Why Royal Aides Are Terrified Of Season 5 Of The Crown

Although it only just dropped on Netflix, there's been an overwhelming amount of drama surrounding Season 5 of "The Crown." The hit show has been charting the history of the British royal family for years, but this particular season takes place during the mid-'90s, focusing predominantly on the crumbling relationship between King Charles and the late Princess Diana, which was one of the most tumultuous periods in the royal family's history (via Esquire).

Unsurprisingly, the choice of theme has generated plenty of controversy. In fact, it's widely believed that Season 5 of "The Crown" will have Charles shaking in his boots not least because the new sovereign's reign has only just begun. Moreover, when asked how the late Queen Elizabeth II would've taken the show, a close friend of The Firm told The Sunday Times: "It would have destroyed her." Suffice to say, the royal family will not be tuning in.

Elsewhere, the main issue for the palace is that some of their toughest moments are being dragged back up again, which may turn the public against the royals.

Palace staffers are concerned about them being painted in a negative light

Royal family aides are highly concerned that their already troubled reputation will be damaged even further by the explosive new season of "The Crown." The Express' royal correspondent Richard Palmer confirmed that The Firm won't be watching it as a matter of principle. However, "There's always a possibility that something annoys them so much that they break that policy." As Palmer explained, "I think they've traditionally taken the view that they don't want to interfere with artistic freedom."

At the same time, palace aides are considering what people overseas might make of the series — particularly if they can't differentiate between fact and fiction. Dame Judi Dench had harsh words for Netflix over "The Crown," with the legendary actor writing a letter to The Times expressing her disappointment that the streaming giant wasn't including a disclaimer to alert audiences that the show isn't necessarily historically accurate (via Twitter). 

The streamer eventually added a special message to the trailer clarifying that "this fictional dramatization" is "inspired by real events," per Variety. As Palmer noted, since the season began airing, several notable royal experts have come forward to defend it publicly, claiming the featured events are "truer than people close to the palace have been trying to say."

Season 5 controversially revisits the final days of Princess Diana's life

One of the biggest talking points, even before Season 5 began airing, was how "The Crown" would handle the death of Princess Diana. As royal expert Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight, warring brothers Prince William and Prince Harry likely won't take kindly to being reminded, once again, of how their mother perished. "I think this series is going to be quite uncomfortable viewing, not just for [Queen Consort] Camilla and [King] Charles but also for William and Harry," she argued.

Nicholl added, "Scenes leading up to their mother's death are going to be very, very uncomfortable for them." Following disturbing on-set reports from crew members worried that the show wasn't displaying the requisite sensitivity to the late royal's memory as well as the feelings of her living family members, Deadline confirmed that Diana's death would not be shown onscreen. The moments preceding it and afterwards will be dealt with in detail, though, which may be too much for royal watchers.

However, as the Mirror reported, despite the salacious material concerning her own life, Queen Consort Camilla Parker Bowles will definitely be watching. King Charles' former aide made the astonishing revelation during a recent appearance on "This Morning," adding that Camilla actually met Emerald Fennell, who played her on the hit show, and was delighted to make her acquaintance. Charles, on the other hand, has no desire to tune in.