Was Venetia Scott, Winston Churchill's secretary from The Crown real?

Was Venetia Scott, Winston Churchill's secretary from The Crown real?

Queen Elizabeth II and the famously private royal family always have to keep their family disputes away from the public's eye. However, with their incredible success and a world hungry for gossip, certain rumours and allegations on what happens behind the locked doors are bound to arise. Luckily, The Crown has offered a through-the-keyhole view of the royals. And naturally, the questions on everyone's lips are, did all of that happen and was Venetia Scott real?

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Venetia Scott
Venetia Scott from The Crown posing for the camera. Photo: @venetia_scott
Source: Twitter

The Crown is a luxe period drama cast with some of the most iconic characters in British history, such as Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Philip. However, the first four episodes of The Crown also introduce a young woman of relatively common birth, Venetia Scott. She was the secretary to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill.

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Was Venetia Scott from The Crown real?

No, she was not. The love-struck Winston Churchill's secretary is one of the few characters not based on a real person. Instead, Venetia was invented by Peter Morgan, the show's creator. She aimed to add a sense of tragedy to the Great Smog of December 1952.

Even though more than 6,000 people died when London was filled in a blanket of thick and poisonous smoke, it was much less of a political crisis than The Crown depicts. Nevertheless, the episode is one of the most shocking instalments of season one and highlighted a significant problem hitting London during this period.

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Indeed, both Winston Churchill's secretary death and life are a work of fiction. Her character is not based on one particular person. It is based on several different members of Prime Minister Winston Churchill's staff.

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Who is Venetia Scott?

Venetia was the daughter of an Anglican clergyman from Suffolk. She was hired in 1951 to serve as the secretary by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. She carried papers to and from Winston Churchill. Luckily, the prime minister liked her greatly due to her youthful charisma and her admiration for him.

In December 1952, during the Great Smog of London, the secretary attempted to balance working for Churchill. She also ensured that her sick flatmate was taken good care of by taking her to an overcrowded hospital.

In the hospital, Venetia told the doctor that she would talk to the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, about the increment of his support for the hospital. Not knowing who Scott was, the doctor angrily rebuked her for making such a joke about the royals.

An angered secretary decided to prove herself by hurrying to Downing Street to speak with the Prime Minister. But, unfortunately, she does not reach her destination as she is struck by a bus, whose driver's view of the road was obscured by the road.

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Her death spurred the Prime Minister on to tackle the smog after days of inaction. He made an impassioned speech urging Londoners to remain hopeful and announced a string of measures to prevent a repeat of the deadly pollution, and the fog lifted on 9th December.

The Crown series overview and episodes

Venetia Scott
The Crown characters. Photo: @venetia_scott
Source: Twitter

The well-received series traces the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding in 1947 through to the present day. The first season, in which Claire Foy portrays the Queen in the early part of her reign, depicts events up to 1955.

Winston Churchill resigned as prime minister and the Queen's sister Princess Margaret made the resounding decision not to marry Peter Townsend. So far, the show has released four seasons, with the fifth set to be released in November 20211. The previous seasons were released as follows:

Season 1 - released on 4th November 2016 (10 episodes)

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  • Wolferton Splash, directed by Stephen Daldry
  • Hyde Park Corner, directed by Stephen Daldry
  • Windsor, directed by Phillip Martin
  • Act of God, directed by Julian Jarrold
  • Smoke and Mirrors, directed by Phillip Martin
  • Gelignite, directed by Julian Jarrold
  • Scientia Potentia Est, directed by Benjamin Caron
  • Pride & Joy, directed by Phillip Martin
  • Assassins, directed by Benjamin Caron
  • Gloriana, directed by Phillip Martin

Season 2 - released on 8th December 2017 (10 episodes)

  • Misadventure, directed by Phillip Martin
  • A Company of Men, directed by Phillip Martin
  • Lisbon, directed by Phillip Martin
  • Beryl, directed by Phillip Martin
  • Marionettes, directed by Philippa Lowthorpe
  • Vergangenheit, directed by Philippa Lowthorpe
  • Matrimonium, directed by Benjamin Caron
  • Dear Mrs Kennedy, directed by Stephen Daldry
  • Paterfamilias, directed by Stephen Daldry
  • Mystery Man, directed by Benjamin Caron

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Season 3 - released on 17th November 2019(10 episodes)

  • Olding, directed by Benjamin Caron
  • Margaretology, directed by Benjamin Caron
  • Aberfan, directed by Benjamin Caron
  • Bubbikins, directed by Benjamin Caron
  • Coup, directed by Christian Schwochow
  • Tywysog Cymru, directed by Christian Schwochow
  • Moondust, directed by Jessica Hobbs
  • Dangling Man, directed by Sam Donovan
  • Imbroglio, directed by Sam Donovan
  • Cri de Coeur, directed by Jessica Hobbs

Season 4 - released on 15th November 2020 (10 episodes)

  • Gold Stick, directed by Benjamin Caron
  • The Balmoral Test, directed by Paul Whittington
  • Fairytale, directed by Benjamin Caron
  • Favourites, directed by Paul Whittington
  • Fagan, directed by Paul Whittington
  • Terra Nullius, directed by Julian Jarrold
  • The Hereditary Principle, directed by Jessica Hobbs
  • 48:1, directed by Julian Jarrold
  • Avalanche, directed by Jessica Hobbs
  • War, directed by Jessica Hobbs

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Season 5 is set to be released in November 2022 as it began filming in July 2021. The fifth season will focus on the early-to-mid 1990s.

Who plays Venetia Scott?

Venetia Scott
Kate Phillips attends a VIP Preview of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021 at Hampton Court Palace in London, England. Photo: David M. Benett
Source: Getty Images

The role is played by the talented British actress Kate Phillips. She stands out as one of the break-out stars of The Crown as Winston Churchill’s starstruck secretary. Kate was born and raised in England, United Kingdom.

After her elementary and high school education, she spent three years studying at Leeds University. After that, she secured a place at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. After her university graduation, Kate returned to Leeds to appear as Abigail Williams in The Crucible at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

She rose to prominence for starring Jane Seymour in the well-received Wolf Hall in 2015. She has also starred in several successful movies and TV shows as follows:

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  • 2015 - Wolf Hall as Jane Seymour
  • 2016 - War & Peace as Lise Bolkonskaya
  • 2016 to 2019 - Peaky Blinders as Linda Shelby
  • 2016 - The Crown as Venetia Scott
  • 2016 - My Mother and Other Strangers as Tillie Zeigler
  • 2018 - The Alienist as Laura Boone
  • 2019 - The Aftermath as Susan
  • 2019 - Downton Abbey as Princess Mary
  • 2020 - Miss Scarlet and The Duke as Eliza Scarlet
  • 2020 - The English Game as Laura Lyttelton
  • TBA - Benediction

Venetia Scott is a bright young blonde who finds herself working in 10 Downing Street just as the great Winston Churchill returns to his post as Prime Minister. The Crown depicts them as having an important relationship. Unfortunately, she passes away through a tragic accident on her way to speak to the Prime Minister.

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Blair Waldorf is one of the characters in Gossip Girl who will forever remain in the hearts of the series' fans. Apart from portraying her role with perfection, Blair unparalleled dressing game takes the top spot.

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