The Crown's New Season Earned Harsh Words From Alleged Friend Of The Queen

Imelda Staunton as Elizabeth II on The Crown
(Image credit: Netflix)

Fans have been anxiously awaiting the fifth season of The Crown, which has been a critical darling for Netflix over the past several years. The wave of Emmy and Golden Globe Awards haven’t shielded it from scrutiny, however. A number of people who are allegedly close to the Royal Family have taken issue with the series’ depiction of the British monarchy. The level of backlash doesn’t seem to be slowing down at the moment, as the upcoming season just received some harsh words from a purported friend of the late Queen Elizabeth II. 

Detractors of the show have argued that the acclaimed drama has painted the royals in a mostly negative light. While the show depicts a wide array of real-life figures, Elizabeth II is the through-line, as the program has covered the various stages of her life. One of her alleged colleagues, however, doesn’t think the show has done an effective job. While speaking with The Times (opens in new tab), the unnamed person blasted the production for allegedly “vilifying” the members of the Royal Family:

I’m horrified by what is going on with Netflix and how they are vilifying the Royal Family. It is vicious. It’s as if they’re trying to destroy the Royal Family. It would have destroyed [Queen Elizabeth].

This kind of backlash also ensued around the time that the fourth season premiered in 2020. Those episodes were slammed by friends of Prince Charles, whose courtship with the late Princess Diana was a major storyline within the season. The unidentified confidantes declared that the show was merely “drama and entertainment for commercial ends being made with no regard to the actual people involved.” They also stated that the series “paints the Prince and Duchess in a very unflattering light.” 

At one point, the UK government also got in on the debate over The Crown’s merits by suggesting that a disclaimer be added to specify that it’s a “work of fiction.” That very thing has since been added and appeared before the trailer for Season 5. Based on the comments from the Queen’s alleged friend, it appears that the warning hasn’t completely eased tensions when it comes to public backlash. 

These new episodes, which are set to drop this month, are likely to be some of the show’s most widely analyzed installments yet. The fifth season centers on the continued reign of Elizabeth II, who’s now played by Imelda Staunton (of Harry Potter fame). It also covers the highly publicized divorce of Princess Diana and Prince Charles that occurred in the ‘90s. This is where the show’s timeline will end, as series creator Peter Morgan has already confirmed that it won’t cover Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship along with other contemporary, royal developments.

As of right now, reviews for Season 5 have yet to drop though, if they’re anything like the ones the show has seen in the past, they’ll be favorable. It remains to be seen, however, whether others who are close to the Royal Family will share more brutally honest thoughts once the episodes are available.

The Crown premieres its new season on Wednesday, November 9, as part of the 2022 TV schedule, so you’ll want to have a Netflix subscription if you plan to stream it.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.