Will the new season of The Crown hurt King Charles?

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Reportedly, King Charles is not going to look the fifth season of The Crown, recreating his much-publicized media battle with Princess Diana during their divorce in the 1990s, complete with “Tampaxgate” and interviews by Martin Bashir. But few think like him: according to Netflix, the new season has already been on for over 100 million hours in the first week alone. Given the mass consumption of the Crownone wonders if the dramatization of some of the less popular moments of Charles’ life will negatively affect his public image, just two months after his accession to the throne.

“I don’t see that as a good thing,” says the royal best-selling author Sally Bedell Smith, including biographies of Charles, Diana, Queen Elizabeth and more recently the Queen’s parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother. Bedell Smith, who has seen the first seven episodes of the new season, admits that the creator Peter Morgan pays tribute to some of Carlo’s successes, especially in the episode «The Way Ahead». But he foresees that «the nods to the successes of the Prince’s Trust will be overshadowed by «Tampaxgate» and by the portrait Diana gives to Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in the book of Andrew Morton and in the interview for BBC Panorama».

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“In other words, The Crown continues to tip the Diana-Carlo dynamic strongly in Diana’s favoromitting negative behaviors of the princess such as her relations with the royal guard Barry Mannakeethe cavalry officer James Hewitt and the art dealer Oliver Hoare», says Bedell Smith, pointing out that Diana it was even accused of making nuisance calls to Hoare’s family home over the course of 15 months. According to Washington Post in 1994, Scotland Yard allegedly traced calls to Princess Diana’s private line at Kensington Palace, her mobile phone, area payphones and her older sister’s phone.

The writer also notes that while the new season of The Crown he recreated the Tampaxgate phone call, reporting verbatim the transcript, did not refer to the “Squidgygate” tape, the leaked phone call between Diana and James Gilbey in 1992. During the phone call, Gilbey repeatedly referred to the princess as “Squidge” or “Squidgy”. According to theEvening Standard, “Diana’s conversation is more or less about herself. Between chuckles, Diana’s voice trembles with self-pity, indignation, and vengeance toward those who have not grasped the full measure of her benevolence.’

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Reflecting on the treatment of the character of Carlo in the fifth season, Bedell Smith concludes that «the mythology about Lady Diana seems to be more solid than ever». And he adds: «Peter Morgan is extremely skilled in interweaving well-researched historical details with his own fiction. For most viewers it is impossible to distinguish the two strands and the audience’s fantasies come true».

With regard to the Way Ahead group represented in the series, Bedell Smith clarifies the origin and real intentions of the organization: «The group was born in 1994 to allow members of the royal family to meet twice a year and coordinate their agendas. Only after Diana’s death did the group begin to focus on expanding the monarchy’s appeal to young people and making it more accessible,” explains Bedell Smith, “The impetus was given by the Queen and Prince Philip, who they understood that they should apply some lessons learned in the era of Diana».

The biographer also notes that Princess Diana was not sitting alone in her Kensington Palace apartment the night Charles’ interview with Jonathan Dimbleby aired: she was too busy making a stir with her revenge dress at a party of Vanity Fair at the Serpentine Gallery in London.

Bedell Smith says that Carlo’s media headaches aren’t over. He is referring to the release of Netflix’s mysterious docuseries on the prince Harry And Meghan Marklebut also to Harry’s highly anticipated memoir, Shoot.

While the real Camilla enjoyed seeing previous seasons of The Crown, finding them “amusing”, Carlo stopped watching the series before finishing the fourth season: “It was too close to the bone”, declared the king.

Source: Vanity Fair

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