The Crown creator Peter Morgan has defended certain scenes in the Netflix drama’s latest series involving the Prince of Wales (played by Josh O’Connor) and his beloved great-uncle Lord Mountbatten (Charles Dance).
Fans have shared their views of the much-talked-about series’ fourth instalment after it landed on the streaming platform last week.
The opening episode threw us in the deep end as it featured the assassination of Lord Mountbatten as well as imagined interaction between Mountbatten and Charles.
In the scene we see Lord Mountbatten admonish a younger Charles for his pursuit of Camilla, who at the time was married to Andrew Parker Bowles.
After Charles accuses Lord Mountbatten of being a traitor, the elder writes a letter warning the future king he is in danger of bringing ‘ruin and disappointment’ to the family.
On the programme, the prince only reads the note after the IRA assassinated Lord Mountbatten in August 1979.
While no record of the letter exists, Peter believes the interaction to be based in truth, as he defended its inclusion in the show.
Speaking on the show’s official podcast, he said: ‘I made up in my head, whether it’s right or wrong, 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”.
‘It’s easy now to look back and say he had plenty of time. You don’t know that, do you? You don’t know the queen’s going to live as long as she does, or has done. As the heir, I think there was some concern that he should settle down, marry the appropriate person and get on with it.’
Criticism of The Crown has often focused on its portrayal of made-up events – with Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan sharing his distaste at the creation of the scene in question this week.
He said on Tuesday: ‘If I was Prince Charles I would think, wow. It’s one little bit that resonated with me. He had this extraordinarily close relationship with Lord Mountbatten who was of course murdered by the IRA.
‘The Crown has basically invented a letter that Lord Mountbatten sends Charles being very critical about his lifestyle. Now there’s no record of that letter ever being sent.’
While the show employs researchers to consult on the plots, Peter defended his right to creative freedom.
He said: ‘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 that’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.’
Season four of The Crown explores Charles’ relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales and actress Emma Corrin has won plaudits for her portrayal of Diana.
Even though Piers had also slammed the depiction of the Queen (played by Olivia Colman) as ‘grotesquely unfair’, former royal butler Paul Burrell felt the new season was a ‘fair and accurate dramatisation’ of the royal family’s treatment of Diana.
The Crown is on Netflix.