Two years after “The Crown” Season 4 raised concerns at Buckingham Palace, the teaser for the fifth season of the Emmy-winning Netflix drama has already ruffled a few royal feathers.
“The Crown” Season 5 centers on the marriage between Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki), under the watchful eye of Queen Elizabeth II, now played by Imelda Staunton.
Now, with Prince Charles having been anointed as King Charles in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, “The Crown” has a new ruler to answer to. According to a “senior royal source” at the Telegraph UK, Buckingham Palace wanted Netflix to add a warning that “The Crown” is a “drama, not a documentary.”
An unnamed friend of King Charles, per the report, called the upcoming fifth season “exploitative” and added that Netflix has “no qualms about mangling people’s reputations.”
“What people forget is that there are real human beings and real lives at the heart of this,” the source said.
Jonathan Pryce joins the cast as Prince Philip, with Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret. Season 5 premieres November 9 on Netflix. The final two seasons of “The Crown” are set to span the 1990s to 2003, with Season 6 including Princess Diana’s death.
King Charles allegedly has never watched the series, whereas “The Crown” alum Matt Smith confirmed Prince Harry and the late Queen used to binge the acclaimed show. The Independent UK noted that Queen Consort Camilla has previously socialized with former “The Crown” cast members.
In 2020, the U.K. government requested “The Crown” issue a disclaimer ahead of episodes. Cultural Secretary Oliver Dowden told The Daily Mail that “The Crown” is a “beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that.”
Dowden noted that “The Crown” was doing lasting damage to the monarchy, especially then Prince Charles.
A source close to the Prince told the Mail, “It is quite sinister the way that [writer Peter] Morgan is clearly using light entertainment to drive a very overt republican agenda and people just don’t see it. They have been lured in over the first few series until they can’t see how they are being manipulated. It is highly sophisticated propaganda.”
This year, series creator Peter Morgan noted that “The Crown” is a “love letter” to Queen Elizabeth II, and production on the Netflix show even paused following the Queen’s death September 8.