So, who will be watching The Crown’s new series, which will be available on Netflix from November 9th? Probably as many people – more than 17 million – who saw the latest made-up drama about the British royal family.
After the act was labeled “wrong, unfair and deeply hurtful,” “dangerous and offensive,” and “despicable,” those numbers are likely to increase. What’s all the fuss about? Let’s watch and see!
Prince William, now the Prince of Wales, deeply dislikes the narrative, which follows his mother Diana’s life in the 1990s (the new series runs from 1991 to 1997) and includes her death. He has campaigned, mostly unsuccessfully, to withhold scenes from Diana’s famous—perhaps infamous—television interview with Martin Bashir, in which she said the immortal words, “There were three of us in this marriage.” (It is now apparent that Bashir received the interview under false pretenses.) William hates all this smuggling about his mother’s life.
Buckingham Palace hasn’t said anything at the moment, but those who know the background say writer-producer Peter Morgan has gone too far this time by inventing storylines that have no basis in truth. One thread shows Charles plotting to oust Queen Elizabeth (played by Imelda Staunton) and informing former Prime Minister John Major against the Queen, who said it was “malicious nonsense”.
In another scene, Charles (played by Dominic West) is seen berating his mother for bad parenting and saying that if they had been a poor family, social services “would have taken care of us”.
The crown doesn’t pretend to be a documentary, although it does carry the “real life inspired” label. So far, Morgan and his team have refused to add a clarifying disclaimer to Series 5, acknowledging that many of the storylines are fictional interpretations of events.
It is suggested that the reason Morgan won’t backtrack on his scenario is that his motivations are decidedly anti-monarchist; He tries to portray the royals as a bunch of dysfunctional fools. Sir William Shawcross, the Queen Mother’s biographer (and son of Hartley Shawcross, who made history as a prosecutor of the Nazis at Nuremberg), wrote this The crown is full of lies and half-truths, accusations against people who cannot answer.
Prince Philip was horrified when a previous episode, entirely fictional, claimed he caused his sister Cecile’s death in a plane crash. In the new series, Philip is seen having an affair with Penelope Knatchbull, telling the lady that he and the Queen have grown apart.
It is claimed that Charles is portrayed as a “murderously evil” character because Morgan is only hostile to the monarchy.
Morgan had said in an interview that Queen Elizabeth was “of limited intelligence”, her adherence to Christianity was “disturbed” and the monarchy was “insane”. Hugo Vickers, the royals expert, has detailed 50 major errors of fact in previous series of The crown. Jemima Goldsmith Khan was hired to provide background on Diana but pulled out due to distortions.
So obviously The crown is not considered historically accurate. And it must indeed be quite hurtful for King Charles to be portrayed as someone who hated his mother and wanted her gone.
However, I’m not sure even the British royals’ hostile portrayals are as damaging as some critics believe. Morgan may be a Republican who abhors the monarchy, but he’s turned his opposition into a bonanza: people might see doublethink here.
With all the negativity The crown somehow captures the allure of the monarchy and even its glamour. Outstanding actors, who speak in noble tones, have been hired to wear fabulous costumes in gloriously glittering scenes. It may be mostly gibberish, but it’s a compelling gibberish about life that people can relate to despite its differences from our own.
As the credits roll, watch how many languages are represented: Polish, Portuguese, Japanese, Hindi, Arabic, Indonesian and many more.
This has universal reach (although critics fear some more simple-minded people will take the stories as fact).
Morgan is said to be a little “unnerved” by the widespread criticism that some of his constructs have received. He may also have been caught off guard by the sincere tributes following the death of Queen Elizabeth last month. But so far he is unmoved.
The person who can really take the flak is Prince Harry. He and his wife Meghan are said to have received $100 million (102 million euros) from Netflix for their services – in film documentaries and for an autobiography.
Harry may well get some somber replies from his brother William for pocketing the company dollar and denigrating the family.
This could be a whole new drama in itself.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/critics-call-it-damaging-drivel-but-latest-series-of-the-crown-will-attract-record-numbers-of-viewers-42077673.html Critics are calling it harmful gibberish, but the latest series of ‘The Crown’ is set to draw record-breaking viewership