Netflix adds disclaimer to 'The Crown' following anger over storylines

The show has been criticised by royal biographers and celebrities for not classifying itself as fiction

Imelda Staunton will play the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the new season of 'The Crown'. Photo: Netflix
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Netflix has added a disclaimer to its hit series The Crown after a former British prime minister and celebrities accused the streaming giant of confusing truth with fiction in its storylines.

The move came after one episode in the latest series showed Prince Charles plotting to oust his mother as monarch.

The four currently available seasons of the show now appear on Netflix's website with the words: "Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatisation tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign."

Netflix had consistently resisted calls for it to add a disclaimer.

The fifth series, which focuses on the 1990s, is due to be released on November 9.

One episode depicts heir to the throne Prince Charles attempting to draw Prime Minister John Major into a conspiracy against his mother, which Major slammed as "damaging and malicious" fiction.

"There was never any discussion between Sir John and the then Prince of Wales about any possible abdication of the late Queen Elizabeth II — nor was such an improbable and improper subject ever raised by the then Prince of Wales (or Sir John)," a statement issued by his office said.

Veteran actress Judi Dench — who has played the role of Queen Victoria — recently added her voice to the critics, describing the series as "cruelly unjust" to the royal family.

The Oscar-winning actress berated Netflix in a letter to The Times newspaper and demanded the addition of a disclaimer.

Previous storylines that have prompted criticism include one in which the late Prince Philip, the queen's husband, is blamed by his father for causing his sister's death.

Royal biographer William Shawcross said last week the series was filled with "lies and half-truths", and that Philip had been "incredibly upset" by the factually inaccurate storyline.

A spokeswoman last week defended the show as a "fictional dramatisation, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors".

Netflix was not immediately available for comment Friday.

Updated: October 27, 2022, 7:56 AM
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