Netflix series: Much fiction, little truth: New season "The Crown" shows Charles as a scheming heir to the throne

The Queen is not retiring - not Elizabeth II.

Netflix series: Much fiction, little truth: New season "The Crown" shows Charles as a scheming heir to the throne

The Queen is not retiring - not Elizabeth II. She promised her people that in a radio address on her 21st birthday. "I declare before you all that I will devote my entire life, long or short, to your service and to the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong," she said in April 1947.

The idea that the monarch would retire at the age of 65 seems completely absurd. But the new season of the Netflix series "The Crown" begins with exactly this mind game.

It has been two years since the fourth season ran on the streaming provider, and it ended with a Christmas party at Sandringham Castle in 1990. The new episodes start around six months later, in the summer of 1991.

The marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana is still in trouble, even if they try to keep up appearances and present themselves as the perfect family on a second honeymoon in Italy. Meanwhile, the Queen is planning her traditional summer vacation at Balmoral Castle and has meanwhile sworn in her ninth prime minister: after the resignation of Margaret Thatcher, the conservative John Major is now in office.

For the opening episode, screenwriter Peter Morgan created a key scene that sparked discussions: the heir to the throne at the time, Prince Charles, met with the Premier Major to discuss the Queen's early abdication. The basis is a survey according to which the British would perceive the Queen as "old, aloof and irrelevant". Charles, on the other hand, is "young, modern and energetic". In fact, the then Prince of Wales enjoyed enormous popularity in 1991, but it was primarily thanks to his wife, Princess Diana - played brilliantly in the series by Elizabeth Debicki. A year later, when the couple separated, that changed abruptly.

In the fourth season of "The Crown", Charles still seemed lamy and insecure, now Dominic West plays him as a scheming heir to the throne who secretly meets with the prime minister, makes important decisions behind his mother's back and questions the queen. The Queen (played by Imelda Staunton), on the other hand, appears strangely incompetent and is put on a par with her beloved yacht "Britannia", which is "past its best". According to one scene, the queen is an "aging monarch who has been on the throne for too long" - just like Queen Victoria, whose son Edward VII had to wait more than 60 years for his reign. Charles is also considered the eternal heir to the throne. And also the Premier Major (portrayed by Johnny Lee Miller) doesn't take good care of the Windsor house, calling its members "dangerously blinded and useless".

It's all so exaggerated that it can only be taken for fiction. The real Prime Minister, John Major, has already made it clear through a spokesman that there was no talk with "the then Prince of Wales about a possible abdication of the late Queen Elizabeth II." given, nor would he and his wife Norma have spoken disparagingly about the royal family.

An indication that the dialogues and events shown are not 1:1 real events would have been desirable. You won't find that in the opening or closing credits, despite all the criticism that has been voiced beforehand.