Netflix has declined Culture secretary Oliver Dowden’s request to add a disclaimer to the start of The Crown season four episodes identifying the global hit series as a work of fiction.
The streaming network said to Deadline in a statement: “We have always presented The Crown as a drama – and we have every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction that’s broadly based on historical events.
“As a result we have no plans – and see no need – to add a disclaimer.”
Mr Dowden made the request last weekend. He told the Mail on Sunday: “It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that… Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”
Season four of The Crown has been the target of ire from some within Royal circles, upset at the alleged fabrication of some scenes and events, including aspects of the relationship between Prince Charles and his wife, Diana, and a letter sent to the prince by his mentor, Lord Mountbatten, warning him that his relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles was in danger of bringing “ruin and disappointment” to the Royal Family.
The Crown creator Peter Morgan explained that the letter was a fictional device to represent the truth of exchanges between Lord Mountbatten and the prince.
He said on The Crown’s official podcast: “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.’
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 on 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.”
Read RadioTimes.com writer Eleanor Bley-Griffith’s thoughts on this debate about The Crown.