After weeks of non-stop hype and worrying leaks about what to expect from the “storylines,” I knew The Crown was going to go bad.
But I had no idea it would be this bad.
As you will know if, like me, you’ve been drinking the royal drama over the weekend, the fifth series is a total assault on the credibility, reputation, heart and soul of our beloved recently deceased Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Philip, the new monarch King Charles and his late ex-wife Princess Diana.
While all four, like most people, had their shortcomings, Peter Morgan has embarked on a total character assassination in his retelling of the trials and tribulations of the Windsor during the difficult 1990s, including the family’s annus horribilis.
I would certainly hate to think that this dark turn in the presentation of our royal family by the highly influential hit show has anything to do with the streaming service signing Prince Harry as its most famous staff member, adorned with a £77m deal.
Prince Harry (pictured here with wife Meghan Markle meeting well-wishers outside Windsor Castle earlier this year) has a £77m deal with Netflix
Prince Charles and Princess Diana and their two children, Harry and William, as played by Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West in The Crown
Pictured: Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, left, and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Phillip in a scene from the hit Netflix series The Crown
The downright malevolent presentation of the late Queen as cold, unloving and cruel is in stark contrast to the compassionate and pragmatic leader described by those who worked closely with her at the time.
It baffles me that Hollywood is willing to mar the memory of our greatest monarch ever so soon after her devastating death, not to mention portraying her devoted husband Philip as an uncaring con man.
So their own grandson — known for his several public brawls with media organizations that tarnish the reputations of his loved ones — must be catatonic with rage, right?
Especially in regards to the distasteful and factually incorrect treatment of Diana, who is wrongly portrayed as an evil mother on a solo mission to overthrow the monarchy.
After weeks of non-stop hype and worrying leaks about what to expect from the “storylines,” I knew The Crown was going to go bad. But I had no idea it would be this bad, writes Dan Wootton (pictured)
Had The Crown been produced by any other media organization, Harry would fire Archewell press statements, warn his trigger-happy lawyers in Schillings, and give heartbreaking interviews with Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King about how the horrible media is out to destroy his life.
Considering he’s on the payroll, what do we have instead? A telling and deeply uncomfortable silence.
But if Prince Harry has the required moral fiber and decency, he must immediately prove that he is not a Hollywood hypocrite and leave Netflix.
Here’s the uncompromising letter of resignation – devised by me – he should send his chief executive Ted Sarandos…
Dear Ted and the management of Netflix,
For years I have made it clear that my priority is to ensure that my mother’s memory is protected and that her tragic life and death are not commercialized by the media for commercial gain.
It is therefore ethically impossible for me to continue working for your company after the broadcast of the fifth series of The Crown, which manipulates the dark final days of the late Princess Diana to gain subscriptions.
The new episodes depict private conversations between me – someone who works for your company – and my mother that are, quite simply, deeply hurtful, suggesting that as a seven-year-old I took her side in what would become a traumatic divorce from my father.
But that’s just the beginning of the manipulation and lies, which include impersonating private phone conversations between William and my mother, suggesting that he didn’t support her plight when he was a student at Eton.
While all four, like most people, had their shortcomings, Peter Morgan has embarked on a total character assassination in his retelling of the trials and tribulations of the Windsor during the difficult 1990s, including the family’s annus horribilis. Pictured: Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in The Crown
On the contrary, the relationship between my brother and our mother was as closely intertwined as could be. We both just wanted her to be protected and happy.
Invented private counseling sessions attended by my mother are broadcast, as well as the now discredited Panorama interview, obtained illegally by Martin Bashir for the BBC, which saw many years of my brother’s work smashed to pieces for its contents. to refer to history, given the obviously ambiguous and unreliable circumstances in which the interview took place.
Most painfully, my mother is shown trying to overthrow the monarchy, another distortion of the record.
Although she was very angry with my father, she always supported the Crown and Her Majesty and called her ‘my mama’.
My late mother and father’s chance meeting at Kensington Palace after their divorce was warm and mature, but The Crown turns it into another nasty name-calling.
Your treatment of my father King Charles is even more insensitive.
Ted Sarandos (pictured), the chief executive of streaming giant Netflix
Former Prime Minister John Major recently confirmed that your fabricated storyline claiming that he actively lobbied for his mother to resign is nothing more than malicious nonsense.
Meanwhile, the late Queen is shown prevailing and making demands on Prime Minister Major, drifting away from my grandfather, and acting coolly towards her closest relatives.
You got her all wrong and it’s unscrupulous that you could broadcast this tripe so soon after the whole world came together to mark her death.
This weekend I learned with the rest of the world that my late grandfather Prince Philip was so angry about his misrepresentation of his older sister’s death in an earlier series that he consulted his lawyers at Farrer & Co. It is imperative for me to honor his memory.
What worries me most is if you intend to use the publicity and hype generated by this most recent series from The Crown to launch my own reality series, made with my wife The Duchess of Sussex.
I understand that The Crown is a drama, but it is not viewed that way by the tens of millions of young people around the world who regard its contents as sacred, especially given that you continue to refuse overwhelming demands, including from the British Government and Dame Judi Dench, to put a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode explaining that the series is fictional and only loosely based on real events.
The Crown is now causing harm to my family and the monarchy itself.
Therefore, I request that my Netflix contract be terminated with immediate effect and that you respectfully agree not to broadcast my reality series before the coronation of my father King Charles.
He mourns his mother and deserves this time to start his reign without added stress.
I must put the well-being of my father, my family, our beloved country and the monarchy above my personal ambitions.
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex