The Crown will 'heavily influence' young people's view of Charles

The Crown will ‘heavily influence’ young people’s view of King Charles in a negative light, but Princess Diana will ’emerge as a cultural icon’, royal expert predicts

  • Professor Maclaren says young audiences view series as ‘quasi-documentary’
  • The royal expert says Generation Z will view Princess Diana as a ‘victim’
  • The new series – which lands on screens tomorrow – will depict the end of Charles and Diana’s marriage and the King’s ongoing romance with Camilla

The Crown will ‘heavily influence’ young people’s view of King Charles in a negative light but Princess Diana will ’emerge as a cultural icon’, a royal expert has predicted.

Professor Pauline Maclaren of the Centre for the Study of the Modern Monarchy at Royal Holloway, University of London says younger audiences who were born after the 1990s are likely to interpret the upcoming series as a ‘quasi-documentary’ on the Royal Family.

One of the most prominent storylines that will play out in the series – which lands on screens tomorrow – will be the end of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage and his ongoing relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.

Along with the infamous ‘tampongate’ phone call between the King and Queen Consort, the new series will dramatise Diana’s Panorama interview with Martin Bashir – despite the Prince of Wales previously asking media outlets never to air again. 

A recent YouGov poll found that just 30 per cent of 18-24 year-olds believed that the monarchy is a good thing for Britain – as opposed to 73 per cent of people over the age of 65 who argued that it was. 

Speaking to the BBC, the expert said the new series will only damage Generation Z’s view of the monarchy further as it is already well known that they are ‘less popular’ among younger people.

Professor Pauline Maclaren of the Centre for the Study of the Modern Monarchy at Royal Holloway, University of London says Generation Z will view The Crown as a quasi-documentary’. Pictued: the new cast of The Crown pose for a family photo

Professor Maclaren said: ‘They are likely to understand Diana as the victim of Charles’s treatment of her.’

The new series will feature a dramatisation of Princess Diana’s revenge dress – which she wore the same night that Prince Charles confessed to cheating on her in a 1992 television documentary.

Commenting on these scenes, the royal expert said it is likely that Princess Diana will emerge as a ‘cultural icon’ among young viewers who will identify with her personal struggles.

Although Netflix describes the series as a ‘fictional dramatisation’ of ‘what could have happened behind closed doors’ at the Palace, another YouGov poll found that 18-24 year-olds were three times more likely than over-65s to believe the The Crown to be ‘mostly accurate’.

The Crown teaser trailer showed Elizabeth Debicki in an exact replica of Princess Diana’s designer gown  – complete with a fitted V-neck bodice, off-shoulder cut and sheer train.

Princess Diana’s Christina Stambolian frock was dubbed her ‘revenge dress’ as the royal wore it on the night her ex-husband confessed to being unfaithful in their marriage. Pictured arriving at Serpentine Gallery’s summer party in June 1994.

The dramatisation of the end of his marriage isn’t the only negative storyline that involves King Charles – as the new series will include a ‘hurtful’ smear depicting him secretly plotting to oust the Queen when he was Prince of Wales. 

The new series shows Charles lobbying Prime Minister John Major in a bizarre attempt to force his mother’s abdication. 

But Sir John told The Mail on Sunday the meeting never happened and called the scene a ‘barrel load of malicious nonsense’. 

Another well-placed source said: ‘All the dialogue is completely made up. 

‘All the one-to-one conversations you see on screen are utter fiction and some scenes have been entirely created for dramatic and commercial purposes with little regard for the truth. People should be boycotting it.’ 

The end of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage will be a main storyline in the new series. Pictured: Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki in character as Prince Charles and Princess Diana

The King’s ongoing relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles is dramatised in the series. Pictured Olivia Williams playing the Queen Consort

Last month, The Crown creator Peter Morgan hit back at critics who have accused the Netflix series of ‘exploiting’ the Royal Family.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Peter acknowledged that the new season – which lands on the streaming platform next month – doesn’t shy away from the Royal Family’s ‘difficult time’ in the 1990s.

Describing how King Charles ‘will almost certainly have painful memories’ of that period, the screenwriter said: ‘That doesn’t mean that, with the benefit of hindsight, history will be unkind to him, or the monarchy.’

‘The show certainly isn’t. I have enormous sympathy for a man in his position — indeed, a family in their position.

‘People are more understanding and compassionate than we expect sometimes.’

What’s more, actress Elizabeth Debicki – who has been cast as Diana in the new series – echoed Peter’s sentiment.

She added: ‘Peter and the entire crew of this job do their utmost to really handle everything with such sensitivity and truth and complexity, as do actors.’

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