Netflix Finally Adds An Important Disclaimer To The Crown

Imagine watching your family's life portrayed on screen in a binge-worthy Netflix show that everyone and their mother watches. That's the reality for the royals, who are the subject of the immensely popular series "The Crown."

Royal reactions to the series are mixed, but from Prince Harry to queen consort Camilla, senior family members have admitted to watching. For her part, the wife of the new King reportedly takes in "The Crown" with a sense of humor. As a friend told Vanity Fair previously, "I imagine she'll be tuning in with a glass of red wine to watch it." And the Duke of Sussex told James Corden, "I'm way more comfortable with 'The Crown' than I am seeing the stories written about my family or my wife or myself..." (via EW).

In Harry's mind, the Netflix show isn't pretending it's news and he noted that he understands the series is a work of fiction "loosely based on the truth." Although the duke knows he is not tuning in for a portrayal that is 100% true to life, fans may not always see the distinction between what's on the screen and reality. Perhaps this is why an important disclaimer has been added to the sneak peek of what's coming in season 5.

'The Crown' is differentiating between fact and fiction

As royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith explained to Vanity Fair, the newest seasons of "The Crown" stand apart from the first installments for a very important reason. "While the earlier seasons were period pieces, this is recent history, so it seems more cruel in its false depictions," she said previously.

A source also told the outlet that Netflix had been "playing a dangerous game" by profiting off of its depiction of living royal family members. "Netflix has a duty to be upfront about its programming," the source opined.

It seems finally the powers that be behind the show are falling in line with this way of thinking (or caving to pressure after Dame Judi Dench wrote an open letter in The Times of London demanding that disclaimer be added to the show), with Variety reporting that in a trailer for the soon-to-be released season, the streaming service added a disclaimer that some people may feel is long overdue.

"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 line reads. 

While the disclaimer will be well received by many, some Twitter reactions included folks who can't believe such a line is even necessary, with one such individual pointing out what they felt was obvious: "The Crown" is a show with actors, not real people.