Much has been made of “The Crown,” a television series based on Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. It has won awards and been hailed as one of the best shows of this era, but is it premium television or a trashy and exploitative show that turns one family’s heartache into entertainment for the masses?
Biographical, though fictional and dramatized, television shows and movies have been around for decades, but most of the time they have focused on individuals or families that are already dead. For example, “The Tudors” and “Versailles” both deal with life inside royal courts, in England and France respectively.
But “The Crown” has taken a different approach. Instead of dealing with a historical situation and people who have been dead decades or centuries, they are dramatizing the lives of people who are mostly still living. They are entertaining the masses by exploiting some of the heartache that has occurred in the House of Windsor.
It’s a work of fiction, but for far too many the lines between fiction and fact are blurring and it raises an interesting question, are the makers of “The Crown” treating the royal family with a modicum of respect?
This is coming to light as the creators are filming the fifth season, where the dissolution of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage will be explored. Though this happened about three decades ago, those involved still are scarred.
For Prince William in particular, will likely be incensed that a whole episode will focus on the BBC Panorama interview with Princess Diana, which was secured under false pretenses that have come to light recently.
The future Prince of Wales may also be frustrated that a scene featuring Princess Diana in her so-called black “revenge dress” was filmed very near his home at Kensington Palace.
Jemima Khan, who was as close friend of Princess Diana, also recently left “The Crown” over creative differences and her disapproval about how her friend’s story was being portrayed.
Though it was interesting to explore the first years of Her Majesty’s reign, “The Crown” moved quickly into the current era where they can exploit situations where almost every major player is still alive and most people still remember the news reports about what was happening.
It’s gone from a fun work of historical fiction to a program that cares little for how the people they are depicting feel about the manufactured drama created by the producers.
No one in the royal family gave permission for this series. As time goes on, they are undoubtedly more and more frustrated by the salacious turn it’s taken.
And sadly, there are many people who take the “history” fed to them by “The Crown” and believe that everything said between the characters and every situation is true, even if that is not the case. It can put various family members in a negative light as well, especially if they producers are trying to push their own agenda into it.
The British royal family, and especially The Queen, deserve respect. “The Crown” isn’t it. And as time goes on it’s becoming more and more clear that the glamour the show started with is descending into campy trash that should best be avoided.
Most members of the royal family did not choose to have every aspect of their life dissected and dramatized by a television show. Their own lives should be drama enough.
That’s why, as a true royal fan, I’ve avoided “The Crown.” I would rather learn history and see royals in action myself, than watch Hollywood creatives manufacture drama and damage the reputations of people who grew up in extraordinary situations.