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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Ellie Harrison

‘Patronising’: The Crown’s Claudia Harrison dismisses calls for a disclaimer on Netflix drama


Claudia Harrison is among several stars of The Crown who have joined Jonathan Pryce in dismissing calls for the Netflix drama to carry a disclaimer about historical accuracy.

In October, Prince Philip star Pryce said he was “hugely disappointed” by the reaction to the forthcoming fifth series, after Judi Dench asked Netflix to add a disclaimer to the start of each episode stating that The Crown is a “fictionalised drama”.

Netflix didn’t add a disclaimer to each episode, but it did add one to the season five trailer.

Speaking to The Independent about the backlash, Harrison – who plays Princess Anne – said the calls for a disclaimer are “patronising”.

“Everyone’s fully aware this is a meticulously crafted and researched piece of historical fiction,” she added. “It is a drama and I think everyone’s comfortable with that after this debate.”

She urged people to “turn the noise [of the debate] down and watch the show”.

Marcia Warren, who plays the Queen Mother, had a similar view. “I think people are sensible enough to know we don’t know the dialogue that went on behind closed palace doors,” she said, “and you do have to make it up, which [writer] Peter [Morgan] so brilliantly does.”

Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce in ‘The Crown’ (©2021 Netflix, Inc.)

James Murray, who portrays Prince Andrew, added: “Worryingly, it could set a precedent that we have to disclaim any television drama going forward if there is any connection to real life. It’s called artistic licence, I think the audience around the world are pretty au fait with it, especially by season five of this show.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Harrison said she thinks the British public will be “surprised by” the “truth” of the tampongate scandal when it’s depicted in the show.

The Crown season five arrives on Netflix on 9 November.

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