The British royal family has plenty of subjects for a gripping biopic, but Netflix's latest period drama The Crown takes an unlikely approach. Rather than dramatizing one of the many scandals surrounding the men of the royal family, The Crown focuses on the very private and duty-driven Queen Elizabeth II during her ascension and the early years of her reign. Along with the regular challenges that accompanied becoming a mid-century female monarch, she also had to navigate the palace's post-war relationship with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who was regarded as a national hero. So will Queen Elizabeth II watch The Crown herself? Upon reaching out, the Royal Family declined to comment on the show to Romper, however, according to creator Peter Morgan, the Netflix series is definitely on her radar.
Queen Elizabeth II is notoriously camera shy, and much of the early part of her reign was marked by reluctance to be seen in close-up on camera. She's known for her unflinching pokerface and never betrays her emotions publicly, but she was duty-bound to represent her country in an unlikely ascent to the throne. Considering her aversion to being in the spotlight, it seems unlikely that Queen Elizabeth II would very much enjoy watching a dramatization of such a destabilizing period in her life. Part of the series, for example, tackles how becoming queen negatively affected her personal relationships, including her marriage.
Plus, since few details are publicly known of her personal experiences and feelings from that time, there's a strong chance that the way in which the series imagines her inner life may not be very accurate. Nevertheless, according to Variety, Morgan said that the royal family was "very, very aware" of the series' existence. "I think Netflix are working on getting her to give an endorsement," he joked during the Television Critics Association press junket.
He added that Netflix and the royal family had been in communication about the series "through untraceable back channels," but that they had no official involvement with the show. "I want my independence, they want theirs," he explained of making the series. "I don’t want to be associated with the palace."
Morgan admitted that, in his understanding, the palace is "very nervous and very excited… I think they don’t like not having control, but they also understand that [a series] dealing with this subject with respect is a rare thing. These are people who are not used to being taken seriously."
It's totally understandable that the palace, and indeed, perhaps the Queen herself, would be cringing their way through watching this show. But as long as they don't come out condemning it, it's probably safe for its potential six-season run.