King Charles Stopped Watching "The Crown" When the Show Came “Too Close to the Bone” About His Marriage to Princess Diana

If that’s the case, he definitely won’t want to see season five.

King Charles
(Image credit: Getty)

Apparently King Charles once watched Netflix’s hit The Crown—centered around the life of Queen Elizabeth II and the British Royal Family—but stopped watching when the series came “too close to the bone” about his marriage to his first wife, the late Princess Diana, The Daily Express reports.

The outlet reports that “the King was one of the few royal family members who was said to have engaged with the controversial Netflix series” but that he “stopped watching” after “sensitive events from his relationship with the late Princess Diana were played out [on]screen.” Season four followed the 1980s, the decade Charles married Diana in 1981, had two sons with her in 1982 and 1984, and, ultimately, resumed an affair with longtime friend Camilla Parker-Bowles, no doubt adding to strains in the union. Season five—released this week—covers the 1990s, with the Wales’ marriage ultimately breaking down, seeing the couple separate in 1992 and ultimately divorce in 1996.

While researching for her latest book, The New Royals, royal expert Katie Nicholl told True Royalty TV she asked about the royal family’s interest in The Crown. “[The Queen] was absolutely aware of these programs and the films and was never going to watch any of those herself, but other members of the royal family have watched episodes,” she said. “I’m told that Camilla has watched all of them. Whether or not she’s watched this latest series, I’ll have to come back to you. Charles watched it and stopped watching it at the last series because he felt that it got too close to the bone. I’m assuming from Harry’s comments he has absolutely seen it, and I don’t know about William.”

Harry, of course, has inked—along with wife Meghan Markle—a multimillion-dollar deal with the streaming service to produce content. The couple’s first offering, a docuseries about their lives, is due out early next year.

In season five, Charles is played by Dominic West, with Elizabeth Debicki taking on the role of Diana. “Perhaps the most highly criticized element is The Crown created a dramatized account of Princess Diana’s interview with BBC Panorama,” The Daily Express reports. “The interview, which took place in 1995, was later found to have breached ‘integrity’ guidelines after it was revealed journalist Martin Bashir fabricated documents to gain access to the then Princess of Wales.”

The leadup to the interview, the interview itself, and the fallout from it are all depicted in season five, which will likely frustrate members of the royal family, in particular Diana’s sons William and Harry, who have both previously spoken out against it.

“The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others,” William said in 2021. “It is my firm view that this Panorama program holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again. It effectively established a false narrative which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialized by the BBC and others.”

Lest we forget, though, that it was actually Charles who struck first in the television wars between he and Diana: his interview with Jonathan Dimbleby, which is also depicted on The Crown, was taped the year prior, in 1994. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.