Crown star films dis­as­ter

Cynon Valley - - FRONT PAGE - KATIE SANDS katie.sands@waleson­line.co.uk

AWARD-WIN­NING ac­tress Olivia Col­man has been pic­tured recre­at­ing the Queen’s visit to Aber­fan in 1966, as Net­flix drama The Crown films in Wales.

AWARD-WIN­NING ac­tress Olivia Col­man has been pic­tured recre­at­ing the Queen’s visit to Aber­fan in 1966, as Net­flix drama The Crown films in Wales.

Film­ing for the show’s third series has taken place at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in South Wales so far, with an episode in the up­com­ing third series cov­er­ing the Aber­fan dis­as­ter.

In Oc­to­ber 1966, 116 chil­dren and 28 adults died in the vil­lage when a col­liery spoil tip col­lapsed and en­gulfed Pant­glas Ju­nior School and sur­round­ing homes. Oc­to­ber 2016 saw the 50th an­niver­sary of the dis­as­ter.

Col­man – who takes over the role of the Queen for the up­com­ing series – has been pic­tured fim­ing some 12 miles away in Cw­ma­man, near Aber­dare, recre­at­ing the Queen’s ini­tial visit to Aber­fan in the days fol­low­ing the dis­as­ter.

In Cw­ma­man, the empty Glyn­hafod Ju­nior School – va­cated due to a new school open­ing in the area – has dou­bled up as Pant­glas Ju­nior School for film­ing scenes di­rectly be­fore the dis­as­ter.

Dressed in an orange coat with a fur trim, mir­ror­ing what the monarch wore on her first visit along­side the Duke of Ed­in­burgh, Broad­church ac­tress Col­man can be seen on lo­ca­tion in a ter­race street in the Val­leys vil­lage car­ry­ing a posy.

The Queen has vis­ited Aber­fan sev­eral times through­out her reign, the first visit com­ing nine days af­ter the Aber­fan dis­as­ter.

In to­tal, she made four vis­its to the vil­lage. In 1973 she was there to open a me­mo­rial cen­tre, again in 1997 to plant a tree in the Me­mo­rial Gar­den, and most re­cently in 2012.

Her ini­tial and later vis­its were wel­comed by the com­mu­nity. Dur­ing her first visit, she promised she would re­turn to open the school when it was re­built.

In 2012 she did just that dur­ing her Di­a­mond Ju­bilee tour of South Wales. Prince Charles de­liv­ered a per­sonal mes­sage to the peo­ple of Aber­fan from the Queen when he vis­ited the vil­lage to mark the 50th an­niver­sary of the dis­as­ter in 2016.

The episode be­ing filmed in Wales, due to air late next year, cov­ers the pe­riod from the day of the dis­as­ter through to the Queen’s visit.

Series one and two cov­ered the early years of Queen El­iz­a­beth II’s reign, from 1947 un­til 1963. The lead roles of the Queen and Prince Philip were orig­i­nally played by Claire Foy and Matt Smith.

Now, Col­man will play the Queen, while To­bias Men­zies takes the role of Prince Philip.

WALES NEWS SER­VICE

Olivia Col­man as Queen El­iz­a­beth film­ing scenes for The Crown in Cw­ma­man

Ja­son Watkins as Prime Min­is­ter Harold Wil­son and, left, ac­tors play mourn­ers dur­ing film­ing of a funeral pro­ces­sion

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