The Crown season 4’s portrayal of Prince Charles has been criticised by sources close to the royal. Picture: Netflix.
The Crown season 4’s portrayal of Prince Charles has been criticised by sources close to the royal. Picture: Netflix.

The Crown responds to palace criticism

The newest season of The Crown and its foray into the failed marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles has been widely praised by fans of the lavish show.

But there's one royal family member who reportedly isn't at all happy with how he's portrayed in the series.

Since season 4 dropped on Netflix on Sunday, sources close to Prince Charles have rushed to slam how he's represented, labelling some of the scenes "trolling on a Hollywood budget".

But Peter Morgan, The Crown's creator, has defended including imagined scenes about the beginnings of Charles and Diana's relationship, claiming they would have been close to the truth of what really happened.

Josh O'Connor portrays Prince Charles in The Crown. Picture: Netflix.
Josh O'Connor portrays Prince Charles in The Crown. Picture: Netflix.
Season 4 introduces viewers to Emma Corrin as Lady Diana Spencer. Picture: Supplied/Netflix
Season 4 introduces viewers to Emma Corrin as Lady Diana Spencer. Picture: Supplied/Netflix

In the first episode of the new series, Lord Louis Mountbatten, played by Charles Dance, confronts his great-nephew, Prince Charles, for being romantically involved with Camilla Parker Bowles, who was married to Andrew Parker Bowles at the time.

Mountbatten writes a letter accusing Charles, portrayed by Josh O'Connor, of potentially bringing "ruin and disappointment" to himself and his family by considering an affair with Camilla, and orders him to instead marry "some sweet and innocent well-tempered girl with no past".

Charles is shown receiving the letter shortly after Mountbatten has been assassinated by the IRA.

While critics insist there is no evidence such a letter was ever written, Morgan addressed the interaction in an episode of The Crown podcast, explaining that, while he "made up" the scene, he believed it accurately represented what Mountbatten's views would have been.

The story of Prince Charles’ love life is a central focus of The Crown season 4. Picture: Netflix.
The story of Prince Charles’ love life is a central focus of The Crown season 4. Picture: Netflix.

"I made up in my head - whether it's right or wrong - what we know is that Mountbatten was really responsible for taking Charles to one side at precisely this point and saying, 'Look, you know, enough already with playing the field. It's time you got married and it's time you provided an heir,'" Morgan said.

"I think everything that's in the letter that Mountbatten writes to Charles is what I really believe - you know, based on everything I've read and people I've spoken to, that that represents his view.

"We will never know if it was put into a letter, and we will never know if Charles got that letter before or after Mountbatten's death but in this particular drama, this is how I decided to deal with it," he added.

His comments come after many have slammed the season for playing with the truth about Diana and Charles' marriage perhaps too freely.

"People actually do believe it because it is well filmed, lavishly produced, well acted with good actors. You can't just dismiss it as tabloid rubbish," Hugo Vickers, historian and author of The Crown Dissected, told CNN.

 

"In this particular series, every member of the royal family, in my view, comes out of it badly, except the Princess of Wales (Diana)," he said.

"It's totally one sided, it's totally against Prince Charles."

On Sunday, the same day season four landed, friends of Prince Charles accused the show of "trolling on a Hollywood budget" in an article in the Mail on Sunday.

Royal editor Emily Andrews quoted an insider as saying: "This is drama and entertainment for commercial ends being made with no regard to the actual people involved who are having their lives hijacked and exploited.

"At least at the start of reality shows like The Only Way Is Essex they admit that some scenes have been invented for entertainment," they said.

"There is no sense of telling carefully nuanced stories - it's all very two-dimensional. This is trolling with a Hollywood budget. The public shouldn't be fooled into thinking this is an accurate portrayal of what really happened."

Prince Charles was encouraged by Lord Mountbatten in the series to pursue an ‘innocent girl’. Picture: Supplied.
Prince Charles was encouraged by Lord Mountbatten in the series to pursue an ‘innocent girl’. Picture: Supplied.


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