SALISBURY, England — The corgis just wouldn’t behave. Mid-take, they ran off, causing general hilarity. “Sit, sit!” Olivia Colman called out.
“Strong voice!” prompted the dog handler, standing nearby.
“Yes, thenk you,” said Colman demurely, in her best Queen Elizabeth accent. She frowned imperiously at the frolicking dogs. “SIT!” They sat.
It was a chilly November day last year, and the new cast of the Netflix series “The Crown” were arrayed across the gilded couches and crimson velvet chairs of a sumptuous state room at Wilton House, a 16th-century stately home standing in for Buckingham Palace. A precisely composed group — the Queen (Colman), Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies), Lord Mountbatten (Charles Dance) seated; Princess Anne (Erin Doherty) and the Queen’s aide Michael Adeane (David Rintoul) standing behind them — faced Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor). Like the central figure in the van Dyck painting of an aristocratic family hanging behind him, Charles cut a lonely, isolated figure, setting the tone for an episode in which he is obliged to leave university in Cambridge, and go to Aberystwyth to learn Welsh, in preparation for his investiture as Prince of Wales.
With its artful interweaving of British history and domestic angst,