Proof that viewers of The Crown have been mistaking fiction for fact in the Netflix drama has emerged in online debates about the controversial show.
Since the latest series launched, dozens of critics have complained that many events portrayed on the screen were either distortions of the truth or simply never happened.
But online comments by viewers of the show reveal that many have accepted the fake storylines covering Charles, Camilla and Diana as historical fact.
Many of The Crown’s audience have been fooled by the depiction of Charles and Camilla’s close friendship. Emerald Fennell is seen above playing Camilla while Josh O’Connor plays Prince Charles
Examples include the incorrect assertion that Charles and Camilla conducted an affair throughout the Prince’s entire relationship with Diana. In reality, Charles had practically no contact with Camilla for five years after his marriage in 1981.
But many of The Crown’s audience have been fooled by the depiction of Charles and Camilla’s close friendship, with one writing on Twitter: ‘I am loving this season of The Crown. I had no idea Charles’s affair with Camilla was happening during their entire relationship – dating/engagement/marriage… ugh. No wonder Diana was so miserable.’
Another expressed shock that Charles and Camilla had enjoyed a ‘fully fledged affair’ from the start of Charles and Diana’s relationship. In fact, Charles and Camilla’s affair resumed in 1986 – by which time the marriage had, as the Prince himself famously put it in a TV documentary, ‘irretrievably broken down’.
One poster wrote: ‘Almost everything in The Crown is true. And there is even more that hasn’t been covered. How they isolated Diana, how they laughed at her, made her feel crazy, Camilla playing hostess in Diana’s home.’ Another viewer said: ‘It’s been days since I found out Diana’s bulimia was brought on because of Charles and it still makes me SOOOO angry!’
Examples include the incorrect assertion that Charles and Camilla conducted an affair throughout the Prince’s entire relationship with Diana. In reality, Charles had practically no contact with Camilla for five years after his marriage in 1981
One fan wrote: ‘I’m sorry most of The Crown is true, a few things were a little different but Charles cheated and married Diana for the heirs, he thought she was young and naive and would let him cheat… all the issues were from Camilla. Just think if that had not happened, Diana would be alive.’
Among other comments, Anna Gifty tweeted: ‘Prince Charles is trending because Gen Z and Millennials are (re)learning about the abuse Princess Diana was subject to. Harry and Meghan’s exit always made sense, but now watching The Crown, it morally made sense. Harry left to protect his family, the family he chose.’
Another gloated: ‘Enjoyed The Crown season four but absolutely loving everyone’s renewed hate for Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.’
Last night, Royal experts said the portrayal of Charles and Camilla was yet another example of the Netflix series failing to portray the Royal Family truthfully.
Author Sally Bedell Smith, who has written biographies of the Queen, Charles and Diana, said: ‘I am very sad to say that I have heard it over, over and over again that people take The Crown at face value and they believe everything they see in the series, and that includes Charles and Camilla.
‘The notion in the programme that he entered into his marriage cynically with a view to continuing with Camilla and putting his new wife on the side is exceedingly dishonest and damaging. It is just simply not true.’
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, said: ‘The Crown is a very one-sided portrayal, which is really the Diana version. The sad thing for people viewing it is that they are going to take it as the correct story line, which it isn’t at all.’
Tory MP Colonel Bob Stewart branded the portrayal of Prince Charles as ‘wildly inaccurate’.
Col Stewart, a former battalion commander in the Cheshire Regiment, frequently spoke to Charles, the regiment’s colonel-in-chief, during a tour of Bosnia in 1992 and 1993.
‘That is not the Prince Charles I knew,’ he told The Mail on Sunday. ‘Please, please God, people, do not think that this is an accurate portrayal of the heir to the throne.’