A New Trailer for “The Crown” Just Dropped—Here’s Why Its Causing Controversy

The Queen's recent passing has reignited questions around the latest season of The Crown.

Enthusiasts of The Crown can rejoice. Season 5 of the award-winning Netflix series is set to stream on Nov. 9.

Not only is the exciting season release impending, but Netflix also gave fans an extra treat by dropping a captivating new Season 5 trailer on YouTube filled with monarchy drama and royal family scandals galore. There’s no doubt this season will continue to uphold The Crown‘s status as one of the best shows on Netflix. However, the show’s latest trailer may highlight some present-day drama going on behind the scenes.

What is the controversy?

For the first time in the show’s history, a “fictional disclaimer” has been introduced in a trailer description of the show. The disclaimer states: “Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatization tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign.”

Since the beginning of The Crown, the series has gotten plenty of backlash for what it gets wrong about the British royal family. Historians have consistently critiqued the historical drama for its inaccurate portrayal of certain storylines like the royal family manipulating Camilla and Charles’s relationship, and Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s wedding.

As a result of the show’s inaccuracies, many have pushed for show-runners to include fictional disclaimers at the start of each episode. Yet, Netflix has never agreed to do so.

Why is there controversy around the new season?

The show’s newest season has received backlash in part due to Queen Elizabeth’s recent passing. A storyline in which Charles attempts to pressure the Queen to step down from her role during the 1990s is particularly causing a stir amongst experts due to its inaccuracy and is seen by some as disrespectful. Especially because there were many reasons why Queen Elizabeth never stepped down from the throne. Former British Prime Minister John Major even went as far as to call the show a “barrel-load of malicious nonsense.”

However, there are experts and celebrities—like Joy Behar from The View—who argue that the show is clearly a fictional depiction of royal life. Joy Behar voiced her opinion by saying: “they tell you at the top that it is not a documentary and if you have a brain, you can figure out that the writers have used history.”

Additionally, Netflix has previously commented that they “have always presented The Crown as a drama—and we have every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction.”

Nonetheless, the criticism has caused enough of a stir this season for Netflix to add the disclaimer to the trailer description.

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Who has commented on the need for a series disclaimer?

Most notably, actress Dame Judi Dench wrote an open letter to the popular British newspaper The Times. She emphasizes that the newest season is “damaging” and “an inaccurate and hurtful account of history.” In reference to the Queen’s death, the actress pleaded: “for the sake of a family and a nation so recently bereaved” Netflix should “reconsider” their prior rejection of including a fictional disclaimer.

And Dench is not alone in her calls for the show to emphasize its dramatized nature. In November 2020, following the release of The Crown season 4, Helena Bonham Carter—who played Princess Margaret—voiced similar sentiments. She argued that Netflix has “a moral responsibility to say ‘hang on, guys, this is not a drama-doc, we’re making a drama.'”

What does the royal family think of The Crown?

Despite calls for the disclaimer, readers may be surprised to know that some members of the royal family watch—and enjoy—the show!

In a conversation with James Corden, Prince Harry confirmed that he watches the series and that “it’s loosely based on the truth.”

Bonus fun fact: According to a royal contributor, Queen Elizabeth loved to watch the show on Sundays! While she was not an avid watcher of the series, according to a source she watched the show “happily, she really liked it, although… there were some depictions of events that she found too heavily dramatized.”

The Queen’s enjoyment of the show is exactly how show-runner Peter Morgan intended her to receive it. He once called the series “a love letter” to the Queen.

What storylines does the trailer feature?

Regardless of the controversy, viewers can look forward to a compelling new season that follows the adventures of the monarchy throughout the 1990s.

Needless to say with trailer highlights like the 1992 Windsor Castle fire, Princess Diana’s revenge dress moment, her shocking tell-all 1995 Panorama interview and marriage drama, we’ll have our popcorn ready.

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Jessica Kaplan
Jessica Kaplan is the Assistant Editor of Trends, where she writes lifestyle articles for Readers Digest, Taste of Home, and Family Handyman. When she’s not writing, you can find her listening to a podcast or spending time with her dog.