Netflix’s The Crown does not have royal approval, Buckingham Palace has insisted.
The lavish drama, which charts the life and reign of Her Maj, has been a huge smash hit for the streaming giant, picking up awards and nominations galore. That’s partly tanks to the cast, with national treasure Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies about to take over from Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip for Season 3 – joined by Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret and Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles – and it’s partly thanks to the writing team led by Peter Morgan.
Morgan, who is a dab hand at translating actual events into compelling drama, spoke recently to The Guardian about the process of writing the series. The newspaper noted that he “meets members of the royal household four times a year – ‘people who are very high-ranking and very active within the organisation'” and that he respectfully tells them what he has in mind.
“They brace themselves slightly,” he added.
If those comments, though, suggest an approval or endorsement of the programme by the Palace, the royal household has stepped in swiftly to stamp it out.
The Queen’s communications secretary, Donal McCabe, wrote a letter to The Guardian, which cautioned against the idea that The Crown is “made with some sort of endorsement by the royal household, or an acceptance by the royal household that the drama is factually accurate”.
“We appreciate that readers of the Guardian may enjoy this fictionalised interpretation of historical events but they should do so knowing that the royal household is not complicit in interpretations made by the programme,” he commented. “The royal household has never agreed to vet or approve content, has not asked to know what topics will be included, and would never express a view as to the programme’s accuracy.”
The letter comes ahead of the third series, which launches in November and features Olivia Colman in place of Claire Foy as the Queen.
There was, however, approval by the Palace for the hiring of David Rankin-Hunt, CVO MBE KCN TD, a former member of the royal household who is The Crown’s consultant for royal protocal.
“Before taking up the role on The Crown I was anxious to get the approval of the Palace,” he told The Guardian. “Which I obtained.”
The Crown Season 3 will premiere on Netflix on Sunday 17th November.
Olivia Colman talks stepping into Claire Foy’s shoes in The Crown Season 3
15th August 2019
Olivia Colman has joked that stepping into Claire Foy’s shoes for The Crown Season 3 was “horrendous”, opening up about the looming return of Netflix’s royal drama.
The lavish series, which charts the life and reign of Her Maj, has been a huge smash hit for the streaming giant, picking up awards and nominations galore, not least for Foy’s turn as the monarch. Now, though, she is handing the crown over to national treasure Olivia Colman, as Season 3 sees the programme move through history too quickly for its cast to portray the royal family believably – and so, led by Colman, the show is undergoing a wave of recasting, from Jason Watkins as Harold Wilson to Outlander’s Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, not to mention Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Ben Daniels as Tony Armstrong-Jones, Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, Erin Doherty as Princess Anne and Marion Bailey as The Queen Mother.
Netflix has now confirmed that The Crown Season 3 will premiere on Sunday 17th November. While we wait for a trailer to give us a proper glimpse of the cast in action, the cast have spoken to EW about what to expect.
“It’s the same as any classical play you do — everyone will have already played that part before,” she said of replacing Foy. “The first week, I did feel myself trying to do Claire impressions. ‘What would she have done?’”
Following Foy’s work was “horrendous”, she kidded. “Everyone loves Claire Foy, so I have got the worst job in the world at the moment.”
She also admitted that it was challenging at first to mimic the Queen’s voice.
“Once you start going through it, you realise that every syllable in every word…you’ve got it wrong,” she commented.
Colman also spoke about the shifting relationship between Elizabeth and her husband: “Between them they’re more settled, aren’t they? Slightly more mature, they’ve got all of their children now. It’s more external factors that are bothersome.”
Those will include the scandal brewing between HBC’s Margaret and Lord Snowden, played by Ben Daniels.
“They’re such extraordinary people,” commented Daniels, “Completely addicted to each other. Even right up until the minute they were getting divorced, they still had a really strong physical relationship. People often said that it was like foreplay for them, having a big row. They would have these huge rows and then amazing sex.”
How will audiences cope with adapting to a whole new ensemble cast? Morgan said he was confident it would work.
“It’s a bit like changing contact lenses,” he said. “I think it takes you about five minutes to get used to it.”