The fifth season of The Crown promises to stir the hornet’s nest more than ever. And it is that although the series of Netflix Inspired by the British royal family, it will not arrive on the platform until November 2022, the plots that it will weave in its next chapters will dust off one of the darkest stages in its public image following the divorce of Diana of Wales and Prince Charles, the interviews granted by the princess and her death in 1997.
Throughout its four seasons, the series Netflix He has played with rumors and presumptions to the point of recreating moments with dramatic ends that, at times, did not leave his protagonist family well off. Like at the end of the last episode when Philip of Edinburgh seems to threaten Lady Di at the suggestion of divorce, or the selfish and whimsical portrait Prince Charles himself, among others. That is why friends of Queen Elizabeth II and her family would have opened the umbrella seeking legal advice to test the possibility that both they and the monarchy sue Netflix. A news that sounds like a covert threat but that probably has neither head nor tail.
As published The Sun, friends of the crown consulted the queen’s usual attorneys about their chances of suing the queen. Netflix if the series goes into swampy terrain. Both with the royal family and if the plot uses them directly as secondary characters. The experts, from the firms Farrer & Co and Harbottle & Lewis, They would have been advised that there are ballots to take to the platform and their series to trial. And, apparently, those friends would have shared the advice with the royal family itself, paving the way for a lawsuit that could be historic.
“Friends of the royal family sought legal advice ” declares a source to the tabloid. “The advice they received would also apply to the royal family. Although this is not direct legal advice given to the queen and her family, they have been made aware of this advice. “ Apparently aware that the fifth season could be the most controversial of all, another source assures that the queen’s lawyers would be attentive to everything that the series will transmit, especially after the millionaire contract that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle signed with the platform to develop their own content (it is estimated that it is close to $ 100 million). An alliance that might sound worrisome to the royal family and their friends.
The same source assures that the new season could “do a lot of damage ”, especially when we consider that viewers may think that the series is a faithful biography, rather than the adaptation with creative licenses that it is. People close to the royal family, biographers and experts in the field have publicly asked Netflix that includes a label that makes it clear that the series is not based on real events. Even the country’s Secretary of Culture, Oliver Dowden, got into the matter assuring Daily Mail that “Netflix should be clearer at the beginning that it is just that (fiction) “, basically because there are those who believe that viewers, especially the youngest and those from other territories, may think that what the series tells is completely real and, therefore, ruin the public image of a queen with a historical legacy. And in a sense they have a point. Proof of this is that the Twitter profile of Prince Charles of Wales and Duchess Camilla of Cornwall disabled comments after the premiere of the fourth season – which focused part of its plot on the affair and its emotional effects on Diana – in the face of the critical messages they received in their publications.
It is understandable that close family friends, who may appear portrayed in the series, seek legal advice when the fifth season will deal with raw and present issues in the memory of the world. Like the couple’s divorce, the controversial (and still questioned) interview that Lady Di gave Martin Bashir in 1995 – which will even have an episode dedicated exclusively to it (according to The Sun) – and, of course, the tragic death of the princess. So it was not surprising when we learned a few days ago that a friend of Lady Di who worked on the series as a counselor, Jemima Khan, had supposedly resigned because of how they were treating the story of the princess.
So far, and despite the requests, Netflix It has not placed any label that specifies that the series is a dramatization with touches of fiction. Given an opinion, it would be understood that doing so would reduce the impact of one of the most successful series on the platform. After all, that doubt between what is real and what is fiction fuels the curiosity around it, and even more so when the story has entered a modern stage with characters present in the collective memory.
According The Sun, the queen’s attorneys will keep their eyes open for anything that might damage her reputation. For example, yes The Crown “suggests something serious, like that the queen failed in her duties as sovereign and damaged the country.”
“Arguably that is a fact that a defendant would have to prove to be true and the defense threshold for that is much higher.” lawyer Helena Shipman tells the tabloid. “There are also other elements with the potential for a libel claim, like whether viewers believe what they are seeing is true or not. If they understand that the show is fiction, that it is a drama, their opinion of the queen would not go down. But the fact that you are being given some initial advice [a la reina] on the action for defamation she says that she would be considering that her interpretation is false “.
However, as much as legal advice is on the way, this news sounds more like an attempted warning but without much credibility. That is, anyone who has followed the series and the news around it in recent years, as well as the history of the royal family, can easily deduce that it is very likely that Netflix get away with it until the end of the series.
We just have to pay attention to how much the royal family always stayed away from public statements regarding scandals. To this we must add the statements that did Harry and Meghan this year to Oprah, telling the world that they asked the family for help in the face of the media harassment and the psychological consequences that the new wife was suffering, without any response. As well as the prince Andrew scandal and the accusation of alleged sexual abuse that relates him to Jeffrey Epstein, and that the monarchy keeps in the background as if it were not with them.
Sue Netflix for defamation or false representation would put the royal family in the public arena, being forced to demonstrate the truth that they wanted to deny. Both they and their friends are the ones who take the initiative. Any lawsuit for defamation could lead to the ventilation of dirty laundry and pronunciation of private topics that contradict the story that the series can make. Something that has never been part of the public profile of Queen Elizabeth II, quite the opposite.
According to the lawyer consulted by the tabloid, Helena Shipman de Carter-Ruck, one of the motivations to sue could be if Netflix shows the queen “acting coldly in the face of Diana’s death ”. However, the creator of the series, Peter Morgan, could just hide himself in that it is his creative opinion. Or the platform would only have to include the blessed label clarifying that it is a representation with creative freedoms and the family, or their friends, could end up exposed in legal ridicule causing more curiosity about the truth or media version. That is, feeding the gossip and rumors themselves.
In summary, if we take into account the scandals that have happened throughout the nearly 70 years of the reign of Elizabeth II and the few times that ‘The signature’ has spoken, Netflix he would have the winning ace to take the risk of shaping the story as it suits him best.
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