A childhood friend of Britain's late Queen has said The Crown makes her “so angry” as she feels it is “unfair” to members of the royal family.
Lady Glenconner, who was a maid of honour at Elizabeth II’s coronation and a lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret for many decades, criticised the Netflix royal drama in an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
She described the show as a “complete fantasy” and feels that despite the streaming service’s warning that it is a “fictionalised drama”, she feels people will still believe it is true.
She told Woman’s Hour: “I don’t watch The Crown now as it just makes me so angry and it’s so unfair on members of the royal family.”
Lady Glenconner referred to an episode in series two which implied that Prince Philip was blamed for his sister Cecilie taking the flight that resulted in her death in a plane crash in 1937.
She said this was “completely untrue”, adding: “I think to say something like that about people is terribly hurting. I mean, nobody wants to have their relations trashed like that.”
The former lady-in-waiting also branded scenes involving the late Queen’s sister as “ridiculous”.
In the third series, Princess Margaret was shown trading dirty limericks with US president Lyndon B Johnson in 1965, to which Lady Glenconner said “of course she never did that”.
She recalled how Helen Bonham Carter also came to visit her and chatted with her for two hours to learn details about Princess Margaret ahead of portraying her in series three and four.
After the series aired, she saw Bonham Carter again and the actress asked her “What did you think?” to which Lady Glenconner told her: “Well, rather disappointing.”
She recalled that Bonham Carter replied: “I know but the thing is, I’m an actress and I have to do what’s written for me.”
Dame Judi Dench and former British prime minister John Major also recently criticised reported storylines in the new series which launched earlier this month.
Dame Judi said that “wounding suggestions apparently contained in the new series” would prove “damaging” to the monarchy and could not go unchallenged.
Sir John is said to have described the upcoming scenes, which reportedly depict the King, then the Prince of Wales, plotting to oust the Queen, as “malicious nonsense”.
A spokesman for Tony Blair described another scene, in which Charles is reportedly shown trying to recruit the politician as an ally to protect his future, as “complete and utter rubbish”.
Netflix added a disclaimer to the description of the trailer for series five, but stopped short of adding the message to the trailer itself.
The streamer has already described the show as “fictionalised drama” in its press materials, on social media and on The Crown’s landing page on its platform.
Asked about the disclaimer label being used by Netflix, Lady Glenconner said: “The trouble is that people, especially in America, believe it is completely true and there’s nothing much one can do about it really.”
For the latest series of the show, Imelda Staunton has taken over from Olivia Colman as the Queen, with Dominic West, playing the then Prince of Wales, now the King.
A spokeswoman for The Crown previously said: “The Crown has always been presented as a drama based on historical events.
“Series five is a fictional dramatisation, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the royal family – one that has already been scrutinised and well-documented by journalists, biographers and historians.”
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