Over the weekend, Netflix announced that The Crown’s Season 5 will premiere on schedule on November 9th. They also released a teaser, showcasing the “war of the Waleses” during the 1990s. Buckingham Palace managed to get a piece into the Sunday edition of the Telegraph, with well-placed palace aides sniffing, complaining and explaining on behalf of King Charles III. What has always bothered Charles about The Crown is that the show gets the broad strokes right, and it takes all of these people away from tabloid caricatures and we get a glimpse of the real history. QEII’s tendency to ostrich, her inability to parent her children, her coldness. Diana’s temperamental nature, her youth and vivacity, how quickly the palace machinery ate her up. Charles’s manipulative side, his dismissal of Diana, the fact that he really never loved her. So, yeah, Season 5 is going to be bad for the new King Charles III. So what is he going to do about it?
“It is my understanding that the palace has devised a plan to fight any misinformation or fiction with facts,” Kinsey Schofield, royal expert and host of the “To Di For” podcast, told Fox News Digital. “Expect King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla’s friends to speak out on their behalf. Expect to see a push of any documentaries the pair have participated in to resurface. Expect a flood of King Charles books to hit shelves. There might even be… I can’t believe I’m saying this… fresh interviews with the couple. Something we never saw from the queen.”
Still, Schofield suspects the palace will find a way to address the public reaction – and any backlash that comes with it.
“The palace wants to make ‘the truth’ more available and accessible than ever so if anyone begins to research their story beyond Netflix’s ‘The Crown,’ they will find it instantly,” said Schofield. “You might see a fresh pursuit to add a fiction warning to each episode of ‘The Crown.’ Netflix has already said they won’t do this, but the PR around a campaign like that highlights intentionally that this is a work of fiction.”
The “fiction warning” issue is a particularly funny one because they already tried to argue that in 2020 and Netflix came out with Diana: In Her Own Words, using the audio recordings Diana made for Andrew Morton. Netflix shows their sourcing too, and what Charles can’t stand is that Netflix and Peter Morgan bases The Crown on actual historical records, it’s just that the historical records are damaging to Charles. Because he treated Diana so poorly for years. Also: the “fiction warning” issue was about the crown’s inability to control or bargain with Netflix. The BBC caves to the Windsors on a regular basis, as do most British broadcasters. Netflix doesn’t have to cave. Netflix doesn’t care.
It will genuinely crack me up if the new king decided to use the full weight of the palace to try to counter The Crown’s narratives. Will we see a joint interview with Camilla and Charles in November? Lord, that would be something. I think it’s far more likely that Charles will do the same thing he did for Season 4: a completely bonkers pity-poor-me PR campaign which ended up driving more attention to The Crown.
The Daily Beast’s Royalist column also had a piece on Charles’s efforts to ramp up a campaign against The Crown. The Royalist surprised me by calling Charles’s complaints “unfair and disingenuous” and pointing out that overwhelmingly, the show is pretty fair to its subjects. You can read that piece here.
Photos courtesy of Instar, Netflix.