The Netflix series The Crown has always portrayed the royal family in a less than flattering light, but the show’s most recent season really raised the stakes by delving into the drama surrounding the early years of Prince Charles’ marriage to Princess Diana.
Not surprisingly, the depictions of abuse and adultery have not been well-received by the Windsors, and for two of the family’s most high-profile members, the controversy couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry recently signed a $100 million deal with Netflix, and insiders say the rest of the royal clan is not happy about what they see as an implicit endorsement of the more scandalous storylines on The Crown.
Details of the deal are hard to come by, but we know that the Sussexes will be producing new content for the streaming giant.
The deal doesn’t appear to have anything to do with The Crown, but it’s likely that Harry and Meghan considered the impact of the show before signing on the dotted line.
The feeling among the royals seems to be that the couple knew of the many ways in which The Crown has sullied the family’s reputation, but they simply didn’t care.
According to a new report from UK tabloid The Mirror, however, it’s possible that the Sussexes were playing 3D chess with Netflix by landing a major payday while at the same time gaining leverage over the outlet.
This theory comes to us courtesy of royal biographer Angela Levin, who, ironically, divulged it while talking trash about Harry and Meghan.
She called the Sussexes’ Netflix deal a "terrible error" because The Crown "is ridiculing his father, his mother and his grandmother," according to The Mirror.
Levin claims that Harry told her two years ago that the royal family were "all absolutely watching everything" on The Crown, but was already declaring that he was "going to insist it stops before it reaches me."
Of course, at that time, the royals didn’t have the authority to demand anything of Netflix.
That may have changed the moment Harry and Meghan signed their contracts, but still, Levin fails to see the brilliance of the move.
"I think the way that he has left the Royal Family, the way he did it, and he’s changed. He’s almost unrecognizable from Prince Harry I spent a lot of time with," Levin told The Mirror.
"But I think, you know, Meghan is desperate to earn lots of money and Netflix offered them something. I think they’re being naive as they have been about lots of things in that they don’t realize that a big company like Netflix is going to want its pint of blood," she added.
"They’re going to delve in and get a lot of information that will absolutely decry the Royal Family."
Giant corporations aren’t known for their scrupulous practices, but we doubt Harry and Meg are gonna be forced to appear on The Crown at gunpoint.
We also don’t think they’re dumb enough to be tricked into giving up the inside dirt on Harry’s relatives.
Of course, it’s important to bear in mind that their deal may have changed nothing of consequence, as insiders say producers of The Crown always planned to end the series in Season 6, before the show versions William and Harry reach adulthood.
Also, let’s not forget that while The Crown may have brought wider attention to some royal scandals by dramatizing certain events, this information has always been available to anyone who’s interested.
So if you’re gonna slam Harry and Meghan for making a deal with Netflix, you might as well criticize Will and Kate for using Wikipedia.