Peter Morgan, the creator of The Crown, has defended the inclusion of fabricated scenes in the drama’s fourth series, in which Princes Charles (Josh O’Connor) is scolded by his grandfather-figure Lord Mountbatten (Charles Dance) on the subject of finding a wife.
In the first episode of the highly-talked-about fourth series, Mountbatten writes a letter to Charles, who is in danger of bringing “ruin and disappointment” to the Royal Family, discouraging him from pursuing the married Camilla Parker-Bowles (Emerald Fennell) any further.
In the show, the Lord is assassinated by the IRA shortly after writing the letter, which Charles does not read until after Lord Mountbatten’s death – however, no record of such a letter in real-life exists.
Speaking on The Crown’s official podcast, Morgan justified writing the scene by explaining that the interaction was based in truth.
“What we know is that Mountbatten was really responsible for taking Charles to one side at precisely this point and saying, ‘Look, you know, enough already with playing the field. It’s time you got married and it’s time you provided an heir.’
“As the heir, I think were was some concern that he should settle down, marry the appropriate person and get on with it,” he added.
He continued: “In my own head, I thought that would have even greater impact on Charles if it were to come post-mortem, as it were. I think everything what’s in that letter that Mountbatten writes to Charles is what I really believe, based one everything I’ve read and people I’ve spoken to, that represents his view.
“We will never know if it was put into a letter, and we will never know if Charles got that letter before or after Mountbatten’s death, but in this particular drama, this is how I decided to deal with it.”
The latest series of The Crown, which spans the length of Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister and examines Prince Charles and Diana’s marriage, has faced scrutiny since its release over the accuracy of the show’s events – although former royal butler Paul Burrell recently told ITV’s Lorraine that the series is “a fair and accurate dramatisation of what happened”.