‘The Crown’ creator has ‘enormous sympathy’ for King Charles III

‘The Crown’ creator has ‘enormous sympathy’ for King Charles III

The executive producer insists that Netflix’s royal family drama is not unkind towards the monarch in the upcoming season.


The upcoming fifth season of The Crown depicts the separation and divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in the 1990s, with Dominic West playing Charles and Elizabeth Debicki portraying Diana. It was a period during which Charles’ reputation was battered as details emerged about his relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles, played by Olivia Williams on the new season, and its impact on the royal marriage.

Season 5 of The Crown launches on Netflix Nov. 9 just two months after Charles became King following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and some people have expressed concerns that the show’s depiction of the era could affect King Charles III’s image at time when he is still trying to establish himself as the monarch of the U.K. On Sept. 22, Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, the most pro-royal of the U.K.’s broadsheet newspapers, published an article headlined, “The Crown‘s decision to show ‘all-out’ war between Charles and Diana raises concerns at Palace.” The newspaper quoted a friend of the new King who called the show “exploitative” and said Netflix would have “no qualms about mangling people’s reputations.”

So should the new King have concerns about the manner in which he is depicted in the upcoming season? We put that question to The Crown creator and head writer Peter Morgan.

“I think we must all accept that the 1990s was a difficult time for the royal family, and King Charles will almost certainly have some painful memories of that period,” he says in EW’s EW for cover story about season 5 of The Crown. “But that doesn’t mean that, with the benefit of hindsight, history will be unkind to him, or the monarchy. The show certainly isn’t. I have enormous sympathy for a man in his position, indeed a family in their position. People are more understanding and compassionate than we expect sometimes.”

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attends the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral; Peter Morgan accepts the award for outstanding Writing For A Drama Series for The Crown

King Charles III and ‘The Crown’ creator Peter Morgan

| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage; David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

West also says that he has sympathy for Charles and that the season will show the divorce from the perspective of the then-Prince of Wales as well as Diana.

“In any divorce there are two sides and very much so in this divorce,” says the actor. “If you read the side that comes from Diana’s people, he’s the villain, and I think Peter’s script reflected that in part, and reflected also what was coming out of Charles’ side. I just wanted to play the emotional truth of it, what happens when a marriage breaks down. I think in this case you could see where both sides are coming from and that neither and both were to blame.”

See West talk more about playing Charles and the upcoming season of The Crown in the video above.

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