The Crown: Olivia Colman cuts a sombre figure to recreate Aberfan
The moment the Queen mourned Aberfan’s dead: The Crown star Olivia Colman recreates iconic moment the monarch visited the Welsh village in 1966 – days after slurry disaster claimed lives of 144 people, including 116 children
- An entire generation was almost wiped out when 150,000 tonnes of coal waste slid down the hillside before engulfing Pantglas School on October 21 1966. The disaster killed 116 children and 28 adults.
- The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the site of the tragedy eight days later to pay their respects to those who had died
- The first funerals for five of the children took place on October 25. A mass funeral for 81 children and one woman took place at the town’s Bryntaf Cemetery on October 27.
- The victims were buried in a pair of 24m trenches, with 10,000 people in attendance.
- Filming for the new series is taking place in Cwmaman, 15 miles from Aberfan
- Series three of the Netflix drama is expected to be released in 2019, with Olivia Colman taking over Claire Foy’s role as Queen Elizabeth II and Tobias Menzies playing Prince Philip, following Matt Smith’s portrayal
- Helena Bonham Carter will play Princess Margaret
- Fans will get to see the turbulent journey in Margaret and Lord Snowdon’s marriage, eventually leading to their split in 1978
The Crown’s third season filming continued on Thursday as Olivia Colman was spotted in her costume as Queen Elizabeth while recreating of the horror Aberfan disaster near Merthyr Tydfil.
Looking incredibly determined as she shot scenes for her debut as the monarch, the Broadchurch actress, 44, was clad in an orange coat with a fur trim and coordinating hat, while walking through a sea of mourners.
Joining her on-set was Being Human star Jason Watkins who is playing Prime Minister Harold Wilson on the show and he too was perfectly made-up with a slicked-over grey hair style and a sharp grey suit.
Tough times: The Crown’s third season filming continued on Thursday as Olivia Colman was spotted in her costume as Queen Elizabeth while recreating of the horror Aberfan disaster near Merthyr Tydfil
Uncanny: The attention to detail in the costume was incredible and meant the new star of the period drama featured an uncanny likeness to the monarch during her visit to the scene of the devastation
Just a day before, Game Of Thrones star Tobias Menzies was seen kicking off his role as Prince Philip while filming the scenes to depict the royal visit to pay tribute to the victims of the devastating accident.
Looking the part, the 44-year-old actor was spotted in the back of a black car while recreating the aftermath of the tragedy in the small Welsh mining village which claimed the lives of 144 in 1966, while surrounded by mourners.
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Prince Philip notably visited the scene of the disaster at 11am the next morning, following the visit of Lord Snowdon, the Queen’s brother-in-law, where he spoke with workers and parents. One week later, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen visited the site of the tragedy to pay their respects to those who had died.
Haunting photos from the day show the Royals walking with officials from Aberfan, as the main rescue phase of the disaster concluded. The Queen was presented with a bunch of flowers from a young girl, with the inscription reading ‘From the remaining children of Aberfan.’
Heartbreaking scenes: Looking incredibly determined as she shot scenes for her debut as the monarch, the Broadchurch actress, 44, was clad in an orange coat with a fur trim and coordinating hat, while walking through a sea of mourners
Crowning glory: Just a day before, Game Of Thrones star Tobias Menzies was seen kicking off his role as Prince Philip while filming the recreation of the horror Aberfan disaster near Merthyr Tydfil
In mourning: Cast were filmed ring carrying wreaths as part of a funeral procession as they continue to replicate the moment
Spitting image: Tobias looked sombre as he sat in the back of a car while filming the emotional scenes, clad in a fitted black suit and matching tie, paired with a black overcoat
Sadness; Tobias was stony-faced as he took instruction from the director
Transformation: The actor transformed into the stoic Royal as he filmed the hard-hitting scenes
Haunting: Extras dressed as mourning parents formed a haunting funeral procession for filming
The Queen’s late private secretary Lord Charteris later said failing to visit the site sooner was the monarch’s biggest regret.
When asked by former Conservative MP Gyles Brandreth if the Queen had ever put a foot wrong, he responded ‘Aberfan.’
Tobias looked sombre as he sat in the back of a car while filming the emotional scenes, clad in a fitted black suit and matching tie, paired with a black overcoat.
Heartbreaking: A child’s coffin was seen in a funeral hearse during the filming
Realistic: Tobias has taken over from Matt Smith in playing the role of the Queen’s husband
Heartbreak: Tobias looked heartbroken as he channeled the Royal’s grief
Tears: One of the bereaved families wept as they attended the mass funeral for 81 of the children and one woman on October 28 1966
Recreation: The actors transformed into grieving parents for the funeral procession
The actor was surrounded by a procession of extras playing the part of mourners, dressed in 60s garb and carrying funereal wreaths.
The harrowing scenes saw the Royal at the head of the funeral procession, with black police cars topped with wreaths following closely behind.
The procession saw actors who appeared to be playing the parents of the 116 child victims walking down the street.
Here he is: BAFTA winner Jason Watkins will play prime minister Harold Wilson in the drama
Uncanny: The star was the spitting image of the iconic PM as he walked along the street
Presence: Wilson visited the scene where he heard reports from the police and civil defence forces
March: Extras clad in 60s attire carried bouquets during the funeral procession
Poignant: A youngster playing one of Aberfan’s last surviving children carried a bunch of flowers during filming
Sadness: The actors were clad in funeral garb for the harrowing scenes
Tragedy: Tobias looked sombre as he prepared to film the harrowing scenes
Procession: A convoy of funeral cars topped with wreaths made their way up the high street
Tribute: The extras carried flowers as they played the part of the grieving families of Aberfan
Filming also took place outside the recreation of the Pantglas Junior School where the disaster happened.
The first funerals for five of the children took place on October 25. A mass funeral for 81 children and one woman took place at the town’s Bryntaf Cemetery on October 27.
The victims were buried in a pair of 24m trenches, with 10,000 people in attendance.
The last victim was found on October 28, seven days after the disaster.
Filming got underway in Cwmaman, Wales last week, with the latest series of the drama exploring the Queen’s response to the tragedy in the Welsh mining village.
An entire generation was almost wiped out when 150,000 tonnes of coal waste slid down the hillside before engulfing Pantglas Junior School on October 21 1966. The disaster killed 116 children and 28 adults.
Shocking: The heartbreaking accident devastated the whole areas leading to a huge union of the local community
An additional six adults and 29 children were injured.
Pictures from the set show extras and cast members clad in 60s garb, with retro cars dotted around the set.
Production teams were also working on a recreation of the Pantglas Junior School, where the disaster happened. Cwmaman is around 15 miles from Aberfan.
Heartbreaking: The scenes were undoubtedly tough to film following the heartbreaking incident
Flowing along: Series three of The Crown commenced filming in July this year, covering Queen Elizabeth II’s rule across the 1960s and 1970s
The disaster unfolded following days of heavy rain, when excavated mining debris from the Merthyr Vale Colliery became dislodged and tumbled down the hillside.
Waste material had been piled in a mound on the side of Mynydd Merthyr, above Aberfan, for years, even though there were numerous underground springs below.
Children in Pantglas Junior School were about to start their lessons at around 12pm when 1.5 million cubic feet of liquefied slurry crashed onto the school and a number of nearby houses.
The slurry demolished and engulfed the building, filling classrooms with thick mud and rubble. About half the children from the junior school were killed in the tragedy, which happened on the last day before half term.
Shocking: The disaster unfolded following days of heavy rain, when excavated mining debris from the Merthyr Vale Colliery became dislodged and tumbled down the hillside
Devastation: Witnesses said the noise of the impending avalanche sounded like a low-flying jet or thunder
Tragedy: Extras carried bouquets as they walked down the street
Salute: Police and army officers saluted Tobias’ car during filming
Procession: The crew were seen surveying the procession as filming got underway
Discussion: Extras in army uniform made their way to the set
Recreating the heartache: Desperate parents rushed to the scene and clawed at the mud with their bare hands, clinging to the hope that the sons and daughters they waved off just hours earlier might have survived
Filming: Extras playing the part of the relief crew were seen carrying shovels on the set
Drama: After the disaster, residents rushed to the school and began digging through the rubble with their bare hands and garden tools
Doppelganer: Jason looked focused ahead of his scenes as the prime minister
Witnesses said the noise of the impending avalanche sounded like a low-flying jet or thunder.
Desperate parents rushed to the scene and clawed at the mud with their bare hands, clinging to the hope that the sons and daughters they waved off just hours earlier might have survived.
Some school staff were killed trying to protect the children. School meals clerk, Nansi Williams, threw herself onto five children, who all survived. When her body was recovered, she was holding a pound note she had been collecting for lunch money.
Deputy headmaster David Beynon, attempted to use a blackboard to protect himself and five children from the slurry engulfing the school, but he and his 34 students were killed.
Lights, camera, action: Police cars lined the streets on the set
Shocking: An extra dressed in a black velvet cape carried a large bunch of flowers during filming
Disbelief; The tragedy devastated the small Welsh mining village, killing more than 100 people
Devastation: Mourners dressed in black made their way up the hillside during filming
Haunting: Extras covered in soot were seen wielding shovels as they reenacted the rescue mission
1960s: The cast of the drama looked focused as they filmed the dramatic scenes
Throwback: A vintage fire engine and ambulance were seen as the rescue mission was recreated
Filming: The extensive mission continued for days after the disaster occured
Digging: Extras carried shovels as they prepared to film the heart-rending scenes
Tragedy: The actors were covered in soot stains ahead of the filming
Coal bosses had been warned about ‘flowslides’ prior to the disaster and, despite a 76-day public inquiry, no-one faced prosecution or lost their job.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, the Aberfan Disaster Memorial Fund (ADMF) was set up, and gathered donations totalling £1.75 million.
Remaining tips were removed following a fight by residents of the village, after the government and NCB had protested about the cost.
Back in time: The actor looked out on the crowd as he was driven along
Instruction: Filming started on the harrowing scenes last week
Haunting: Tobias looked focused as he took instructions from his director
Procession: The actor waited in his car as he prepared to film
Solidarity: Extras dressed in military uniform lined the streets as the procession went by
Mining village: The scenes are being shot in Cwmaman, 15 miles from Aberfan
Heartbreak: The funeral cars went past a playground as the streets fell silent for the filming
United in grief: The harrowing scenes will be shown on the third series of The Crown
Sombre: The extras were seen chatting in between takes
A tribute: Some of the extras toted a flower tribute along the road in solemn scenes
Speeding along: The funeral was in full swing as they shot the scenes
Series three of the Netflix drama is expected to be released in 2019, with Olivia Colman taking over Claire Foy’s role as Queen Elizabeth II and Tobias playing the Prince, following Matt Smith’s portrayal of the royal.
Helena Bonham Carter will play Princess Margaret. Fans will get to see the turbulent journey in Margaret and Lord Snowdon’s marriage, eventually leading to their split in 1978 – a controversy among the royal family at the time.
Margaret’s marriage to Lord Snowdon was seen by fans in the show’s second series, as she fell in love with the dashing aristocrat and decided to marry him in what proved a surprise to some.
Despite a few years of happiness, the marriage disintegrated, with Lord Snowdon uninterested in settling down as a Royal husband, and spent much of their relationship travelling as a photographer.
Serene: The extras clutched flowers as they looked on with sorrowful expressions
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