Former PMs Tony Blair and John Major hit out at The Crown for 'hurtful' and 'utter rubbish' depictions

4 November 2022, 23:52

Tony Blair and John Major
Tony Blair and John Major. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Two former Prime Ministers have slammed hit Netflix drama the Crown for its depictions of their dealings with the Royal family in the 1990s.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Former Conservative PM Sir John Major wrote a letter to the Daily Telegraph condemning a "hurtful" scene in the new season.

The sequence is expected to show then-Prince Charles cutting short a holiday with Diana, Princess of Wales, to host a secret meeting with Sir John at Highgrove in 1991 - to discuss potentially ousting the Queen.

Sir Tony Blair, the Labour PM from 1997-2007, is also shown in the new season in discussions with the Prince of Wales about arranging a marriage to his now-wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, in 1997.

Imelda Staunton and other cast members filming the new season
Imelda Staunton and other cast members filming the new season. Picture: Getty

Sir Tony's spokesman told the Telegraph: "It should come as no surprise that this is complete and utter rubbish."

In his letter, Sir John, who was Prime Minister from 1990-1997, 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."

Royal Biographer, Andrew Morton says 'there's no sign that Prince Harry will go back into the fold'

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."

Netflix has put a disclaimer on the trailer for the new season, which starts on November 9, saying the production is a "fictional dramatisation" and "inspired by real events".

Read more: ‘Damaging and malicious fiction’: Sir John Major attacks The Crown amid fears over King’s reputation

Read more: Fury as Netflix's The Crown to dramatise Diana's interview with Bashir - despite William's pleas

Sir John's letter comes after he called the show "damaging and malicious fiction" earlier this week.

A spokesman for Sir John said: “Sir John has not cooperated – in any way – with The Crown. Nor has he ever been approached by them to fact-check any script material in this or any other series.

“Discussions between the monarch and prime minister are entirely private and – for Sir John – will always remain so.

The plot lines were described as “damaging and malicious fiction” and “a barrel-load of nonsense peddled for no other reason than to provide maximum - and entirely false - dramatic impact”.

Netflix has previously made clear that The Crown is a dramatic series and has never sought to portray it as a documentary.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A new study has revealed the impact of 'shrinkflation'.

Festive faves hit by ‘shrinkflation’ as shoppers show how Christmas treats have declined in size over the years

Rishi Sunak is hoping to appease the 'vast majority' of Tory MPs with the new legislation.

Sunak to ‘cut through middle’ on Rwanda plan in bid to appease ‘majority’ of Tory MPs as ministers threaten to quit

Mr Johnson is expected to apologise to the Covid Inquiry and acknowledge the government did not get everything right during the pandemic.

Boris Johnson to tell Covid Inquiry he 'delayed first lockdown based on Chris Whitty's advice'

Police have linked an assault that took place hours before Anthony's murder to the investigation.

Cold case detectives link baseball bat assault to unsolved 1984 murder as they appeal for witnesses

A woman has died and two have been injured.

Woman, 42, dies after east London shooting as murder investigation launched

His wife Elizabeth Hines announced his death on Tuesday evening.

'He'll be remembered with great fondness': Paul McCartney leads tributes to Wings guitarist Denny Laine

The King and Queen were joined by William and Kate for the Diplomatic Reception.

Business as usual: Royal family puts on united front at diplomatic reception in first joint appearance amid race row

US Russia Detainees

Russia rejects offer over jailed Americans Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich

Israel Palestinians Hamas IS

Netanyahu says Israel must retain control of security in Gaza after the war

House Explosion Virginia

Man believed to have fired shots before Virginia house exploded is dead: police

Jonathan Majors Assault Case

Jonathan Majors’ accuser said actor’s ‘violent temper’ left her fearful

Johnson was jailed for two years for preventing a burial and was given concurrent six-month sentences for each of the three fraud charges.

Carer jailed for storing pensioner's body in freezer for two years after being 'overcome with grief'

Cameron meets Nelson Mandela

Hamas officials join Mandela’s family to mark 10th anniversary of his death

Everything the High Court has heard so far in Harry's legal fight against the Home Office.

Why is Prince Harry challenging the UK government in court? Everything we know so far

The Home Secretary has described a new migration treaty with Rwanda as far more ‘robust’ than previous proposals

'Thousands of asylum seekers will be taken in from UK', Rwandan Govt tells LBC, but criminals will be sent back

Haiti President Killed

Former DEA informant pleads guilty in 2021 assassination of Haiti’s president