Royal experts warned the fourth season of The Crown could put a dent in Prince Charles and Camilla’s popularity – and seems they were right.
The couple have disabled the comments section on their Twitter page, and followers may now only reshare and like posts on the account.
According to palace sources, the decision comes after recent Twitter replies broke the royal household’s social media guidelines, which do not allow the posting of abusive and hate comments.
In season three, viewers saw how Charles (played by Josh O’Connor) was denied a future with Camilla (Emerald Fennell) by the royal family who felt she wasn’t a suitable partner for a future king of England. The new season shows how he marries Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) yet continues to see Camilla on the quiet. Charles and Diana’s relationship becomes increasingly troubled and the royal family is forced to face the consequences of their rules about love, divorce and duty.
Royal editors and experts were worried the new season – which has been dogged by controversy – would affect how the public view Charles and Camilla. The couple had worked long and hard to be accepted and it’s all looking a little dodgy again now.
Viewers have been laying into the couple on Twitter recently. “How can u treat another human like u did princess Diana. U both did so much wrong. Not ok at all. And she was the mother of your kids. And u camilla. How did u do that to another woman?” one person tweeted.
In a Twitter post on 24 November, Clarence House tweeted about the duchess of Cornwall’s video conference with a homelessness charity, Emmaus UK, in Brighton and shared screenshots. It was followed by another tweet in a thread by Clarence House about the charity, but the comments were disabled after viewers of The Crown reportedly condemned Camilla on social media.
But this didn’t go down well either. “By turning off the comments, that shows that they still feel some sort of guilt for their actions & how they both treated Diana,” one viewer tweeted. “If Camilla stayed in her lane & Charles acted mature like a man than maybe he’d still b married to Diana & she’d still be alive today.”
The comments section of the royal couple’s Instagram account is still open – and one look at it makes it easy to see why they decided to disable the comments and tagging on Twitter. One comment under a video of Camilla reads: “Horrible inside and out forever and ever”.
Even though the creators of The Crown have been at pains to say the show comes with a healthy dose of fiction, the fact that it revolves around real-life events is a concern for many.
"It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction so, as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that. Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact,” Oliver Dowden, the UK’s culture secretary, says.
Helena Bonham Carter (54), who plays Princess Margaret in the third and fourth series, also believes The Crown should come with a disclaimer.
“I think we have a moral responsibility to say, hang on guys, this is a dramatised documentary, we’re making a drama. So, they are two different entities.”
Diana’s brother, Charles, the 9th Earl Spencer, says he worries that people think this is gospel and it is unfair.
“I think it would help The Crown an enormous amount if at the beginning of each episode it stated that ‘this isn’t true, but it is based around some real events’. This is a hugely globally significant series, and for any movie that does this, you know, it’s playing fast and loose with history without saying that . . . You just have to be honest with the consumer,” he said on ITV’s Lorraine show.