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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Clare McCarthy

Is The Crown True? The real story behind the Netflix drama as Season 5 hits our screens with controversial scenes

The latest series of The Crown hit our screens today as the hugely popular Netflix show returns for its fifth season.

In the upcoming episodes, it will focus on plotlines involving the royal family in the 1990s with some highly controversial scenes.

The upcoming episodes of the royal drama are said to feature Charles and Diana’s marriage breakdown as well as Diana's tell-all interview with the BBC.

It will also delve into some of the biggest scandals that hit the royal family, many of them involving the new King.

READ MORE: The Crown star Dominic West opens up on starring alongside real son in season 5 of Netflix hit

The drama depicts real-life events from the history of the British royal family, but there are a few occasions where the show’s creators have imagined what could have happened behind closed doors in fictional scenes.

So what parts of the new season are true-to-life and what has been fictionalised?

Prince Charles plotting against his mother

Dominic West portrays the then Prince Charles in the fifth season of The Crown (PA)

One of the most controversial plotlines of the new season is when Charles, who was Prince of Wales at the time, is seen in one episode plotting to persuade his mother, the Queen, to abdicate the throne.

In one scene, Prince Charles, played by Dominic West, holds a secret meeting with then-Prime Minister John Major pitching himself as a replacement for the Queen back in 1991.

However, whether this conversation actually took place is unclear and spokesperson for Sir John Major denied it ever happened, calling the scenes “a barrel load of nonsense”.

The spokesman added: “There was never any discussion between Sir John and the then Prince of Wales about any abdication of the late Queen.”

Sir John Major denied the discussion with Prince Charles ever happened (PA)

Diana's tell-all interview

The latest series of The Crown takes inspiration from the pressure put upon the monarchy as Charles and Diana’s marriage was collapsing. Diana and Charles announced their separation in 1992 and their divorce was finalised in 1996.

It will also depict the lead-up to Diana's infamous BBC interview with Martin Bashir in 1995.

In the Panorama interview she aired her issues with her marriage and Charles and famously said: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded”.

Diana's tell-all interview was watched by an estimated 200 million people and became one of the most-talked about moments of the 20th century.

However, it emerged in 2021 that Martin commissioned fake bank statements in order to mislead Diana and her brother Earl Spencer into telling her story.

This season Diana is played by Elizabeth Debicki who is being hailed by critics as capturing the late Princess' charisma as well as her vulnerability.

The fifth season of The Crown will see Imelda Staunton taking over from Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II, while Jonathan Pryce will portray Prince Philip.

The cast also includes Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret and Jonny Lee Miller as former British Prime Minister John Major.

The Crown series 5 launches globally on Netflix on Wednesday, November 9.


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