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Princess Diana drama: The royal family 'hurt' over The Crown - exclusive

'The Queen will be angry and disappointed'

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Millions are tuning in to watch the long-awaited fourth season of The Crown and the dazzling production and talented cast are earning plaudits.

But as the show hits the headlines, doubts have been cast about the show's portrayal of those at the heart of the drama.

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In this week's HELLO! magazine, those close to the royal family reveal they are dismayed over the way in which they have been depicted on screen. 

Set between 1977 and 1990, the latest series focuses particularly on the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales and has drawn criticism for portraying the royal family as distant, self-serving and lacking in empathy. 

"The Crown uses Britain's royal family as its subject – the source of endless fascination to billions of people – and paints them in whichever colours it chooses to suit the season," one royal insider tells us.

"It is a live autopsy, a pathological dissection of a living, breathing thing and it should not be tolerated."

 The insider added: "The British royal family are the hardest-working and most dutiful of anywhere in the world. They constantly come up trumps when politicians and other people in the public eye fail to do so and they offer an unparalleled standard of public duty.

"No one knows what goes on behind the closed doors of the palaces and the fact Her Majesty the Queen, arguably the greatest monarch the world has ever seen, and her close descendants are now being viewed through the greasy, slanderous lens of The Crown is as horrific as it is tragic."

diana 5© Photo: Netflix

This season sees Diana marry Prince Charles

Despite royal sources insisting there is no "great fascination" with the show inside palace walls, HELLO! talks to the Queen's former press secretary Dickie Arbiter who reveals the Queen will be angry about the portrayal of her family in the new series. 

He says: "The Queen will be angry about how The Crown portrays the royal family and disappointed that it's only focusing on their relationships."

Friends of Prince Charles have accused The Crown of "trolling on a Hollywood budget" over its portrayal of his troubled marriage to Diana and his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, now his wife of more than 15 years.

the crown camilla diana© Photo: Netflix

Friends of Charles have accused the show of 'trolling on a Hollywood budget'

"This is fiction masquerading as fact," says one.

"There are two people who are very much alive here and one person whose memory is being traduced in making a drama which is essentially there for commercial entertainment and is paying very little regard to the lives of the people who were actually involved. There are real people at the centre of this. None of them deserve to have their identities hijacked for commercial gain.

"It's not easy for the Prince or either of his sons to see their parents’ marriage portrayed in this way," adds the friend.

camilla 1© Photo: Netflix

Camilla Parker Bowles is portrayed by Emerald Fennell

"This is someone who is 15 years into a happy marriage and has given many years of service to the nation. That they get dragged back to a difficult chapter in their lives is unfair."

Scenes in which the young Diana is mocked, shouted at and left to fend for herself have also raised eyebrows. Royal historian Hugo Vickers said the Princess is "largely portrayed – in my view, often unfairly – as the victim of a heartless family".

Indeed, as one royal insider puts it: "The whole family are portrayed as bloodthirsty, murdering beasts with no ability to empathise. The shame of it really is there will be many people who watch this and think it’s the truth."

Cover_HELLO1663_UK© Photo: HELLO!

HELLO!'s new issue will be out on Monday 23 November

To read royal biographer Penny Junor, author Andrew Morton, former press secretary to the Queen, Dickie Arbiter and Elizabeth Emanuel's thoughts on the series, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale now.

Subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.

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