Major historic Welsh events to feature in The Crown series three as investiture and Aberfan recreated in Netflix drama

Two major events in recent Welsh history will be featured in one of the world’s biggest shows as The Crown series three airs this weekend.

Olivia Colman was seen filming scenes for the third series in the Valleys last year. Credit: PA Archive/Wales News Service

The drama, which documents the life of the Royal Family, will show the Queen's response to the Aberfan tragedy, as well as the investiture of Prince Charles at Caernarfon Castle.

The Aberfan disaster killed 116 children and 28 adults when coal slurry gave way on a hillside behind a primary school in 1966.

The Queen met with villagers following the disaster in 1966. Credit: National Library of Archive Wales

The Queen travelled to the village days after the tragedy and met with parents and children whose family members had been killed.

During the filming in October last year, which took place in the nearby village of Cwmaman, Olivia Colman was seen filming outside a terraced Valleys house.

Colman said she found filming scenes based on the disaster difficult. Credit: Wales News Service

One onlooker who saw the filming, said: "It was all very dignified, Olivia Colman is clearly taking her role very seriously.

"There was a very sombre mood. I think everyone involved in the production realises what an awful tragedy Aberfan was."

Colman told the Radio Times it was the “hardest thing ever” to film and to “play someone much stronger emotionally than me."

144 people lost their lives when a slag tip gave way on a hillside behind Pantglas Junior School. Credit: PA Archive

Jeff Edwards - who was aged eight at the time of the disaster - was the last survivor to be pulled from the rubble.

He, and others from Aberfan, were consulted on the episode.

"It portrays the disaster very well. It gives factual detail of how the disaster happened, and the impact on the community."

"The only disappointing part from my perspective was the way they portrayed the Queen - as very callous and not caring."

"That really wasn't the case - and certainly isn't the case - on the number of times that I've met the Queen".

Mr Edwards added that Netflix has offered counselling and support to members of the community who might be affected by the depiction of the disaster, which he says is "a big, big move".

Jason Watkins, who plays the role of the prime minister Harold Wilson in the series, told ITV’s Lorraine he struggled to film the Aberfan episode after losing a child himself. His daughter, Maude, died from sepsis when she was two-and-a-half.

“It’s an incredibly moving film - and we filmed not far from Aberfan. Care and attention was taken by everyone in production.

“People probably know I lost a child in 2011 so to go and have an episode about the loss of a child was very difficult and I suppose, above anyone else, perhaps wanted to make it in the right way.

“But I think it does help us to remember what happened. Previous generations are probably not as aware of that terrible tragedy. Because it is such a big show, the whole world focuses and remembers that terrible tragedy so I’m very proud to be a part of that, however difficult that was.”

Colman took over the role of the monarch from Claire Foy who played Queen Elizabeth in series one and two.

The investiture of Prince Charles at Caernarfon Castle in 1969 was re-enacted at the castle itself in November last year and is due to be shown in the sixth episode of the series.

The investiture took place on July 1 1969. Credit: The Crown-Netflix/Sony/PA Images

The episode also shows the Prince of Wales, who is played by Josh O’Connor, arriving at Aberystwyth University to learn Welsh in preparation of his ceremony.

Josh O'Connor attended the world premiere at the Curzon Cinema in Mayfair on Wednesday night. Credit: PA Images

When asked about his Welsh pronunciation during the series three world premiere, co-star Erin Doherty, who plays Princess Anne, said it was “brilliant,” and that he was told to “stop being so good.”

The third series will cover historic events from 1964-1976 including the moon landings and a build up to the arrival of Princess Diana.

It was shot back to back with the fourth series and will be released on Netflix on Sunday.