It’s so funny to me to think that the Windsors were gleefully spreading around their own wishful thinking as “fact” in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death. Royal sources were eager to tell British outlets that they believed many books and projects would be put on hold, rewritten or canceled altogether. Instead, Katie Nicholl’s book is already making headlines, as is Valentine Low’s and Angela Levin’s. I have every reason to believe that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s projects were only paused temporarily for a couple of weeks. And Netflix said FULL STEAM AHEAD! Over the weekend. Netflix confirmed that The Crown Season 5 will start on November 9th, which was likely always going to be the premiere date. Netflix also dropped this teaser:
The first teaser for ‘THE CROWN’ Season 5 has been released.
The series releases on November 9 on Netflix. pic.twitter.com/vQrGU9pCRy
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) September 24, 2022
I can’t wait. People are so excited for this season! It’s the “war of the Waleses,” during John Major’s run as prime minister. It will apparently feature dramatizations of then-Prince Charles’s Jonathan Dimbleby interview and Diana’s Panorama interview. Ahead of the Season 4 premiere two years ago, Charles organized a completely unhinged PR campaign against Netflix and The Crown. “Sources close to Charles” cried for weeks and months about how The Crown got everything wrong. Well, now Charles is king. So he’s putting the full f–king weight of Buckingham Palace behind his campaign against The Crown now. From the Telegraph:
Buckingham Palace has moved to protect the reputation of the King as Netflix prepares to dramatise the “all out war” of his marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales in a new series of The Crown. The timing of its release could not have been worse for the King, whose popularity has surged since he became monarch, as it will remind viewers of the darkest years of his life, when he was the least popular member of the Royal family.
A senior royal source stressed on Sunday that The Crown is “a drama not a documentary” in the first sign of a push back against what will be uncomfortable viewing for the Palace.
Netflix decided not to delay the release of the fifth series, despite the death of Queen Elizabeth, whose “annus horribilis” in 1992 will be covered by the new episodes. It was the year in which Windsor Castle partly burnt down and both Prince Charles and Prince Andrew separated from their wives and the Princess Royal divorced Mark Phillips.
A spokesman for the streaming giant said the series had been completed before the Queen’s death and that no changes to it had been made.
A friend of the King described the drama as “exploitative” and said Netflix would have “no qualms about mangling people’s reputations”, even the late Queen’s. The source added: “What people forget is that there are real human beings and real lives at the heart of this.”
The King has never watched The Crown or passed comment on it, but the Queen Consort does watch it and made light of her own portrayal on screen by inviting Emerald Fennell, who plays her on screen, to an International Women’s Day reception at Clarence House earlier this year.
Royal aides believe the King and the Queen Consort will be better able to counter the portrayal of themselves in The Crown now that they have higher profile roles. Worldwide interest in the couple will be higher than it has been for decades after billions of people watched Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
One well-placed source said: “You will see the King and the Queen Consort on state business in the UK and abroad and people will have more of an opportunity to compare the real people with the fiction they see in The Crown. In the past they didn’t get so much coverage, so in that sense it was harder for people to be able to compare and contrast the drama with the reality.”
As we said many times around Season 4, if ten hours of prestige streaming content can ruin a prince’s reputation, then perhaps Charles’s careful twenty-year rehabilitation isn’t as strong as he thinks. Season 4 – and the Windsors’ reaction to it – showed that support for Charles and Camilla is a mile wide and an inch deep. As soon as people remember or learn about all of the sh-t he did to Diana in the 1980s and 1990s, it’s game over. Honestly, Season 5 is going to be so much worse than Season 4 as well – I hope The Crown shows the depth of the public hatred for Charles, and the dawning realization (from his own mouth) that he married Diana as little more than a broodmare, because his father forced him to.
Photos courtesy of Netflix, Avalon Red.