Helena Bonham Carter doesn’t think “The Crown” should keep calm and carry on.
The alum of the Netflix series admitted that the show is “very different now” as it approaches the modern era. Season 5 has already teased the darker parts of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage, and on the heels of Prince Harry’s tell-all “Spare,” Carter called into question the future of the series.
“I don’t really want to contribute to the whole thing,” Carter told The Guardian when asked for a response to Harry’s book. “It’s complicated and it’ll get taken out of context. And I think it’s been given enough attention.”
Carter, who played Harry’s great-aunt Princess Margaret in “The Crown,” added of the series, “I should be careful here too, but I don’t think they should carry on, actually. I’m in it and I loved my episodes, but it’s very different now. When ‘The Crown’ started it was a historic drama, and now it’s crashed into the present. But that’s up to them.”
Claims that Season 5 of the Netflix show was “exploitative” toward now-King Charles led the cast to defend the series. Jonathan Pryce questioned whether recent criticisms “came about because of an enhanced sensitivity because of the passing of the Queen” and Lesley Manville, who took over the role of Princess Margaret from Carter, said the series is not “crossing a line” at all.
Judi Dench, who has never appeared on “The Crown,” called the latest season “cruelly unjust to the individuals and damaging” to the royal family as a whole. “No one is a greater believer in artistic freedom than I,” Dench said, “but this cannot go unchallenged.”
Dench added, “Despite this week stating publicly that ‘The Crown’ has always been a ‘fictionalized drama,’ the program makers have resisted all calls for them to carry a disclaimer at the start of each episode. The time has come for Netflix to reconsider — for the sake of a family and a nation so recently bereaved, as a mark of respect to a sovereign who served her people so dutifully for 70 years, and to preserve its reputation in the eyes of its British subscribers.”
Netflix eventually added a disclaimer to the series reading: “Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatization tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign.”
The final two seasons of “The Crown” span the 1990s through 2003, with Season 6 including Princess Diana’s death, which Netflix has stated will not be shown onscreen.