The Crown makes Royals look like ‘inept idiots’ claims Levin
Harry and William have remained relatively tight-lipped as their family — in particular, their late mother — has been drawn back into the spotlight. Netflix’s incredibly popular drama, The Crown, aired its latest series last month — and the creator Peter Morgan put his own spin on how he thought Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles may have unravelled. Charles’s friends dubbed the series “trolling on a Hollywood budget”, but royal watchers still took to social media to declare their astonishment that Charles had supposedly treated Diana in such a way.
The Prince of Wales’s popularity took such a knock that he had to turn the comments off on his social media pages to deter trolls, and the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden even asked Netflix to add a label to the series declaring that it was fiction.
The BBC also launched an investigation into Diana’s 1995 BBC Panorama interview earlier this year.
As their parents’ marriage is back in the limelight, royal watchers have been waiting to see if William and Harry would speak out about the controversies.
Yet, royal commentator Howard Hodgson told Express.co.uk that Harry and William are in an “impossible situation” when it comes to addressing these two major events.
Prince William and Prince Harry are in an “impossible situation” over the Panorama investigation and
The Crown Season 4, right, depicts Diana and Charles’ love story
The brothers could not wade into the debates about how Diana and Charles’s marriage really fell apart, and the accuracy of The Crown’s portrayal, without seeming to undermine their mother.
Similarly, Mr Hodgson noted that the pair “could not speak out in defence of their mother” in her divisive Panorama interview without appearing to criticise their father.
For instance, Diana’s interview stunned the national audience when it was broadcast, as the Princess of Wales seemed to undermine the Royal Family’s unity.
She referred to Charles’s infidelity with Camilla Parker Bowles when she famously said: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
The BBC has recently started an inquiry into how journalist Martin Bashir secured the astonishing interview 25 years after it aired, amid claims he may have lied to the royal to lure her into talking.
William’s spokesman released a neutral statement which read: “The independent investigation is a step in the right direction.
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Diana’s BBC Panorama interview from 1995 is currently under investigation
The Crown’s portrayal has divided viewers over its accuracy
“It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time.”
Kensington Palace also said that he “tentatively welcomed the investigation”.
Harry did not address the matter publicly leading to criticism that he was not “standing” by his brother.
However, a source close to the Duke of Sussex said: “Harry is getting regular updates and is aware of everything that is happening.
“You do not need a public statement to imagine how he is feeling privately, people know how much his mother means to him.
“He has bravely spoken out in the past about loss and grief, and the immense impact it has had on him.
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Charles has rarely spoken out against Diana
“Sadly some people are not just seeing this as a drive for truth, but also trying to use this as an opportunity to try to drive a wedge between the brothers.”
Interestingly, the two brothers may also be seeking not to speak out against either the Panorama interview or The Crown on the tacit advice of their father.
Charles has always remained quiet on the topic of his first wife, even when she was discussing their marriage on TV.
His only prominent comment was uttered back in 1994, when he said he only began his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles in 1986, after his marriage had “irretrievably broken down”.
Since then, he has abstained from any mention of her in a public setting.
According to Mr Hodgson’s biography, Charles — The Man Who Will Be King, interviewer and journalist Jonathan Dimbleby said that the Prince of Wales had refused to discuss his first wife.
When he was writing Charles’s authorised biography, Mr Dimbleby was also instructed to remove any negative mention of Diana.
William and Harry have said very little about either The Crown or the BBC investigation
Charles does not want to say anything negative about Diana in the public eye
Mr Dimbleby explained: “The one thing that the Prince implored me to do, the only thing, was that I should do nothing to hurt the Princess, whatever I might hear from those of his friends who might be indiscreet enough, despite his injunctions to them that they would cease to his friends if they spoke poorly of the Princess.”
Charles was conscious of putting his sons in the middle of their marital problems and prioritised Diana’s role as Harry and William’s mother above any spat they were having.
Additionally, in the year after their divorce and leading up to Diana’s tragic death, the former couple actually began to mend bridges.
Despite Diana’s openness about her relationship, Mr Hodgson added: “He never considered media coverage to be a competition and certainly not a weapon to be used against Diana.”
• Charles – The Man Who Will Be King by Howard Hodgson was published by John Blake in 2007 and is available here.