Netflix’s The Crown has never been particularly popular with royalists, despite the show’s sympathetic portrayal of the Queen – perhaps they don’t like to be reminded of the soap opera-esque controversies that have hit the monarchy over the decades? 

Which is rather amusing, because petty family drama is the most interesting thing (perhaps the only interesting thing) about the Royal Family. 

Now, UK Cultural Secretary Oliver Dowden has voiced his displeasure with the drama series. Speaking to The Daily Mail, Dowden said:

“It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that … Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.” 

Dowden is proposing a kind of “content warning” to accompany the popular series, which he accuses of doing lasting damage to the monarchy (it seems likely that the very existence of Prince “I don’t sweat” Andrew has done infinitely more damage than to the monarchy than a glossy Netflix drama ever could, but whatever). 

A source, reportedly close to Prince Charles, told the Daily Mail:

“It is quite sinister the way that [screenwriter Peter] Morgan is clearly using light entertainment to drive a very overt republican agenda and people just don’t see it. They have been lured in over the first few series until they can’t see how they are being manipulated. It is highly sophisticated propaganda.”

Funnily enough, you rarely hear these kinds of concerns voiced over historical dramas which depict British heroes in a ridiculously flattering manner, gloss over the horrors of colonialism, or politely avoid mentioning the monarchy’s flirtations with fascism. 

And, to be fair, many people do walk away from films and television series which are “based on a true story” with a warped understanding of said story, but if they really wanted to, they could research the facts for themselves.

Most people, I imagine, fully understand that artistic license is a thing, and can see for themselves that The Crown is listed on Netflix under “drama,” not “documentary.”

The Crown is already wildly popular, with no less than 73 million households across the globe having watched the drama series since it began in 2016 (at least, according to Netflix).

This kind of publicity is, most likely, only going to push those viewing figures higher – anxiety-ridden royalists might want to keep quiet, lest the public starts to wonder what all the fuss is about.

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