The Crown snub: Why royal historian does NOT approve of Netflix drama

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THE ROYAL FAMILY returned to the screen on The Crown last night – but an influential royal historian spoke out about factual inaccuracies and “poor taste” in the hit Netflix drama.

The Crown series three premiered this weekend, with eagerly-anticipated performances from Olivia Colman as the Queen and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret. However, a prominent royal historian spoke out about how the factual inaccuracies in the hit show meant that he could not approve of the critically-acclaimed show. Hugo Vickers, in his 2017 book “The Crown: Truth and Fiction” spoke about how series one and two did not garner his approval.

Mr Vickers writes: “I do not approve of The Crown because it depicts real people in situations which are partly true and partly false; but unfortunately most viewers take it all as gospel truth. 

“And whilst I accept that fiction can be used as a vice to illuminate true events, I also believe that it can be used to pervert the facts and crete false impressions. 

“Unquestionably, this has been a highly successful series, which is watched with intense interest around the globe. The setting and costumes are of high quality, the acting is good, and it all looks convincing.

Peter Morgan is an intelligent writer and Claire Foy portrays [the Queen] beautifully. 

“What I failed to appreciate at the end of Seres 1, but wholly accept now, was that The Crown did a great job in reminding a younger generation that the Queen and Prince Philip were once young themselves. 

Olivia Coleman and To bias Menzies as the Queen and Prince Philip Queen Elizabeth II Image Netflix Getty
Olivia Coleman and To bias Menzies as the Queen and Prince Philip Queen Elizabeth II Image Netflix Getty

Olivia Coleman and To bias Menzies as the Queen and Prince Philip; Queen Elizabeth II (Image Netflix Getty)

Olivia Colman and Queen Elizabeth II
Olivia Colman plays the Queen in the new series (Image: Getty)

Olivia Colman plays the Queen in the new series (Image: Getty)

“But, sadly, there are many lapses into poor taste. 

“I understand that each episode needs conflict and drama. One of the devices used in Series 2 is to take two simple events which did happen, and clash them against each other to create something which did not. 

“To take an example from Episode 8: yes, the Queen and Prince Philip entertained the Kennedys at Buckingham palace; and yes, the Queen visited Ghana. 

“But the Queen did not go to Ghana for the trivial reason that she wished to get one over on Mrs Kennedy – she went there to ensure that Ghana remained part of the Commonwealth.”

Helena Bonham Carter and Princess Margaret
Helena Bonham Carter takes up the role of Princess Margaret (Image: Getty)

Helena Bonham Carter takes up the role of Princess Margaret (Image: Getty)

The historian told Express.co.uk last year: “The problem is that it is well written, well acted and lavishly filmed. 

“Which makes it much worse as it perverts the truth – whole episodes are built around fabrications.” 

Mr Vickers also gives his opinion that the Duke of Edinburgh has been particularly badly served by the hit drama. 

He writes: “The cruellest and most undeserved victim of the series is Prince Philip. 

Claire Foy and Matt Smith played the Queen and Prince Philip in Series One and Two Image Netflix
Claire Foy and Matt Smith played the Queen and Prince Philip in Series One and Two Image Netflix

Claire Foy and Matt Smith played the Queen and Prince Philip in Series One and Two (Image Netflix)

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
The Queen and Duke and Edinburgh pictured in the Fifties (Image: Getty)

The Queen and Duke and Edinburgh pictured in the Fifties (Image: Getty)

“Prince Philip [is] portrayed as a fractious, bumptious ‘Jack the Lad’, very much the villain. 

“Watching the series, I failed to find the man who, in 1962, was advancing Anglo-German relations through remarks such as ’it may be difficult for people to see any virtue in forgiving one’s enemies, but let them reflect that it is much more likely to achieve a better future than stoking the fires of hatred and suspicion’. 

“This fictional Prince Philip is little more than a self-centred philanderer.” 

He concludes: “Fiction should help us understand the truth, not pervert it.” 

However, the monarch herself is said to tune in to the hit Netflix series, with actor Vanessa Kirby claiming a friend overheard Princess Eugenie saying how “granny” enjoyed the show. 

Nevertheless, the Queen was “upset” by a particular scene in the second series of the drama. 

A senior courtier told Express.co.uk’s Adam Helliker: “The Queen realises that many who watch The Crown take it as an accurate portrayal of the Royal Family and she cannot change that. 

“But I can convey that she was upset by the way Prince Philip is depicted as being a father insensitive to his son’s wellbeing. 

“She was particularly annoyed at a scene in which Philip has no sympathy for a plainly upset Charles while he is flying him home from Scotland. That simply did not happen.” 

Source: EXPRESS CO UK