While many fans of “The Crown” are still pining over lead actress Claire Foy’s decision to move on to other roles, they will be able to find remnants of her Queen Elizabeth II portrayal next year at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.
Her character’s wedding dress from the Netflix drama will be among the 40 ensembles spotlighted in “Costuming the Crown.” The lead actress ended her two-season run by winning the Best Actress award at this year’s Emmys. With Olivia Colman taking on Foy’s royal part, Tobias Menzies replacing Matt Smith as Prince Philip and Emerald Fennell stepping in as Camilla Parker Bowles, the third season of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama is underway.
Back in Wilmington, Del., Kim Collison, manager of exhibitions and collection planning and her team at the museum are finessing the museum’s upcoming show, which will be held in the Winterthur Galleries starting March 30. Working with Left Bank Pictures, which produces the series with Sony Pictures Television, the exhibition will feature an assortment of accoutrements — tiaras, epaulets, medals and the like — along with the period-appropriate ensembles.
Winterthur first displayed a costume from “The Crown” last fall, when the first coronation dress that was used for the series went on view, according to curator Kim Collison, who is designing next year’s show. This time around, adornments for that coronation dress such as the white pleated dress Foy’s character wore for the anointing and the priest-like robes she donned for the made-for-TV crowning will be displayed. The coronation one, however, will not be part of the upcoming assortment.
While the series is interesting on its own, its popularity is partially, due to how creator Peter Morgan approached the historical figures, Collison said. “In interviews, he has said that he was interested in looking at the royal family, as a family with everyday struggles in their own right. That’s what’s appealing to an audience, too.”
Just as the first two seasons span from the mid-Forties through the mid-Sixties, the exhibition is meant to reflect that period in time.
Museumgoers will be able to take a closer look at what season-one costume designer Michele Clapton came up with and how his season-two successor Jane Petrie dressed some of the cast. Both strove for accurate replicas of every last detail from King George’s medals and military ribbons to Queen Elizabeth’s dresses for royal tours. Working with costume designers and team members from “The Crown,” Collison scouted out potential wardrobe selections in various locations, including London costume houses.
Knowing that history buffs and other eagle-eyed viewers would comment about any perceived inaccuracies, the team took great care with their preparations. “The costume designers had this complex role, because they had to take existing pieces and make them accurate.” Collison said. “There were private moments behind the scenes to consider what she might have been wearing and what would express the emotions of the scene with the correct atmosphere and appropriate attire from the Fifties or whenever.”
Crown zealots will find mementos in the Winterthur gift shop. If the English curds, clothing or tea don’t tempt them, there will be real food for thought in Robert Lacey’s book “Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1 — 1947-1955” or Sally Bedell Smith’s biography “Elizabeth The Queen.”