The Crown’s Season 5 is coming out this fall, likely November. You’ll know it’s about to drop because Clarence House will begin telegraphing how Netflix is trying to destroy Prince Charles and Peter Morgan doesn’t know anything, and how this and that nitpicking detail is incorrect. Nevermind that The Crown has always gotten the broad strokes right, and nevermind the fact that Peter Morgan actually soft-pedals a lot of the more scandalous stuff. Season 5 will cover Charles and Diana’s separation and divorce, as all of that stuff happened during John Major’s tenure as prime minister. In 1995, Diana sat down with Martin Bashir for the infamous Panorama interview. Diana and Charles’s divorce had not yet been completed and she worried that she would soon have to adhere to a non-disclosure agreement.
In the years since that important interview, Charles and the British right-wing have worked together to invalidate the interview by any means necessary. They succeeded by arguing that Martin Bashir told Diana a bunch of lies and Bashir manipulated her terribly. I have no doubt that Bashir was especially sleazy, but I also have no doubt that Diana said exactly what she wanted to say how she wanted to say it. Well, we’ve known all along that Peter Morgan was going to feature the Panorama interview narrative in this season of The Crown. Now that all of this Dyson report sh-t has gone down, sources claim that Morgan is adding some extra details to the scripts to reflect what we know now about Bashir’s methods.
The Crown is set to make some changes to the upcoming fifth series in order to reflect what is now known about the infamous Panorama interview with Princess Diana. The interview, which aired in 1995, saw the Princess of Wales sit down with BBC journalist Martin Bashir to discuss her split from her husband Prince Charles. It was during this sit-down chat that Diana uttered the famous words: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
However, the Netflix period drama, which had always planned to dramatise the interview, has now stated that, following a report in 2021, the circumstances surrounding the interview and the “deceitful” behaviour will also be written into the scripts to make the full-story clear to viewers.
The report, conducted by Lord Dyson, concluded that Martin had undertaken “deceitful behaviour” in order to secure the interview with the royal, and that this was subsequently covered up by the BBC. Since then, the BBC said it would “never again” show clips from the interview.
Director-general Tim Davie said: “Now we know about the shocking way that the interview was obtained, I have decided that the BBC will never show the programme again, nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters.”
I wish the BBC hadn’t folded but I understand why they did – there was significant pressure from Charles AND William, and the papers took the royals’ side. The British media wants to help Charles and William gaslight and erase a dead woman, so what choice did the BBC really have? Especially when they know Bashir was playing fast and loose. That being said, I’m curious about how the Crown will deal with it and if Peter Morgan really is making significant changes to that storyline. Whatever he does or does not do, it will still be picked apart by Charles working in concert with the British media.
Photos courtesy of Netflix, Backgrid and Avalon Red.