What the royals really think of the hit show, if indeed they watch it, is not known, but, suffice to say, the Palace hackles rose when the show’s creator, Peter Morgan, recently suggested in a UK newspaper interview that he met with royal representatives four times a year to discuss his drama’s content. The Queen’s communications secretary, Donal McCabe, promptly lodged a letter to the newspaper countering the claim: “The Royal Household has never agreed to vet or approve content, has not asked to know what topics will be included, and would never express a view as to the program’s accuracy.”
So the question remains. Is The Crown fact or fiction? And the answer is surely we will never really know. But that doesn’t make this series any the less enjoyable, intoxicating or valid.
Of course, royalty has always been a mine of material for films, plays, books and television, but more often than not this happens when the subjects are long gone. What makes The Crown so fascinating and daring is that most of its characters are still very much with us and, as the time frame edges closer to present day, they are also extremely well known to the viewer.
While Princes Harry and William are not yet in the drama, their father is a key part of season three, which goes live on the streaming network, Netflix, on November 17, and their mother is rumoured to be dominating season four, which recently started filming and will air some time next year.
But there’s nothing sensationalist about the dramatisation which so far has offered a respectful portrayal of the Royal Family that feels true to life. Season three powers on in this vein and if anything offers a growing insight into how, behind the palaces and riches, the royal lot is tougher than it looks.
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