Queen’s secretary ticks off The Crown writer Peter Morgan over claims that the Netflix show has royal approval
- Writer Peter Morgan claimed to meet with royal members to discuss storylines
- The Queen’s secretary Donal McCabe denied vetting or endorsing The Crown
- Show has sparked controversy by delving into the private life of Prince Philip
The Queen’s secretary has revealed the royal family is not involved with the making of The Crown, after the show’s writer claimed to hold regular meetings with courtiers.
The creator of the drama, Peter Morgan, 56, claimed to have four briefings a year with ‘high ranking’ royals so they could discuss storylines and ‘brace themselves’ for the show.
But the palace has denied vetting the series – which has previously sparked controversy by delving into the private lives of the Queen and Prince Philip.
In a letter to the Guardian, Donal McCabe, the Queen’s communications secretary, dismissed claims that the royal household endorses storylines or is concerned over its historical accuracy.
The creator of the drama, Peter Morgan (pictured), 56, claimed he gives four briefings a year to ‘high ranking’ courtiers so they can ‘brace themselves’ for the show
He wrote: ‘Your article may have the unfortunate consequence of leading your readers to believe that the television series The Crown is made with some sort of endorsement by the royal household, or an acceptance by the royal household that the drama is factually accurate.
‘We appreciate that readers of the Guardian may enjoy this fictionalised interpretation of historical events but they should do so knowing that the royal household is not complicit in interpretations made by the programme.
‘The royal household has never agreed to vet or approve content, has not asked to know what topics will be included, and would never express a view as to the programme’s accuracy.’
The letter was in response to comments that Morgan made in an interview with the Times.
The palace has denied vetting the series – which has previously sparked controversy by delving into the private lives of the Queen and Prince Philip
The protocol adviser to The Crown, former Army officer David Rankin-Hunt, also spoke to The Guardian and claimed that the Palace does not object to the show.
He said: ‘Very senior members of the Royal Household have said to me, ‘Oh, we love The Crown.’
‘If there were some indication from on high that it was some kind of scandalous production, that might be reflected in their view, don’t you think?’
The suggestion of virtual Royal approval will raise eyebrows and prompt a re-examination of some of the show’s more controversial storylines. In series one the Queen, played by Claire Foy, was shown questioning her decision to marry Prince Philip, played by Matt Smith.
Olivia Colman, Oscar-winning star of The Favourite, will play the Queen
The third series of The Crown will see Colman (pictured as Queen Elizabeth II) take over from Claire Foy in the role of Queen Elizabeth II
And in series two – which aired in 2017 – Her Majesty confronted her husband about his relationship with Stephen Ward, the high-society fixer at the centre of the Profumo sex scandal of the early 1960s.
The third series of The Crown, which will air on Netflix on Sunday November 17 and which covers the period 1964 to 1977, sees new actors take over the key roles. Olivia Colman, Oscar-winning star of The Favourite, will play the Queen.
Helena Bonham Carter will play Princess Margaret with Ben Daniels as her husband Antony Armstrong – Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon.
Helena Bonham Carter will play Princess Margaret with Ben Daniels as her husband Antony Armstrong – Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon
Matt Smith will also step down from his role as Prince Philip, with Outlander actor Tobias Menzies taking up the mantle.
X-Files actress Gillian Anderson has also been confirmed to be playing Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the upcoming fourth season.
Episodes will depict historic moments from the decade, including the 1966 Aberfan disaster and the first miner strikes between 1972 and 1974.
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