Netflix will not append a disclaimer making clear The Crown is a fictional rendering of historical events, The Daily Beast can exclusively reveal.
A source at Netflix told The Daily Beast that a “new disclaimer has not been added,” and emphasized the company line that The Crown “has always been presented as a drama inspired by historical events.”
However the final decision by Netflix not to add a disclaimer to the show, which drops Monday, will come as a major disappointment to King Charles’s friends and loyal supporters who have been quietly and not-so-quietly campaigning for the show to clarify it is fiction. They have been prompted to act over concerns that the new series will show Charles in a bad light.
Their hopes had been raised by a disclaimer being appended to the trailer of the new series. However, Netflix has now doubled down on its position that the show is so clearly fictional it does not need to make a further clarification.
The new series deals extensively with Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles and his divorce from Diana. Early reports from the show, which will drop almost two months to the day since he inherited the throne, suggest that Charles will be portrayed as the villain of the piece.
Friends of King Charles told The Daily Beast he will not be making any public statement on the show, instead following the example set by his mother and aiming to “keep calm and carry on” over the coming days and weeks. He has a series of high profile engagements in the U.K. this coming week.
However, his friends and allies may come out fighting against the show, as they have already, giving voice to his true feelings and thoughts.
One friend previously told The Daily Beast: “Charles and Camilla wouldn’t say or do anything, even if they wanted to, because it would just be great publicity for Netflix. Everyone knows it’s all rubbish anyway. They will follow the queen’s example of dignified silence, and keep calm and carry on.”
Despite his own silence, Charles has been bolstered, domestically in the U.K. at least, by some high-profile pushback to fictionalized scenes, including an attack by former British prime minister Sir John Major, who denied a scene in which Charles tells him the queen should abdicate had taken place.
And in a letter to the London Times, the revered British actress Dame Judi Dench, a friend of Camilla’s, wrote: “Given some of the wounding suggestions apparently contained in the new series—that King Charles plotted for his mother to abdicate, for example, or once suggested his mother’s parenting was so deficient that she might have deserved a jail sentence—this is both cruelly unjust to the individuals and damaging to the institution they represent…this cannot go unchallenged.”
The plea, it appears, has fallen on deaf ears. Netflix has always been clear the show is fiction based on real-life events, and is not going to be moved by the whipping up of tabloid hysteria over the show—which likely only improves The Crown’s ratings anyway.