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The Royal Family has never publicly expressed how they feel about Netflix series The Crown. While Matt Smith once revealed that Prince Philip wasn’t a fan, Queen Consort Camilla is said to have a good sense of humour about it.
The show has proven controversial in more ways than one ever since it hit screens in 2016, with the depiction of then-Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla while both were married to their previous spouses proving especially incendiary.
Now, it’s another alleged royal affair that’s provoking anger among commentators, including royal expert Dickie Arbiter: the rumour that linked the late Prince Philip to family friend Penelope “Penny” Knatchbull.
It was reported in 2021 that The Crown‘s upcoming season would include a Philip/Penny plot line, and predictions were made at the time that those in royal circles would not be too pleased about it, to put it mildly.
With season 5 set for release in November 2022, Dickie has commented in no uncertain terms on the storyline, which he called “very distasteful and quite frankly, cruel rubbish” (via Express).
“The truth is that Penny was a long-time friend of the whole family.”
The royal expert added: “Netflix are not interested in people’s feelings.”
He also felt that the timing of this new season was off, seeing as it will air “just weeks after the nation laid Her Majesty to rest next to Prince Philip.”
Production on The Crown season 6 was paused as a mark of respect to the late Queen on the day following her passing, as well as on the day of her funeral, but it seems a delayed release date was never on the cards.
A friend of King Charles’ recently echoed Dickie’s comments, saying that Netflix has “no qualms about mangling people’s reputations,” adding: “What people forget is that there are real human beings and real lives at the heart of this.”