Netflix defends The Crown as ‘fictional dramatisation’ amid criticism

Netflix has defended The Crown as a “fictional dramatisation” amid criticism of its forthcoming fifth series.

Sir John Major is said to have described upcoming scenes, which reportedly depict the King, then the Prince of Wales, plotting to oust the Queen, as “malicious nonsense”.

The new series, which will launch on November 9, is expected to show Charles cutting short a holiday with Diana, Princess of Wales, to host a secret meeting with former prime minister Sir John at Highgrove in 1991.

The Crown Season 5
Elizabeth Debicki as Diana in the forthcoming series (Netflix/PA)

For the forthcoming series of the lavish royal drama, which features recast roles, Dominic West stars as Charles, while Elizabeth Debicki plays Diana and Imelda Staunton the Queen.

A spokeswoman for The Crown 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.”

A spokesman for Sir John, played by Jonny Lee Miller in the series, previously told The Times that if the scenes are broadcast “they should be seen as nothing other than damaging and malicious fiction”.

Netflix also said the sixth and final series of The Crown will not depict the Paris car crash that killed Diana in August 1997, contrary to media reports.

The PA news agency understands the series will show the lead-up to the fatal incident as well as its aftermath, but not the crash itself.

The Crown Season 5
Olivia Williams as Camilla and Dominic West as Charles (Netflix/PA)

The fourth series of the lavish Netflix drama also attracted criticism for allegedly not doing enough to ensure viewers knew it was a work of fiction.

Oliver Dowden, the then culture secretary, asked Netflix to add a disclaimer to episodes, a request the company rejected.

Although there is no disclaimer on the individual episodes, when viewers tune in on the service the show is labelled with a “log line” as a fictional drama based on historical events.

The Crown was due to end after the fifth series, but the show’s creator and writer, Peter Morgan, later said it would be extended to include a sixth series.

Filming on the latest series of The Crown was halted as a mark of respect after the Queen’s death. Filming was also suspended on the day of her funeral.

It was previously revealed that series five of the show would delve into Diana’s now infamous Panorama interview with journalist Martin Bashir.