Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, The Crown’s creators and actors have dismissed claims that the show is “exploitative” of the British royal family. Several of the worst years for the British monarchy will be covered in the upcoming fifth season, including the acrimonious split between then-Prince Charles, who is now the King, and his first wife, Princess Diana.
The UK’s Daily Telegraph ran an article last month with the headline “The Crown’s choice to show ‘all-out’ battle between Charles and Diana raises fears at Palace,” quoting an unnamed friend of the King who called the Netflix series “exploitative.” This sparked a response.
After learning that the first episode of the new season of The Crown contains a made-up scene in which the Prince of Wales meets with Major in 1991 to complain about his mother’s prolonged rule and discuss plans to forcibly remove her from office, the former British prime minister John Major referred to the episode as “a barrel-load of nonsense” this week.
Royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith claimed The Crown was “doing considerable damage to people’s perspective of history and their perception of the royal family.” At the same time, broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby called the program “full of nonsense, but this is folly on stilts.”
The Crown creator Peter Morgan and actors Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki, who plays Diana and Charles, refuted criticism of the family in a Tuesday interview with Variety. King Charles will almost definitely have some bitter recollections of that time, Morgan said. “I think we must all agree that the 1990s were a tough time for the royal family,” she added.
“However, that does not imply that history will be harsh to him or the monarchy when looking back with the advantage of hindsight. It’s undoubtedly not the show. A man in his situation, and a family in their situation, have my utmost sympathies. Sometimes, people are more sympathetic and understanding than we anticipate.
When news of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing broke, the cast was getting ready to begin filming the program’s sixth season, which will feature Diana’s passing. Regarding filming Diana’s death, Debicki said to Variety, “Peter and the entire crew of this project do their finest to genuinely approach things with such sensitivity and reality and depth, as do actors.”
“From a viewer’s standpoint, something that you would probably never notice, the amount of research and attention and conversations and dialogue that go on over is simply huge. I immediately recognized that I had entered a setting where this was being treated seriously and in a deeply caring way when I first met Peter.
“A big, heavy-duty to get it right and something I think we all take fairly seriously,” West said of portraying Diana’s death. According to actress Lesley Manville, who plays Princess Margaret in season 5, none of the scripts were changed due to Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.
They haven’t been rewritten, she insisted, and nothing has changed. How could they? We’re talking about the 1990s here. It’s somewhat private to express how one feels about what the entire country has gone through. We talk about it a lot with one another. However, the method used to create the application is the same.
According to reports, Netflix has delayed a documentary series starring Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, until next year in response to criticism leveled at The Crown. According to an unnamed source who spoke to Deadline, “Netflix is frightened, and they blinked first and opted to postpone the documentary.”
The reports were refuted by a second anonymous source, who told the New York Post that “as far as I am aware, the docuseries is still going ahead later this year.” There was no specific air date for the unnamed documentary series that was produced by Netflix and Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Productions.
But according to prior statements by Netflix representatives, they wanted both to air this year, with The Crown premiering on November 9 and the documentary following a few weeks later. There has never been a documentary from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, according to a statement released by Netflix on Tuesday.
The fourth season of The Crown was criticized for factual inaccuracies in the UK at the time, and Oliver Dowden, the country’s then-culture secretary, called for a “health warning” to be broadcast before the program to make it appear that it is fictional. Netflix turned down.