The Crown viewers upset over portrayal of Charles and Diana: ‘A whole new generation of Charles haters’

Viewers of The Crown are expressing their support for the late Princess Diana amid the latest season’s retelling of the turmoil behind closed doors that eventually culminated in the divorce of then-Prince Charles and his first wife.

The fifth season of Netflix’s fictionalised retelling of the British royal family’s lives delves into the contentious marriage between the then-heir to the throne and Diana, who married in 1981 before officially divorcing in 1996.

In the first episode, viewers see the couple attempt a failed “second honeymoon,” which only results in highlighting their differences. Episode five depicts a leaked phone call between Charles, played by Dominic West, and his longtime love Camilla Parker Bowles, played by Olivia Williams, in which he revealed he wanted to live inside her as a tampon. In the same episode, Charles admits to adultery during a TV interview with Jonathan Dimbleby.

As the couple’s marriage continues to break down over the course of the season, viewers watch as Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki, expresses her loneliness, and later agrees to the controversial 1995 Panorama interview. During that infamous exchange, Diana told BBC’s Martin Bashir that “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded”.

The new season also offers insight into the couple’s divorce and the relationships that Diana and Charles pursued following the end of their marriage.

On social media, the dramatised depiction of the factors that contributed to the couple’s failed relationship has sparked criticism of Charles on social media. Fans have condemned the royal, who later married Camilla, over his treatment of his first wife.

The Crown has created a whole new generation of Charles haters, I’m crying,” one person tweeted. The tweet, which has been liked more than 25,000 times, prompted a range of responses from viewers who agreed with the takeaway, and many memes and gifs of Diana. “You love to see it,” one user replied, while another said: “As it should.”

“It’s not the new generation’s fault that Charles wanted to be a tampon. If he didn’t want people to know, he shouldn’t have said it,” someone else jokingly pointed out.

Others revealed that the further they progressed into the latest season, the more they grew to dislike Charles.

“The more episodes I watch of The Crown, the more I hate Prince Charles, now King Charles. Boo this man!” one person tweeted, while another asked: “We all hate Charles right?”

“There’s an entire generation of kids who never saw the level of rot Charles and Camilla perpetrated on Princess Diana, but thanks to The Crown, they’ve become more invested in just how cruel the royals were to her,” someone else claimed.

Some suggested that they couldn’t fully dislike the depiction of Charles due to the casting of “the very charming” West in the role, with one person asking: “How we are supposed to fully hate the character doing Diana dirty when he looks nothing like the monarch in real life?”

“Dominic West is so fine my GOD how are you expecting me to watch The Crown and hate Prince Charles when he looks like THAT,” someone else tweeted.

Although many viewers have expressed their support and sympathy for Diana in light of the newest season, others claimed that The Crown wasn’t “hard enough” on Charles, and that the late Princess of Wales was, at times, portrayed as a “vindictive, silly young woman”.

“They’ve really portrayed Princess Diana as this vindictive, silly young woman whilst Charles and Camilla are these star crossed lovers kept apart by out of date royal rules. This season of #TheCrown is pandering to the royal family. Ew,” one person tweeted.

Another person argued that if that had been Netflix’s intention, it was not successful. “If season five of The Crown is supposed to make me feel sympathetic to Prince Charles, it’s not working,” they wrote.