The historical drama, which first premiered in 2016, traces the long reign of Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II, which began in 1952. While the Netflix show has been dissected over the years for its dramatic interpretations of the royal family, Season 4 has sparked the most debates and headlines so far.
The current season, set in the ‘80s, focuses on the widely publicized marriage of Charles, now 72, and Princess Diana. The troubled relationship of the former couple, played by Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin, is a major storyline in the series.
Diana passed away in 1997 at age 36 from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash.
Deborah Mitchell, Camilla’s facialist for 14 years, recently told Insider that she was “a real Diana fan until I met the duchess.”
“I wasn’t expecting that she would be absolutely lovely in real life,” Mitchell told the outlet. “She’s a very thoughtful person, she’s very much for women’s rights, and if she does any charity work, she does it because she wants to, not because she has to, or for the fame. She doesn’t do anything for any other reason than that it’s the right thing to do.”
Mitchell also said Camilla is aware of the criticism she has received over the years. However, she refuses to let public perception impact her work as a member of the royal family.
“I can’t say what she’s told me, as that’s breaching confidence,” said Mitchell. “But I can say when people do say negative things, she understands that their perception might be very different. She can only be the way she is, and the words can only come out of her mouth kindly.”
Charles and Diana divorced in 1996, a year before her death. Charles went on to marry Camilla in 2005. Former royal butler Grant Harrold, who worked for the Prince of Wales from 2004 until 2011, also told the outlet that Camilla isn’t “cold” or “manipulative” as “The Crown” suggests.
Harrold described how Camilla put him at ease when he attended the royal family’s famous Ghillies Ball at Balmoral Castle. He was one year into working for the prince and was worried about attending the extravagant event.
“I was trying to work out how not to go, as I was worried I would do something wrong,” he admitted to the outlet. “The duchess said, ‘If you go, I’ll dance with you.’ Because she knew that would calm me down.”
“In this ballroom, it’s a huge ballroom – it can hold 150 people – when the royal family came down, she made a beeline across the room to find me to dance with her,” he shared. “This is what people don’t see.”
As for Charles, Mitchell told the outlet the prince’s portrayal in “The Crown” isn’t accurate.
“He’s not at all the way they portrayed him,” she said. “He’s strong, powerful and compassionate. And I think he’ll make an amazing king.”
Harrold said O’Connor, 30 has mastered his former boss’ voice and some of his mannerisms. However, “The Crown” shouldn’t have shown Charles “shouting and screaming all the time.”
“In seven years of working for him, he never raised his voice to me – not once, never,” said Harrold. “And we were close, I was around him a lot.”
Former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter has previously called “The Crown” a “hatchet job” on Charles, who is the heir to the British throne, as well as Diana. Arbiter has also accused the series of “stretching dramatic license to the extreme,” The Hollywood Reporter shared.
Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, has also said the show should carry a notice that “this isn’t true but it is based around some real events.”
“I worry people do think that this is gospel and that’s unfair,” the 56-year-old told broadcaster ITV.
Netflix has since rejected calls from British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to add a disclaimer to the series that states it is a work of fiction. The streaming giant said the show is presented in enough context.
“We have always presented ‘The Crown’ as a drama – and we have every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction that’s broadly based on historical events,” read a statement released by Netflix.
“As a result, we have no plans – and see no need – to add a disclaimer.”
“The Crown” creator Peter Morgan, whose work also includes recent history dramas “The Queen” and “Frost/Nixon,” has defended his work, saying it is thoroughly researched and true in spirit.
In a 2017 discussion of “The Crown,” Morgan said, “you sometimes have to forsake accuracy, but you must never forsake truth.”
Steven Fielding, a professor of political history at the University of Nottingham, said the suggestion that “The Crown” carry a disclaimer was “reasonable and yet pointless.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.