Although members of the royal family have been extremely circumspect in their comments about their portrayal in the Netflix’s series, The Crown, until now, the fourth season, which was released on Sunday, is reportedly provoking such anger that the silence has been broken by palace insiders opening up to attack the show.
“Friends of Prince Charles launched a blistering attack on The Crown last night, accusing producers of the hit Netflix drama of ‘trolling on a Hollywood budget’” and presenting fiction as facts, The Mail on Sunday wrote.
The fourth season, the most controversial yet, deals with the events of the royal family’s life between 1979 and 1990, including the turbulent relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
No Consideration For The Royals’ Feelings
The article, which has been widely commented on in the British media, quotes Royal insiders complaining that “this is a drama and entertainment for commercial ends being made with no regard to the actual people involved, who are having their lives hijacked and exploited.
In this case, it’s dragging up things that happened during very difficult times 25 or 30 years ago without a thought for anyone’s feelings. That isn’t right or fair, particularly when so many of the things being depicted don’t represent the truth.”
Among the “Royal insiders” the paper refers to are “some of Prince Charles’s closest confidantes who have accused Netflix of exploiting the Royal Family’s pain for financial gain and presented fiction as fact in its twisted version of events.”
Apart from covering the doomed marriage of Prince Charles to Princess Diana, his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, who he married years later and is now the Duchess of Cornwall, and Diana’s eating disorder, the fourth season deals with other important events including the assassination of Lord Mountbatten in 1979 and the ousting of Margaret Thatcher in 1990.
“But it is the depiction of a callous and self-serving Charles meeting and marrying an innocent Diana while maintaining his affair with the then-married Camilla Parker-Bowles which has sparked such anger,” the Daily Mail reports.
The reaction to the new season among royalists in Britain has also triggered criticism of the show for “fooling viewers into thinking that the show is an accurate portrayal of what really happened.”
Prince William’s Reaction
According to The Express, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge is “none too pleased with it. He feels that both his parents are being exploited and being presented in a false, simplistic way to make money.”
Over four seasons, The Crown, which is planned to run through six seasons, has chronicled the life of the queen starting shortly before her 1952 coronation.
In the new season, British star Olivia Colman returns to play Queen Elizabeth II as she did in season three, actor Josh O’Connor is Prince Charles and newcomer Emma Corrin plays Princess Diana.
Harry and Meghan’s Deal With Netflix
Among the issues adding to the controversy in the British media is the fact that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex now living in California, have signed a multimillion dollar deal to produce films, documentaries and children’s shows for Netflix.
Some reviewers, on the other hand, have been more benign: “Why does The Crown make the royal family seem not just sympathetic but even vital?” wonders The Guardian. “Because it’s fiction.”
Comparing the Netflix series with a 1969 documentary that “captured real people trying to parcel out just enough of their private lives without compromising their dignified role, with the result that they looked both hollow and silly,” the reviewer finds that “the dramatized version is free (or free-ish, within the constraints of historical accuracy and libel law) to fabricate inner lives and the invention feels more real than the real thing ever could.”