‘The Crown’s Helena Bonham Carter on the ‘Moral Responsibility’ to Be Clear That It’s Fiction

Helena Bonham Carter The Crown Season 3 Princess Margaret
Des Willie / Netflix

The latest season of The Crown (which was released on November 15) features a first: a real-life demand from a U.K. government official to put a warning label on episodes that the Netflix original show is fiction.

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The royal drama has stirred up some strong feelings, including in the U.K. Secretary of Culture.

And it seems that star Helena Bonham Carter (Princess Margaret) agrees. In the November 30 installment of The Crown: The Official Podcast she said, “It is dramatized. I do feel very strongly because I think we have a moral responsibility to say, ‘Hang on, guys, it’s not a drama-doc, we’re making a drama.’ They are two different entities.”

She added that “[series creator/writer] Peter [Morgan] switches things up and juggles” from the research document for the season, and it’s that information that is the “proper documentary.”

The call for a warning came over Thanksgiving weekend, when the U.K.’s Secretary of Culture, Oliver Dowden, expressed concern for the way The Crown might be viewed. “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,” he said. “Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”

In Season 4 of the Netflix original, Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and her family are preoccupied with safeguarding the line of succession by finding an appropriate bride for Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) as the 1970s draw to a close. Tensions arise between the Queen and Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), as the latter leads the country into the Falklands War, causing conflict within the Commonwealth. Charles’ fairy-tale romance with a young Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) may unite the British people, but the Royal family becomes increasingly divided in private.

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The Crown, Seasons 1-4, Streaming Now, Netflix