Downton Abbey isn’t a fan of The Crown’s portrayal of real-life royalty


Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has some stinging critiques when it comes to Netflix’s drama The Crown.

Downtown Abbey, with all of its focus on civility and proper etiquette, isn’t without its slams, as we learned today from creator Julian Fellowes. In the newest episode of Katie Couric’s podcast, Fellowes took aim at The Crown, Netflix’s popular drama that follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

Fellowes, who helped create a fascinating world of fictitious British aristocrats from the 1910s and ’20s, is not a fan of a show dramatizing a real, and still living and breathing, royal family.

On the podcast, Fellowes said this of The Crown:

"It was beautifully acted, beautifully written. For me, I’m not completely comfortable with dramatizing people who are still alive and still living their lives. Because I think it’s possible to be unfair. And in the second series, I didn’t think it was fair to Prince Philip, to the Duke of Edinburgh, based on very little."

Fellowes is referring to Matt Smith’s Prince Philip. In the first two seasons, Philip is portrayed as brooding and petty, while having a strained relationship with his wife Queen Elizabeth (Claire Foy). (Apparently, Prince Philip himself isn’t so keen on the show.)

Fellowes gives some credit to the show. Morgan, who crafted the show from his award-winning play The Audience, is described as the “best writer on television at the moment.”

Couric asked Fellowes if he felt “artistic license” occurred throughout the show, to which he replied:

"You’re getting me into a tricky area here. I think that a lot of it was based on obviously very good research, but some of it was not. Some of it was extrapolation from a rumor or someone’s rather prejudiced account. And then it was presented as fact. I’m not sure that’s just."

Related Story: Prince Charles has a strange, but endearing nickname for Meghan Markle

To Fellowe’s point, a well-researched show with good intentions is still a show — and drama brings in the views. As fans of The Crown watch with delighted eyes, taking in the Queen’s life from her youth to who she is now, it is pertinent to remember the source for such information.