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Zoe Forsey & Jennifer Newton & Sophie Buchan

The Crown: 7 things from season 5 that never actually took place

The Crown is back on our screens with Netflix having just dropped season five and people are already eagerly awaiting the next episodes.

It has been announced that season six will be the last and although there is no official release date, it will likely be aired around November 2023, based on its release history on the streaming platform.

The cast, who will also be returning next year, have been widely praised with the likes of Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales and Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II both giving top performances.

READ MORE: The Crown: Who is Mohamed Al-Fayed and what is his connection to Princess Diana?

The 10 episodes of the latest series covers the Queen's "annus horribilis", the breakdown of Charles and Diana's marriage, the now King's affair with Camilla and the changing public view of the monarchy.

While Netflix has added a disclaimer before each episode explaining that it's a "fictionalised drama", many people have taken the content as fact.

Many of the storylines have shocked viewers - but are they true? We take a look at some of the biggest works of fiction in the latest season.

Charles's plot to get Queen the abdicate

One of the season's most controversial storylines shows Charles plotting to oust his mother when he was the Prince of Wales. It shows the heir to the throne calling the then-Prime Minister, John Major, to a secret meeting at Highgrove where he seeks help in a bid to replace his mother on the throne.

According to the Mirror, Charles says: "What makes the Conservative party successful? Its instinct for renewal and its willingness to make way for someone younger. For almost 60 years my great-great-grandfather Edward VII was kept waiting in the wings. He longed to be given responsibilities but his mother refused. And yet when his time came he proved his doubters wrong and his reign was a triumph."

However Major slammed the storyline, which appears in the first episode, and the show overall, with a spokesman telling the Telegraph he wasn't approached to fact-check any of the details.

The spokesman said: "There was never any discussion between Sir John and the then Prince of Wales about any possible abdication of the late Queen Elizabeth II – nor was such an improbable and improper subject ever raised by the then Prince of Wales (or Sir John). Neither Sir John nor Dame Norma has discussed the Monarchy remotely in these terms.

“As you will know, discussions between the Monarch and prime minister are entirely private and – for Sir John – will always remain so … They are fiction, pure and simple.”

Prince Philip warned Princess Diana over tell-all book

In the second episode, Princess Diana is seen collaborating with author Andrew Morton through mutual contact James Colthurst on the tell-all book Diana: Her True Story. In order to write the book, Diana records her thoughts on tape before passing them to Colthurst, who in turn gives them to Morton.

During this episode, Prince Philip hears about this possible collaboration and soon visits Diana to tell her that whilst he is fond of her, she needs to stop her errors of judgement and warns against airing the family's dirty laundry in public.

However, according to royal historian Hugo Vickers, Philip did not confront Diana before the book was published and instead read it when it was published in 1992 on a trip to Boston. He writes in The Times: "After that, there was a sympathetic exchange of letters between him and Diana in which he sought ways to keep the marriage going in the public eye, even though he accepted privately that it was not going well (I have read the correspondence)."

Mohammed Al-Fayed saw the Duke of Windsor in Egypt in 1946

Most of the third episode of the new season is dedicated to the story of Mohammed Al-Fayed and how he came to mix in royal circles.

In the opening of the episode, a young Al-Fayed is seen playing football in Alexandria, Egypt, where he was born and witnessing a visit by the Duke of Windsor (the former Edward VIII) and the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson.

It's suggested that the well-dressed Duke leaves an impression on the youngster, who wants to become an English gentleman.

However, it appears that the former royal couple were mainly living in France around that time, with no record of them visiting Alexandria or meeting Mr Al-Fayed.

The Queen shed tears before giving her famous annus horribilis speech

In episode four, the drama series recreates the famous moment the Queen gave a speech at the Guildhall to mark 40 years on the throne where she described 1992 as her "annus horribilis".

It was that year that Charles, Anne and Andrew all separated from their spouses and a fire destroyed a large part of Windsor Castle.

In The Crown, the Queen is seen becoming emotional and crying as she travels to the Guildhall alongside Prince Philip, and while giving the speech - however, this did not happen.

In addition, parts of the speech that are recreated deviate from the actual words the Queen delivered. For example in the show, the monarch talks about "the errors of the past", which did not happen.

Diana told Queen about Panorama interview

Episode eight of the new season focuses on Diana's BBC Panorama interview with Martin Bashir. The Crown depicts the secrecy behind how the tell-all chat was obtained and the lengths Bashir went to secure the interview. It then shows Diana requesting a meeting with the Queen and going to tell her mother-in-law she has recorded an explosive interview to air on the BBC.

However, Diana's former private secretary Patrick Jephson says this did not happen. In reality, it was he who told the Queen's press secretary about it just seconds before the BBC revealed it would be airing the chat.

Mr Jephson told The Telegraph: "I know it was made up because I was there, and I can tell you that the princess absolutely failed to summon up the necessary courage and delegated the job to me. So, sitting beside her in her Jaguar en route to an official engagement, I used the car telephone to call the Queen's private secretary and break the sensational news.

"In a comedy of confusion — the genuine mark of reality — the only person in the Queen's office at the time was Her Majesty's press secretary who thus got the vital information seconds before he received it first hand from the BBC."

Diana's comment on being future Queen

In some of this season's most controversial scenes, Diana can be seen giving her Panorama interview despite a plea from Prince William not to exploit the notorious chat featuring his late mother.

Most of the scenes however didn't involve her giving the interview but instead what we now know, how it was obtained. But whilst some of the interview is recreated, some of the dialogue does not match what was said in the original interview.

For example, when Diana is asked if she will ever be Queen, in The Crown version she says: "I don’t envisage myself ever being Queen, no. I don’t think many people will be calling for that, when I say people I mean those at the top, on my husband’s side.”

Meanwhile in reality she said: "I don’t think many people will want me to be Queen. Actually, when I say many people I mean the establishment that I married into."

John Major acted as intermediary in Charles and Diana's divorce

In the ninth episode, former Prime Minister Sir John Major is asked by the Queen to act as an intermediary in Charles and Diana's divorce.

He is depicted as a go-between for the warring couple and helping them come to a financial settlement. And although Sir John reportedly did try to prevent their marriage from breaking down in 1992, he did not get involved in their divorce.

Anthony Seldon, the former PM's biographer said that "any support and guidance Major could offer was to no avail. After it was clear that the marriage was unsustainable, his prime concern became the constitutional position".


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