The Crown Season 5

Netflix‘s truish-life drama The Crown returns for its fifth season. The Peter Morgan-led drama portrays the royal family through the trials and tribulations of the 1990s.

The new season starts with Charles and Diana’s 1991 trip to Italy, 10 years after their wedding and one year before they separated. The final episode is set in July 1997, a month before Princess Diana’s tragic death.

Many fans and real-life figures expressed concern over the show’s accuracy, including actress Judi Dench and former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major. Major and Blair, who appear prominently in the show, have slammed the show for being factually incorrect.

Dench penned a letter to the Times of London, dubbing the show “cruelly unjust” and “hurtful” and called for Netflix to add a disclaimer “for the sake of a family and a nation so recently bereaved.” Pryce, who appears in the latest series as Prince Phillip has said he is “bitterly disappointed” by his “fellow artistes” for publicly shaming the series.

So what is the biggest factual inaccuracies when it comes to the latest season of The Crown.

8/8 Did Prince Charles Meet With John Major About The Queen’s Abdication?

One of the most controversial scenes in the latest season is the meeting between Prince Charles (Dominic West) and the then Prime Minster John Major (played by Johnny Lee Miller). Charles talks about The Queen abducting and compares his mother to the former Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher who left her role and was replaced by Major.

Related:Why Dominic West Is So Nervous About Playing Prince Charles On ‘The Crown’

This meeting never happened and would be seen as constitutionally improper for the prime minister to meet with the heir to the throne on private.

Major’s spokesperson commented that “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)”.

7/8 Was Mohamed Al-Fayed Inspired By Seeing The Duke And Duchess Of Windsor In 1946?

In the opening scene of the third episode, a young Mohamed Al-Fayed saw the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in post-war Alexandria. The whole scene implied that this meeting with the royals inspired Fayed’s style and taste.

Whilst Al-Fayed did have an interest in power and had aspirations from a young age, this meeting never happened. In 1946, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were mainly living in France, with occasional visits to Britain and America. There is no record of a visit to Alexandria that year, let alone a young Mohamed Al-Fayed seeing them.

He did sponsor the Royal Windsor Horse Show between 1982-1998 and he did take out a 50-year lease of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s home, revamping it with his own money.

6/8 Did Princess Diana Ask For A Divorce Settlement Of £35 Million?

Princess Diana’s (played by Elizabeth Debicki) divorce settlement, although never made public, is believed to have been around £17 million, plus around £400,000 a year for her to maintain staffing costs for her private office. This was one of the largest in British legal history at the time.

Related: Elizabeth Debicki’s Biggest Roles Before Princess Diana

It is rumored that if she remarried, she would have lost Kensington Palace, her ongoing payments and the title of Princess of Wales.There is no evidence that she asked for such a large number

5/8 Did John Major Help The Divorcing Couple?

There is not any evidence that Prime Minster John Major played a role in the negotiations, although he did try to help the couple salvage their relationship.

Richard Toye told HistoryExtra that John Major “met separately with the Queen, Charles, and Diana, to discuss the issue before the couple’s divorce in 1996. Major’s biographer, Anthony Sheldon, later revealed that Diana sent the prime minister several appreciative letters.”

Related:How Queen Elizabeth II’s Death Affects Netflix’s The Crown

Major himself remains tight-lipped over the conversations that did take place between him and the royals. In October, his spokesperson said that “discussions between the monarch and prime minster are entirely private and – for Sir John – will always remain so.”

4/8 Did Prince Charles And Princess Diana Meet Privately After The Divorce Was Finalized?

Another much talked about scene in the fifth season is the meeting between Prince Charles and Diana at Kensington Palace after their divorce was finalized.

In this scene the pair talk about their time together and if they were actually ever happy in the relationship. They talk about the future of the monarchy and whether she wants William to become king.

Related: Claire Foy From ‘The Crown’ Has Earned A Huge Net Worth

There is no record of the two of them ever meeting again after their divorce. Sadly, their next meeting may have some in 1997 when Charles visited the Paris hospital after her untimely death.

3/8 Did Phillip Have An Affair With Penny?

In an early episode, we see Prince Philip build a relationship with Penelope Knatchbull (Natascha McElhone), Countess Mountbatten of Burma. In the show, their friendship forms after her daughter Leonora died of kidney cancer. In reality, they were friends before her daughter’s death, with Knatchbull staying at Balmoral over a decade earlier. At the time, the press believed she was Charles’ girlfriend.

It’s true that Prince Philip was an avid carriage driver and that they would take part in carriage driving competitions together. There is no evidence that he was the one to encourage her to take up the hobby. Their friendship was so enduring, she was one of just 30 mourners at his April 2021 funeral.

Despite alluding to it in The Crown, there is no evidence of Prince Philip and Penny Knatchbull having an affair.

2/8 Did Princess Margaret Reunite With Peter Townsend?

In one of the more emotional scenes in the film Margaret and Peter reunite, years after their love affair ended.

Whilst Margaret did appear on Desert Island Discs, it was all the way back in 1981, and Stardust was not one of her top tracks. On the show, her choosing their song encourages him to get in touch with her again.

Townsend and Margaret did meet again after her divorce from Lord Snowdon, with some saying as early as 1978. Sadly, the former lovers didn’t dance together at the Caledonian Club, Townsend never returned Margaret’s letters, and he actually died in June 1995.

1/8 Did Diana’s Brakes Stop Working?

In episode seven, Diana is traveling in her car when in her brakes start to fail when approaching a set of traffic lights. She changes her car, suspecting foul play.

There’s no evidence of this happening in real life, but Diana was very paranoid in the years leading up to her death. Diana’s former lover Hasnat Khan gave a statement during a 2008 inquest of her death, explaining that she had switched cars because she believed that the brakes had been tampered with.

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