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Judi Dench calls for ‘fiction’ to be added to ‘The Crown

Actress Judi Dench deplores an "inaccurate narrative" shared by the Netflix series The Crown. She is now calling for a 'fiction' credit to be added.

The Queen is not happy. Judi Dench has sent an open letter to The Times asking Netflix to add a "fiction" tag to its series The Crown. The Queen Victoria's interpreter in the film Confident Royal describes the show as "brilliant", but deplores the "inaccurate and hurtful narrative". Dame Judi Dench, who was knighted by the Queen in 1988, has asked the American giant to "reconsider" its refusal, since the beginning of the series, to insist on its fictional aspect. 

Is King Charles III plotting against his mother? 

According to the actress, the decision should be made "for the sake of a family and a nation so recently bereaved, as a mark of respect for a sovereign who served her people so dutifully for 70 years". Season 5 of the globally popular series will be released on 9 November 2022. Since 2016, The Crown has followed the fate of Queen Elizabeth II, from her sudden coronation and early years of rule to more recent events. 

As the series evolves, it is increasingly upsetting Judi Dench. "The closer the drama gets to the present day, the more willing it seems to freely blur the lines between historical accuracy and pure crass sensationalism," she castigates in her letter. The interpreter of Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love fears that viewers, especially non-British ones, "will think this version of history is reality". In particular, she is targeting an episode in which the current King Charles III plotted to push his mother to abdicate the throne in his favour. 

For its part, Netflix responded by telling The Times that "The Crown has always been presented as a drama series based on historical events".

Written by Michael Zippo

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