Prince Charles blistering attack on The Crown

Engagement to enragement: Joseph O’Connor as Prince Charles and Emma Corrin as Diana. © Netflix

Has Netflix gone too far? The new series of The Crown, depicting the Prince of Wales’s troubled first marriage, has been widely criticised, and he himself is said to be furious about it.

Diana, Princess of Wales is remembered as one of the most beautiful women. The new season of the Crown paints her story in a darker light.

Some of the content of the earlier series may have raised eyebrows – but as they were events that took place a long time ago, the feeling was that it did not matter.

Season four deals with events that many remember.

How accurate are the scenes – and should they have been depicted?

The facts are that Prince Charles’s marriage to Lady Diana Spencer went wrong. Both had affairs – Charles with Camilla Parker-Bowles, and Diana with more than one man. The couple had separated by the time Diana was killed in a car crash.

Who was responsible for the marriage’s failure is disputed. Friends have spoken out against The Crown’s portrayal of Diana as an innocent young woman horribly mistreated.

“The new series paints the Prince and Duchess in a very unflattering light, but at least at the start of reality shows like The Only Way Is Essex they admit that some scenes have been invented for entertainment,” said one.

“These events are not the history of 100 or even 50 years ago. The pain is still raw and not enough time has elapsed,” said another.

The series is particularly unwelcome for Prince William and Prince Harry. Harry is in a difficult position because he and his wife have agreed to make a documentary with Netflix, for a fee said to be $100 million.

Has Netflix gone too far?

Prince of wails

No. The Crown is billed as a drama, not a documentary. The basic story of the royal marriage is known, most viewers are intelligent enough to take this interpretation with a pinch of salt.

Yes. Netflix would never rake over the secrets of another living person’s marriage. They have singled the royal family out because they know they are unlikely to be sued.

You Decide

  1. Can an outsider ever really understand what goes on within a family?

Activities

  1. The royal wedding in 1981 spawned a huge number of souvenirs, from mugs to tea towels. Design a souvenir to celebrate an important event in your own family.

Some People Say...

“Privacy – like eating and breathing – is one of life's basic requirements.”

Katherine Neville (1945-), American writer

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
It is generally agreed that the series has gone to great lengths to get period details right, but not stuck to the historical facts. One scene shows Diana, just after her engagement has been announced, having lunch with Camilla at a Knightsbridge restaurant, and being very upset by what she learns of Camilla’s close relationship with Charles. In fact the lunch took place after Diana and Charles’s wedding, and according to the restaurant’s owner the conversation was “very amiable”.
What do we not know?
One main area of debate is around whether the writer of the series has manipulated the story to suit his own political agenda. Peter Morgan has admitted to republican sympathies and described the Queen as a “countryside woman of limited intelligence who would have much preferred looking after her dogs and breeding horses to being queen”. He has also compared the monarchy to “survival organisms, like a mutating virus”.

Word Watch

Lady Diana Spencer
The daughter of an earl, she was 20 when she married Charles, who was 12 years older than her.
Car crash
Her car crashed in a tunnel in Paris while trying to escape press photographers.

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