Queen Elizabeth and Billy Graham: ‘The Crown’ Features a Glimpse of Their Real-Life Friendship

Spoilers ahead!

From the Kennedys to former King Edward VIII, Queen Elizabeth hosts a lot of famous visitors in season two of The Crown. But one of the most meaningful guests for the monarch is American evangelical Reverend Billy Graham.

During episode six, the Queen is enthralled while watching Graham’s sermon on television with the Queen Mother. She’s so captivated by the young preacher that she later tells Prince Philip, “I think he’s rather handsome.”

The Queen invites Graham to give a sermon in Windsor Chapel and then hosts him for lunch at the palace. They later share a few poignant chats about the Queen’s desire to be a “simple Christian” and her struggles with forgiveness.

In real life, the unlikely pair had a special friendship. Whenever Graham came to the U.K., the Queen would invite him to preach, and when she traveled to the U.S., she would often visit him. Graham is regarded as the most influential preacher of the 20th century. He held popular indoor and outdoor rallies and his sermons were broadcast on radio and television around the world.

“No one in Britain has been more cordial toward us than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” Graham, who is now 99 years old and living in Charlotte, North Carolina, wrote in his autobiography, Just As I Am. “Almost every occasion I have been with her has been in a warm, informal setting, such as a luncheon or dinner, either alone or with a few family members or other close friends.

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