Even before its release on Wednesday November 9, the fifth season of the hit Netflix series The Crown Already unleashes passions, accused of lies about a burning period for the British monarchy, marked by the public explosion of the couple formed by Diana and Charles.
Barely two months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession to the throne of King Charles III, the pressure is such that the platform had to integrate a warning specifying that the story is “based on real events”, while she had always refused. This season, the penultimate of the series, evokes in ten episodes the crises of the 1990s: shock television interview of Princess Diana at the BBC evoking the infidelity of Charles, adulterous relationship of the latter with Camilla Parker Bowles, divorce …
By addressing these still very sensitive events, the series has attracted criticism from eminent artistic personalities such as actress Judi Dench, or John Major, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 1990s. The Oscar-winning British actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare a Lovethus lambasted the “crude sensationalismof the series after press reports reported that it shows Charles, then Prince of Wales, maneuvering to obtain the abdication of his mother Elizabeth II. his “barrel of nonsense peddled for maximum dramatic impact“.
Forced to defend its approach and screenwriter Peter Morgan, the production of The Crownrecalled that what is told in the series should not be taken as fact, but as the imagination of “what may have happened behind closed doors for an important decade for the royal family“. The actors of the series have also defended it, like Elizabeth Debicki, who plays Diana. “There is a lot of room for interpretation“said the Australian actress, who called on people to move on”now that there is a warning“. Jonathan Pryce who plays the role of Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, said to him “very disappointed with his fellow artists“, after the reservations expressed by actresses Eileen Atkins and Harriet Walter, who both played small roles in The Crown. “The vast majority of people know it’s cinema. They have been watching the series for four seasons“, he pleaded.
But the warning granted by Netflix may not be enough to calm the controversy, with some accusing Peter Morgan of using the series to defend anti-monarchy positions. Daily Mail television critic Christopher Stevens, who was able to see eight and a half hours of the new season, opined in an article this week that the “sheer virulence“of the last intrigues becomes”clearly shocking“. According to him, the series has nothing to do with the first season that aired in 2016. The Crown is now a series”openly republican“, which only seeks to embarrass the royal family, he wrote.
Writer and royal biographer William Shawcross believes that the evocation of a plot by Charles against the Queen is a deliberate attempt to attack the monarchy as an institution, an institution “cherished by millions of ordinary people“.”I think a lot of people believe (what they see on the show), and why wouldn’t he? (…) There are many in the world who have no other sources of information, it is terribly dishonest“, he told AFP, recalling that the royal family is not in a position to take legal action.
Philip Murphy, a historian at the University of London, believes that the royal family is also “in part“responsible. The Palace has always done”a lot of effort to prevent historians from accessing the records of the Queen’s 70-year reign“, he wrote in a letter published by the daily newspaper The Times. “If scholars can’t write an accurate history of the monarchy, that leaves the field open to playwrights and those with an interest in divulging information.“.