The sh*t is about to hit the royal fan in The Crown, which is saying quite a lot, given that Season 4 stomped all over the fairy tale by dramatizing a lot of what has already been in the public sphere regarding Diana’s (alleged) less than optimal experience with The Firm. The show depicted Diana being dragged by Prince Charles for the offense of being adored by the public, all while he apparently continued to *cough* hold court with Camilla Parker Bowles. That was part of the buildup for Season 5, and this week’s trailer turned out to be even more in-your-face about Diana going public about what she endured, which is interspersed with romantic scenes of Charles and Camilla.
As everyone is aware, Diana departed the royal family, and following the 1996 finalization of her divorce from Charles, the People’s Princess died during a 1997 paparazzi chase in Paris. The show apparently will not depict the crash itself, but there’s been an upswing in criticism from the Royals (and their supporters) as Season 5 approaches. Although the trailer shows Charles blowing up over Diana refusing to stay quiet, Deadline reported that the monarchy is particularly upset about a 1990s scene where Charles allegedly complains about being made to wait to ascend to the throne. Little did anyone know back then that he’d be waiting over 25 more years, but it doesn’t look fantastic, especially given the timing of Queen Elizabeth II’s 2022 death. The show’s coverage of Diana’s most infamous interview hasn’t helped the lack of royal goodwill, and after critics including Judi Dench have trashed the show’s “crude sensationalism,” Netflix has apparently relented.
On the trailer’s YouTube page, the following disclaimer can now be viewed: “Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatisation tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign.”
Other signs of Netflix possibly pulling back on the franchise? The Royal pushback may or may not be the reason that Netflix apparently chose to pump the brakes on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s documentary. That project was reportedly going to follow a few weeks after The Crown‘s fifth season, but interestingly enough, Deadline relayed word from a Netflix spokesperson, who declared, “[T]here’s never been any documentary from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed.”
In 2020, Meghan and Harry signed a Netflix deal, which (via Variety) was said to include “documentaries, feature films, scripted television shows and children’s series.”
The Crown returns on November 9.