A close friend of the royal family has taken aim at Netflix’s series The Crown, just prior to the show’s fifth season arriving on the streaming platform on November 9th this year.
As per The Times, the anonymous female friend of the royals (close enough to have attended Queen Elizabeth II’s private funeral last month) is particularly miffed with certain editorial choices taken by Netflix. She claims that they are “vilifying the royal family. It is vicious. It’s as if they’re trying to destroy the royal family.”
The friend added, “If I had my family being vilified like that, I wouldn’t take a penny.” The criticism comes in hard ahead of the fifth season, which is focused on the breakdown in the relationship between the then-Prince and Princess of Wales in the 1990s.
That Prince is, of course, the new King, Charles III, so it is not the best publicity for the new ruler to have old details surrounding his private life dragged back into the public attention. John Major, the UK prime minister during the mid-1990s, has also pointed the finger at The Crown, claiming it to be “damaging and malicious fiction” and “a barrel-load of nonsense peddled for no other reason than to provide maximum, and entirely false, dramatic impact.”
Dame Judi Dench has also joined Major and the anonymous royal friend in criticism of the show, claiming it is “cruelly unjust”. Netflix have responded, defending their editorial decisions, stating, “The Crown has always been presented as a drama based on historical events. Series five is a fictional dramatisation, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the royal family – one that has already been scrutinised and well-documented by journalists, biographers and historians.”
In fact, in the last trailer for season five, Netflix stressed that it was indeed a fictional dramatisiation, and not necessarily a wholly accurate portrayal of events. The disclaimer read, “Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatisation tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign.”