Queen Elizabeth and Olivia Colman in "The Crown." Tim Graham / Getty & Netflix
The fourth season of "The Crown" covers eight events that took place in the 1980s.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles embarked on a historic overseas tour in Australia, and the prince was later at the scene of a deadly avalanche.
The UK was under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's control during the Falklands War and South Africa's apartheid dispute.
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Warning: Spoilers ahead for season four of Netflix's "The Crown."
Netflix's "The Crown" chronicles the lives of the British royal family as they deal with significant events throughout history.
In the newly released fourth season, Queen Elizabeth — played by Olivia Colman — faces the issues of the 1980s, including a bitter war, her child's failing marriage, and a strained partnership with her prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, played by Gillian Anderson.
Throughout the season, the show touches upon some key historical events. Here's what really happened during those events.
In the first episode of the season, Lord Mountbatten — played by "Games of Thrones" actor Charles Dance — is assassinated when a bomb denotes on his fishing boat in Ireland.
Real-life Lord Mountbatten and Charles Dance playing Uncle Dickie. Keystone / Getty & Netflix
"The Crown" explains that the Irish Republican Army is to blame for the assassination, but doesn't go into much detail.
In reality, during this time, Ireland was at a breaking point as the Irish clashed over political issues. Some of the citizens, known as Unionists, wanted to stay under British rule, while the Republicans wanted an independent country known as the Republic of Ireland. The latter organized themselves into a group known as the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which bombed locations throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom for three decades.
Lord Mountbatten — known as Uncle Dickie — was Queen Elizabeth's cousin and Prince Charles' uncle. The young prince became very close to Mountbatten, looking up to him as a mentor, as seen in season three of "The Crown." But on August 27, 1979, Mountbatten visited his vacation home in Ireland and took his daughter and grandchildren out on a boat. A bomb exploded on the boat, killing Mountbatten and his two grandsons, according to the Independent.
The IRA claimed responsibility for Mountbatten's assassination. According to The New York Times, the group released a statement, writing, "The death of Lord Mountbatten and tributes paid to him will be seen in contrast to the apathy of the British Government and English people to the deaths of over 300 British soldiers and the deaths of Irish men, women, and children at the hands of their forces."
In the fourth episode, "Favourites," Margaret Thatcher's son disappeared during a car race in the Sahara, leading to the prime minister breaking down in front of the Queen.
Real-life Mark Thatcher and Freddie Fox playing Thatcher's son. Getty & Netflix
When Thatcher was elected prime minister, she was also a mother to twins, Carol and Mark. In 1982, 29-year-old Mark (played by Freddie Fox) participated in the Paris-Dakar rally, a cross-country road race. On January 10, 1982, he and his team were seen for the last time in the Sahara, and two days later, he was officially reported as missing.
There is no actual evidence that Thatcher broke down in front of the Queen. However, on January 13, Thatcher was seen crying at the Imperial Hotel in London, reportedly over her missing son. In "The Crown," Thatcher — played by Gillian Anderson — admits that Mark is her favorite child during this ordeal.
"She stumbled a bit and was crying," one shopkeeper at the hotel told reporters at the time, according to RadioTimes. "Then she composed herself and said she would be alright. I did feel very sorry for her."
An international rescue mission began, and eventually, Mark was found alive on January 14 after a plane spotted them over 30 miles off course. Mark was reportedly in good spirits, saying, he wanted "a beer and a sandwich, a bath and a shave."
The next episode followed Michael Fagan, an unemployed painter who managed to break into the Queen's bedroom in Buckingham Palace one morning.
Real-life Michael Fagan and Tom Brooke as the intruder. R. Brigden / Getty 7 Nertlix
In June 1982, Michael Fagan, an unemployed painter played by Tom Brooke, broke into Buckingham Palace, wandered the place, and left without being noticed. A month later, Fagan broke into the palace a second time and entered Queen Elizabeth's room.
"She was wide awake when I got in there," Fagan recently told The Sun. "She sat up in bed and said, 'What are you doing here?' and then went off to fetch someone."
It was originally reported and portrayed in "The Crown" that the pair had a lengthy conversation, but Fagan said that wasn't true.
"Nah! She went past me and ran out of the room; her little bare feet running across the floor," he said.
"The Crown" portrayed Fagan as a troubled man who was a victim of Thatcher's policies. In reality, he was mostly motivated by the fact that his wife had just left him, The Sun reports.
Fagan spent a year in a psychiatric hospital and then spent some time in jail, according to The Washington Post.
Throughout the fourth season of "The Crown," one of Margaret Thatcher's biggest conflicts is the Falklands War, which begins in episode four.
A Naval ship on its way to the Falkland Islands. PA Images / Getty
On April 2, 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory located in the south Atlantic. In response, Thatcher sent warships to take back the islands in what became known as the Falklands War.
It took weeks for the British naval fleet to arrive because the islands were 8,000 miles away. On July 14, the Argentinians finally surrendered and the British took back the islands. After winning the Falklands War, Thatcher's time in office hit a significant turning point and even helped her win reelection.
"The Crown" showcased Princess Diana and Prince Charles' trip to Australia that restored Australia's faith in the British crown — and further rocked their marriage.
Real-life Princess Diana and Prince Charles next to "The Crown's" version. John Shelley Collection/Avalon / Getty & Netflix
Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke expressed interest in weakening the connection between his country and the British crown. He had hoped Princess Diana (played by Emma Corrin) and Prince Charles' (played by Josh O'Connor) overseas tour in March 1983 would push the two countries further apart.
The opposite happened. The country became enamored with Diana and viewed her as the "people's princess." Mothers lauded her for bringing her baby along because traditionally royals kept their children at home during overseas trips. She also offered down-to-earth comments and shook hands with thousands of people.
Over time, people showed little interest in the prince and screamed for Diana during the tour. As seen in the current season of "The Crown," the prince's jealousy of his wife's growing attention led to rifts in their marriage, according to biographer Andrew Morton.
At the end of their trip, The Times wrote that Diana "won the heart of Australia" and considered the tour "an unqualified success, due in large part to the Princess."
The episode "48:1" focuses on the strained relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth as they clash on whether or not England should impose sanctions on South Africa for apartheid.
Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher with Olivia Colman and Gillian Anderson playing the women. Getty & Netflix
In the late '80s, nations were enforcing sanctions on South Africa to weaken the government in response to apartheid, the segregation policies against non-whites in the country.
Thatcher opposed these sanctions at the time. In 1986, The Sunday Times published an article stating the Queen was "dismayed" by Thatcher's refusal to place sanctions on South Africa. The article said aides close to the Queen confirmed the story and said the Queen was concerned for the Commonwealth. The paper also said the monarch viewed Thatcher as "uncaring, confrontational, and divisive."
However, according to the British constitution, the monarch cannot express political views in public and must remain non-political.
According to the AP, Buckingham Palace denied the news report, and Buckingham Palace spokesman Michael Shea released a statement saying, "As with all previous prime ministers, the Queen enjoys a relationship of the closest confidentiality with Mrs. Thatcher and reports purporting to be the queen's opinions of government policies are entirely without foundation."
Although "The Crown" makes it seem that Queen Elizabeth was dissatisfied with Thatcher's policies, the real history is far murkier and nothing has been confirmed.
In reality, however, Thatcher eventually gave in and put limited sanctions on South Africa.
Episode nine briefly touches upon the time Prince Charles was caught in an avalanche that killed one of his good friends.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana arriving at the funeral of Hugh Lindsay. Georges De Keerle / Getty
In March 1988, Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and a few of their friends took a ski trip to Klosters, Switzerland. Diana stayed behind, but the prince was out on the slopes when an avalanche occurred.
"Swiss authorities said the snowslide on Mt. Gotschnagrat near Klosters began about 300 feet above a group of six skiers that included Prince Charles ... The palace said Charles was not injured," an AP report at the time reads. "But witnesses said the prince looked distraught, and one said he was weeping and shaking as a helicopter arrived to pick him up."
Diana was not on the slopes at the time, but their friend, Hugh Lindsay, died in the avalanche. His wife, Sarah, worked at Buckingham Palace and turned to Princess Diana for comfort, which was not portrayed in "The Crown."
"She cried from dawn to dusk and my sister came and every time we mentioned the name of Hugh, there were tears, tears, but I thought it was good to mention his name because she had to cleanse herself of it, and her grief went long and hard, because he was killed in a foreign country, she wasn't out there with him, they'd only been married eight months, she was expecting a baby," Diana said in the book "Diana: In Her Own Words." "The whole thing was ghastly and what a nice person he was. Out of all the people who went it should never have been him."
The season ends with Margaret Thatcher's forced resignation as prime minister and a tearful goodbye.
Real-life Margaret Thatcher leaving Downing Street for the last time and Gillian Anderson doing the same. Richard Baker / Getty & Netflix
As seen in the finale, Geoffrey Howe took down the Iron Lady when he resigned on November 1, 1990. As Thatcher's former chancellor, foreign secretary, and deputy prime minister, it was a fatal blow when he gave a speech that openly and brutally criticized the prime minister.
"It is rather like sending your opening batsmen to the crease only for them to find, the moment the first balls are bowled, that their bats have been broken before the game by the team captain," Howe said in his speech, which was televised.
Howe delivered his resignation just two days before the Conservative Party voted on its leader. Since Thatcher was already down, John Major seized the opportunity and threw his name in the ring. Quickly, Thatcher lost the support of her party as they sided with Major.
Thatcher resigned just a few days later, and she left Downing Street for the last time with tears in her eyes, just as it is portrayed in "The Crown."
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