Members of the British Government, particularly Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, expressed concerns over people mistakenly perceiving The Crown as reality. The critically-acclaimed historical drama accounts the reign of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II. Season 4, the series’ latest outing has met several criticisms for its portrayal of events in the past. In particular, it covers one of the royal family’s most controversial periods involving Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana.
The Crown is a dramatization of real-life events, but critics in the UK feel it presents itself as if it is factual. In fact, Charles Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, has been vocal about the issue. He even refused the show to film at Althorp, the Spencer family ancestral home in Northamptonshire, England. Now, it seems that this concern has finally been reflected by the government too. That is because they fear the Netflix series affects the public’s attitudes toward members of the royal family.
Culture Secretary Dowden has told The Daily Mail he believes Netflix should make it clear that The Crown is fictional. “It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that,” he explained.
“Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”
Dowden is expected to write to Netflix to formally request that it adds a warning at each beginning of the episode.
The real deal about British Government’s concerns over The Crown
While it’s true that The Crown is fictional, Peter Morgan’s scripts undeniably dramatize events to somehow quite remarkable degrees. The first three seasons of The Crown avoided significant controversy, simply because they dealt with events that had happened in a distant past. On the other hand, the events linking to the late Princess Diana still remain in the public’s consciousness. After all, she is the People’s Princess and she has truly connected with them. Her marriage failure with Prince Charles was heavily politicized that it will never be forgotten in the monarch’s history.
To this day, the polls consistently suggest that Charles’ popularity declines every time Diana’s name hits the headlines. This concern becomes even more pressing for the government now that Charles is gradually taking over the Queen’s royal duties in preparation for becoming King. Hence, The Crown’s portrayal and prospect of another season must be viewed with utter concern by monarchy and government alike.
The Culture Secretary’s criticisms do have a degree of merit though. There is good reason to be concerned when people confuse between fact and fiction. However, if a simple drama can stir up problems easily affecting the institution, then it probably reflects their instability within. The British Government should definitely reflect better on the issue rather than its image.