Google searches on the history of the British monarchy spiked with every episode of Netflix period drama The Crown – did Prince Philip really cheat on the Queen with a Russian ballerina? And did disgraced one-time king Edward really have ties to Hitler?
But, as Downton Abbey creator Lord Julian Fellowes has recently pointed out, The Crown’s plotlines aren’t all completely factual (although that last scandal about Edward being a Nazi sympathiser is, shockingly, quite true).
Speaking on the Katie Couric podcast, Fellowes expressed his concern that The Crown is “unfair” to the people portrayed in it who are still alive.
“In the second series, I didn’t think it was fair to Prince Philip, to the Duke of Edinburgh, based on very little,” he reasons.
“I think that a lot of it was based on obviously very good research, but some of it was not,” he continues. “Some of it was extrapolation from a rumour or someone’s rather prejudiced account. And then it was presented as fact. I’m not sure that’s just.”
That isn’t to say Fellowes didn’t enjoy the series. “The Crown is a wonderful piece of work, and a brilliant, brilliant writing from Peter Morgan,” he says. “It was beautifully acted, beautifully written.”
“For me, I’m not completely comfortable with dramatising people who are still alive and still living their lives. Because I think it’s possible to be unfair.”
While he does have a point, we are still dying with anticipation for season three.