Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 5 December 2020

'The Crown' creator Peter Morgan admits ‘quisling’ Prince Charles scene was made up

Netflix programme under fire for ‘exploiting’ British royal family

Prince Charles (played by Josh O'Connor) and Lord Mountbatten (Charles Dance) in the controversial scene. Netflix 
Prince Charles (played by Josh O'Connor) and Lord Mountbatten (Charles Dance) in the controversial scene. Netflix 

The creator of The Crown has defended inventing a controversial scene between Prince Charles and his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten.

Peter Morgan, lead writer for the popular Netflix programme, admitted the opening episode of the new season features a fictional scene in which Mountbatten scolds the Prince of Wales for pursuing Camilla, who was married to Andrew Parker Bowles.

A furious Charles is seen to turn on Mountbatten, accusing him of being a “quisling”.

Viewers are then shown an older man writing a letter to Charles in which he is accused of bringing “ruin and disappointment” to his family for not settling down with a “sweet and innocent well-tempered girl with no past”.

On the show, Charles only receives the letter after Mountbatten is assassinated by the IRA in August 1979.

No such letter exists in real life, and British tabloids have run stories in recent weeks criticising the show for “highjacking and exploiting” personal moments for financial gain.

However, Morgan did not apologise for the fictional scenes.

He told the show’s official podcast: “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'.

"As the heir I think there was some concern that he should settle down, marry the appropriate person and get on with it."

The Crown employs researchers, but has always made clear some events are embellished for entertainment.

Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin as Prince Charles and Princess Diana in season four of 'The Crown'. Netflix 
Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin as Prince Charles and Princess Diana in season four of 'The Crown'. Netflix 

Morgan added: “In my own head I thought that would have even greater impact on Charles if it were to come post-mortem, as it were. I think everything that's in that letter that Mountbatten writes to Charles is what I really believe, based on everything I've read and people I've spoken to, 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."

The Crown season four released on Sunday, November 15, on Netflix.

Updated: November 17, 2020 04:47 PM

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