.
The neckline was high and sleeves long, with a tailored bodice and full skirt that gave way to a 13-foot train. The young bride finished the look with a double strand of pearls and a diamond tiara, which secured her dramatic tulle veil.
Hartnell's design took six months to make—and, given the post-war austerity measures in place in the U.K. at the time, had to be paid for with ration coupons that the then Princess had saved up, plus a 200-coupon supplement from the government.
The Crown's carbon copy recreation of the exquisite gown was clearly worth the $37,000. Queen Elizabeth actress Claire Foy looked absolutely stunning as she glided down the aisle during the royal wedding scene.
"It took five days to shoot that scene, and the dress, an exact replica, weighed a ton," Foy told The Telegraph. "All the fiddling to get it right, and needing the loo and you've got a crown on your head. For this young woman to be wearing all that and then have the composure to walk through the Abbey full of dignitaries and heads of state, and then having to be anointed… It must have taken huge gumption."
Netflix isn't wasting any time with the next installment in the series. Season two is already in production, as the cast and crew took over Trafalgar Square in London to begin filming. Good thing, too, because I finished the first ten episodes in a day and a half and now I'm dying for more.
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