The Crown returns-A behind the scenes look
The Australian Women's Weekly|December 2019
As Oscar-winner Olivia Colman leads a whole new cast in the third season of the TV hit, Juliet Rieden investigates its clever fictionalisation of a monarchy still reigning.
Juliet Rieden
As the relatively newly minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex fight for their right to privacy, Harry’s grandmother may well be steeling herself for another 10 episodes of The Crown. It would be at best flattering and at worst downright annoying to see your family’s life under the dramatic microscope, your most intimate and private moments fictionalized in a manner that makes them appear as fact.

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.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S WEEKLYView All

Role model royals

As we celebrate William and Kate’s 10th wedding anniversary, Juliet Rieden asks: can the close-knit Cambridge five steady the royal ship with their duty, dignity and family values?

10+ mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

TOGETHER FOR CHANGE

As allegations of sexual assault and harassment swirl around our federal Parliament, Samantha Trenoweth sits down with some of the most powerful women in the land to consider the issues that have shaken the nation.

10+ mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

Remember the time

APRIL 1823: The first Sydney Royal Easter Show

1 min read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

“Finding my power” -Toni Pearen

Facing her demons (and a few snakes) in the jungle led to a personal and professional renaissance for Toni Pearen. Jenny Brown meets the former pop princess as she steps into a brave new life.

9 mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

“I was lost before Lauren”

It may seem a charmed life, but MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo has had serious lows with the highs. He tells Sue Smethurst how love saved him.

9 mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

Ray of hope

Nobody would consider the parents of children with cancer lucky, but for two families who were included in a ground-breaking Australian program to fight childhood cancers, lucky is exactly how they feel. Genevieve Gannon meets those families.

10+ mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

My story: My journey out of darkness

When screenwriter Kristen Dunphy checked herself into a psychiatric ward, her world was unbearably dark, but with pen and paper in hand, she found the glimmer of hope that carried her home.

6 mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

In the name of my daughter

When her 20-year-old daughter was brutally murdered in a Queensland hostel, Rosie Ayliffe needed answers. What she uncovered compelled her to launch a campaign to expose the dangers backpackers face in Australia, she tells Juliet Rieden.

10+ mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

How to MAX your morning RITUALS

In our quest for the best possible wake-up and start to our day, we need a multisensory approach that draws us out of slumber and kickstarts our body clock. Here, Russell Jones, author of Sense, shares simple ways to feel good.

4 mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

Best friends forever

A trip down memory lane makes the perfect birthday gift for a much loved childhood friend.

3 mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021
RELATED STORIES

DIANA DEATH FLICK IS ULTIMATE REVENGE!

Palace terrified Hollywood's royal power couple will bankroll project

2 mins read
National Enquirer
April 19, 2021

Diana's Closest Friends TELL ALL

AS THE ROYAL FAMILY CONTINUES TO REEL IN THE WAKE OF HARRY ND MEGHAN MARKLE’S EXPLOSIVE SIT-DOWN, THOSE CLOSEST TO THE LATE PRINCESS DIANA (INCLUDING HER BUTLER OF 10 YEARS, PAUL BURRELL) SEPARATE FACT FROM FICTION.

4 mins read
Star
April 05, 2021

MEET DAYS'S PRECIOUS WAY

Chicago native Precious Way is thrilled to be making her soap debut as Chanel on DAYS, a show that has a special connection to her family.

3 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
April 05, 2021

ROYAL LIES REVEALED!

His embrace of ‘public service’ Her bid for sympathy Why they REALLY fled

4 mins read
National Enquirer
March 22, 2021

Harry & Olivia DOUBLE DATING WITH ZACH & FLORENCE!

Squad goals! Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles have found another dynamic duo to spend their downtime with: Florence Pugh and Zach Braff. An industry insider tells Star the foursome hit it off on the set of Don’t Worry, Darling which Olivia, 36, is directing, and in which Florence, 25, and the 27-year-old singer both star.

1 min read
Star
March 01, 2021

JACKÉE HARRY ON JOINING DAYS

“They just said I would be fierce and fabulous and I went, ‘Oh, I’m typecast again!’ ” muses Jackée Harry of getting the call to join DAYS as newcomer Paulina Price. “They said she’s fabulous and fun and full of life and a strong, determined woman of power. As soon as they said she would have money, I said yes.”

2 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
March 15, 2021

HARRY GETS THRONE OUT!

Queen removes rouge from line of succession over TV betrayal

3 mins read
Globe
March 15, 2021

MEGHAN PREGNANCY HEALS HARRY'S HEART!

Baby brings marriage back from brink but won’t end royal rift as TV tell-all stuns queen

4 mins read
National Enquirer
March 08, 2021

The Knickerbocker Bar & Grill

The neighborhood fixture has been dark for a year, but there’s hope yet for fans of T-bone steaks and supercolossal booths.

9 mins read
New York magazine
March 1-14, 2021

HARRY & MEGHAN'S ROYAL BABY DRAMA

New pregnancy won’t end family feud

1 min read
Globe
March 08, 2021