The Crown creator says critics like Judi Dench ‘probably feel rather stupid’

Ahead of the release of the show’s fifth season last year, Dench, 87, wrote an open letter calling on the streaming platform to include a disclaimer that The Crown is a “fictionalised drama”, accusing its makers of “crude sensationalism”.

Meanwhile, the UK’s former prime minister Major, 80, described the series as “a barrel-load of nonsense” in response to scenes featuring conversations between him and the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The show’s penultimate season focused on her reign in the 20th century, after 40 years on the throne, and included an episode titled “Annus Horribilis” – the phrase Queen Elizabeth used to sum up her feelings about the year 1992 that saw “Camillagate”, a fire at Windsor Castle, and the end of the marriages of three of her four children.

Reacting to the criticism levied against depictions of the royals in The Crown, its creator Peter Morgan told Variety the show’s detractors “instantly fall quiet”after the release of a new season.

Morgan, 60, said: “All the criticism about The Crown’s attitude to the royals comes in anticipation of the show coming out. The minute it’s out and people look at it –whether it’s Judi Dench or John Major — they instantly fall silent.

“And I think they probably feel rather stupid,” the British screenwriter added.

Dench accused ‘The Crown’ makers of ‘crude sensationalism’ in an open letter last year

(Getty Images)

The Independent has contacted a representative of Dench for comment.

These include a fictitious scene in which then-Prince Charles (Dominic West) tries to persuade Major, who served as prime minister from 1990 until 1997, to force his mother to abdicate the throne.

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“This is both cruelly unjust to the individuals and damaging to the institution they represent,” the Skyfall star wrote.

(PA Media)

Elsewhere in the interview, Morgan said he “felt sympathy” for the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, who stepped down as a senior member of the royal family before relocating to the US with wife Meghan Markle in 2021.

The duke also made several bombshell revelations about his family’s alleged treatment of Markle and relationship with his brother, the Prince of Wales, in his memoir Spare.

Morgan said he hadn’t read Harry’s book “because I didn’t want his voice to inhabit my thinking too much”, adding: “I’ve got a lot of sympathy with him, a lot of sympathy.”

It is set to “sensitively” portray the death of the former Princess of Wales Diana, and will also cover the 2005 wedding of King Charles and Queen Camilla.