What really happened? Royal historian Hugo Vickers revealed where The Crown got things about the royal family wrong.
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The Crown Dissected author, 69, exclusively told Us Weekly his theory that Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s dynamic on the show was biased. “It seemed to me to be entirely based on Diana’s accounts,” he said of season 4 of the Netflix series. “Prince Charles comes out of it, shockingly, and you know, he’s portrayed as a whip. And he’s also portrayed this time as a kind of, like, murderously evil character yelling at his wife in the most hysterical way. … Prince Charles had been really, really badly treated in this. And I think it’s very damaging to him.”
The Crown introduced Emma Corrin’s Diana in season 4 as she struggled with her relationship with Charles, played by Josh O’Connor. (The real-life pair were married from 1981 to 1996 and shared sons Prince William and Prince Harry. She died in 1997 following a car accident.)
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Vickers also shot down the premise that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) attempted to undermine the U.K.’s politics.
“She goes off to see the queen to ask her to dissolve Parliament and call a general election in order to save her skin. Well, that absolutely did not happen. And nor would it have,” he told Us. “That’s extremely damaging to Mrs. Thatcher to suggest that she would have used the constitution in that way, you know, ‘cause the prime minister does have the right to ask for a general election, but she certainly didn’t do that.”
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Other moments that stood out to the writer included Queen Elizabeth II allegedly having her press secretary feed information about Thatcher to the press and the royal family sending two relatives to a mental hospital. He claimed both of the instances were either untrue or exaggerated.
Charles, 72, and his wife, Duchess Camilla, disabled the replies on their Twitter account after the premiere of season 4 due to backlash. The move came after some social media users sent hateful comments to the couple as their romance played out on the show alongside his relationship with Diana.
The Crown is now streaming on Netflix.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi