John Major dismisses The Crown as a ‘barrel load of nonsense’ | British news

As Netflix prepares to release its fifth season of big-budget royal drama The Crown, it has dismissed criticism of the latest season after former prime minister Sir John Major described it as a “barrel load of nonsense”.

Major’s comments were made after concerns were raised that a storyline in the hit show could damage King Charles’ reputation.

The former Conservative prime minister’s stinging attack came after reports suggested the show’s fifth series will feature Charles, when he was the Prince of Wales, plotting to oust the Queen.

It will reportedly feature imagined conversations in which he lobbies Major in an attempt to force his mother’s abdication. It is due to be published on November 9, nine weeks after the Queen’s death.

The fourth series of the hit series also came under fire for factual inaccuracies. This led to Oliver Dowden, the then Culture Secretary, calling for a “health warning” to be played before the show to make it clear that it is fictionalised, but Netflix refused.

On Sunday, the US streaming company hit back at the latest criticism, saying the show has “always been presented as a drama based on historical events”.

“Series five is a fictional dramatization that imagines what might have happened behind closed doors during a momentous decade for the royal family – one that has already been scrutinized and well documented by journalists, biographers and historians,” a spokesman said.

There was further criticism from broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby and royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith.

Dimbleby said so The crown “is full of nonsense, but this is nonsense on stilts”, while Smith said the program “does significant damage to people’s perception of history and their perception of the Royal Family”.

“It has been packed full of malicious lies from the beginning but this level of abuse is now beyond the pale,” she told the Mail on Sunday.

That upcoming series will cover some of the worst years for the British monarchy, including Queen Elizabeth’s “annus horribilis” of 1992, when three of her four children separated from their partners and a major fire broke out at Windsor Castle. It is said to contain Princess Diana’s Panorama interview with Martin Bashir after the breakdown of her marriage.

One episode reportedly depicts Charles, then the Prince of Wales, summoning Major, who was Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, to a secret meeting at Highgrove. Charles, played by Dominic West, suggests he wants to replace his mother by reversing the Conservative Party’s ouster of Margaret Thatcher a year earlier.

“What makes the Conservative Party succeed? Its instinct for renewal and its willingness to make room for a younger one. For almost 60 years, my great-great-grandfather Edward VII was kept waiting in the wings. He longed for responsibility, but his mother refused. And yet, when his time came, he proved his doubters wrong, and his reign was a triumph,” Charles tells Major, who is played by Trainspotting star Jonny Lee Milleraccording to the Sunday Times.

It also allegedly contains scenes where Major speaks of the royal family in derogatory terms.

Major, 79, hit back at the claims on Saturday with a spokesperson saying he has not “collaborated in any way with The Crown. Nor has he ever been approached by them to fact-check any scripted material in this or any other series.”

“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 unlikely and inappropriate subject ever raised by the then Prince of Wales (or Sir John). Neither Sir John nor Dame Norma have discussed the monarchy externally in these terms, the spokesman said.

The spokesman also condemned the show for allegedly depicting an imagined dialogue between the major and the queen, saying: “As you know, discussions between the monarch and the prime minister are completely private and – for Sir John – will always remain so … They are fiction , pure and simple.”

They said the scenes “should be seen as nothing more than noxious and malicious fiction. A barrel-load of nonsense acted for no other reason than for maximum – and utterly false – dramatic effect.”

The Crown, created and written by Peter Morgan, has been a hit for Netflix since it was first released in 2016. But royal courtiers are reportedly nervous about how Charles will be portrayed so soon after taking the throne.

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