Former prime ministers Sir John Major and Sir Tony Blair have hit out at The Crown’s depiction of them.
The upcoming fifth series is expected to show Charles, played by Dominic West, cutting short a holiday with Diana, Princess of Wales, to host a secret meeting with Sir John at Highgrove in 1991, at which they discuss potentially ousting the Queen.
Sir John wrote in a letter to The Telegraph that it “will be profoundly hurtful to a family who are still grieving for the very person on whose life the entire drama was founded”.
Charles is reportedly shown trying to recruit Sir Tony as an ally to protect his future and pave the way for him to marry Camilla, shortly after the 1997 general election.
Sir Tony’s spokesman told the publication: “It should come as no surprise that this is complete and utter rubbish.”
In his letter, Sir John Major said: “Netflix may well take the view that any publicity is good publicity.
“But I assure them it is not – most especially when it disrespects the memory of those no longer alive, or puts words into the mouths of those still living and in no position to defend themselves.
“Fiction should not be paraded as fact.”
He continued: “I gather Netflix continues to refuse to put out a disclaimer at the top of the opening credits, on the basis that ‘everyone knows this is a drama series’.
“But this is simply not good enough. If everyone knows, why not acknowledge that?
“Without such action, many millions – around the world – could still be influenced by a damaging and fictional script, which claims ‘authority’ by being interspersed with historical fact.
“Entertainment is a great and glorious industry that brings enormous pleasure to many millions. Netflix should not demean it with portrayals which are both injurious and untrue.”
Last month Netflix put a disclaimer in the description of its YouTube trailer for the fifth series of The Crown, saying the production is a “fictional dramatisation” and “inspired by real events”.
The hit drama will return on November 9 and is to feature two episodes building up to the bombshell interview conducted by former BBC journalist Martin Bashir, according to The Sun.