Is The Crown fake history or entertainment?
Alas, to borrow a phrase from Boris, The Guardian didn't publish a letter I sent in response to a Simon Jenkins article about The Crown Netflix series
So here it is, for the internet ether to consider.
The best part of Simon Jenkins article is the last sentence suggesting a simple icon in the top corner of the screen reading F for fiction. The rest seems churlish — especially the listing of the problem 'facts' ending with the Queen being dressed incorrectly for the trooping of the colour. The Horror!
I would never have watched The Queen or The Crown thinking either was a documentary. They are both docu-dramas - entertainment with a capital E; part fiction because writers are asked to make some of it up so that actors can say what might have been said back in the day (all the while keeping the audience on their toes).
In the third series of the Crown on Netflix I found myself warming to Prince Charles after the episode about his time in Wales and his speech at his Investiture. It seems to be a sympathetic portrayal of his character. Or maybe it’s just because I found the actor (Josh O'Connor) to be so much more handsome than the real person ;~)
But, ultimately, The Crown has made me think more about what it must be like to be an actor in the real life drama of the Royal Family. It seems awful. Who would want it? I feel for them all.
Alison Hackett, 30 December 2020
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Alison Hackett — Director and founder of 21st Century Renaissance; author of The Visual Time Traveller 500 Years of History, Art and Science in 100 Unique Designs