The Crown’s sixth and final season will land on Netflix in two parts, the first one being released on November 16 and the second on December 14. The historical drama has been mesmerising royal fans since its initial launch in November 2016 – but it’s not come without its fair share of criticism either. Its last season of the series has been hugely criticised as the first part is set to cover the final months of Princess Diana’s life, as well as the devastating impact of her death on the family and the world.
The second part will focus on the late Queen’s life as she approached her Golden Jubilee, the marriage of Charles and Camilla, as well as the blossoming romance of William and Kate. But a question that has left many people wondering is whether the members of the real Royal Family have watched the famous show, or responded publicly? Here Express.co.uk takes a look.
Out of the royals, the Duke of Sussex has been the most vocal on the controversial Netflix series. In February 2021, after Harry had left the Firm, he spoke about The Crown on The Late Late Show With James Corden. He said: “They don’t pretend to be news. It’s fiction… But it’s loosely based on the truth. “It gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle, what the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that.
“I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife, or myself.” The Duke then suggested that actor Damian Lewis would be his pick to play him on the show. A few months later in May, the prince was asked again about the series while on Dax Shepard’s The Armchair Expert podcast. The royal joked: “I’ve seen elements of it…I hear it’s very popular.” He went on to tell Shepard he’d only recently been asked about it by Corden. And he added that “seeing your life written about is something the royals are told they need to accept.”
“I don’t think you ever get used to it [having your life written about] but it is part of that life where you kind of have to—at least or certainly I was told this for many years—it’s just the way that it is you have to accept that they are going to write xyz about you.” “It’s like ‘but what if it’s not true,’ yeah right and it’s like ‘well just don’t show them that you care because if you show them that you care then they’re going to do it more and more and more.’ So basically you’re screwed, like there’s absolutely no way out of this and so yeah.”
In January 2023, the Duke admitted that he’d watched the Netflix series. The royal was asked about season five, which covered the dramatisation of the breakdown of his parent’s marriage in the 1990s. Harry replied: “Yes, I have actually watched The Crown—the older stuff and the more recent stuff.” Asked whether he’s ever been tempted to “fact-check it”, the prince said: “Yes, I do actually. Which, by the way, is another reason why it’s so important that history has it right.” Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, admitted to watching “some of it” during the couple’s CBS interview in March 2021.
While the heir to the throne has not spoken officially about the series, his dislike for it has been known for a while. In 2022, a source close to Prince William claimed the royal thinks The Crown is “damaging” to the Royal Family as it’s “harsh and hurtful”. They told The Sunday Times: “[Prince William] has spoken about it, and now, as it is coming closer to the present, he is particularly concerned about it. William does think it is damaging.
“The Royal Family know a lot of it is nonsense, but it is really harsh and hurtful.” Earlier this month, it was reported that the Prince of Wales will not be watching the final season of the show a will be “totally sickened” by the scenes of Princess Diana’s ghost. One of his friends added that it’s “incredibly hurtful” for William to “have his mother exploited over and over again in this tawdry fashion by Netflix.”
Queen Elizabeth II
According to reports, the late Queen used to watch the series and “she really liked it”. The actress playing Princess Margaret on the show’s first two seasons, Vanessa Kirby, once claimed her friend overheard Princess Eugenie talking about the show at a party in 2017. She told Harper’s Bazaar:”A friend of mine was at a party and didn’t know anyone, so he sidled up to this group who were talking about The Crown.” “One girl said, ‘Well, my granny watches it and really likes it.’ It slowly dawned on him that the girl was Eugenie and her granny was the Queen.”
Princess Eugenie has previously admitted to watching “a couple of episodes” of the show. She told Hello in 2017: “It is filmed beautifully. “The music is wonderful, the story is beautiful. You feel very proud to watch it. I can’t speak for everyone, but that’s how I felt when I watched it.”
Princess Eugenie’s mother, Sarah Ferguson revealed to Us in 2021 that she “loved” her wedding scene and the way it was portrayed on the show. She said: “I thought it was filmed beautifully. The cinematography was excellent.”
During the Anne: The Princess Royal At 70 documentary in 2020, the Princess Royal admitted that she found season one “quite interesting.” She also commented on actress Erin Doherty’s comments that styling her signature coif to play Anne took up to two hours. “The actress was talking about how long it took them to do their hair like I did, and I’m thinking, ‘How could you possibly take that long?'” she said. “I mean, it takes me 10 or 15 minutes.”
Princess Diana’s brother said of the show on ITV: “The worry for me is that people see a programme like that and they forget that it is fiction. “They assume, especially foreigners, I find Americans tell me they have watched The Crown as if they have taken a history lesson. Well, they haven’t.” He also revealed Netflix asked for permission to film at Althorp, the Spencer family’s estate, but he denied access.
Zara and Mike Tindall
Mike said in 2020: “I only got about halfway through season three, so I started watching season three last night and then I’ll catch up. But I’ve seen it all over the place, and on these popular midday TV show.
“I’m quite intrigued to see where they go with it because obviously, it’s an era people are fascinated with. It’s getting to more things that people know about, isn’t it, and have opinions about — so that’s where it gets difficult” His wife has joked that she wanted Jessica Biel to play her on the show.