A tacit pact establishes that what is spoken in the palace, stays in the palace. In other words, the conversations that members of the royal family have with high-level politicians, diplomats and other personnel with whom they deal on a regular basis are private and secret, whether they are state secrets or informal anecdotes. These talks are one of the rare moments when royals let off steam in private, and they also serve to establish a bond with their interlocutors. When that relationship of trust is broken, private aspects of the royals that would otherwise have been hidden forever. But, of course, that intimacy is also broken.
That is what has happened now within the British royal family, where a small talk between a politician and the heir to the throne, Prince Charles of England, has been revealed. The conversation has been revealed by the Scottish labor leader, Anas Sarwar, in an act within the framework of the Edinburgh festival, and in it he gives an account of one of the aspects for which the press and the public have shown more curiosity, without success, during recent years: if the Windsors have seen the series The Crown (Netflix), which portrays its lights and shadows since the 1940s; in fact, the fifth season, which will arrive in November, is already close to the nineties.
The revelation occurred at a multi-religious ceremony held shortly before the opening ceremony of the Scottish Parliament, which took place last October and where Carlos accompanied his mother, Elizabeth II. Sarwar explained how the talk was, as reported in the newspaper TheDailyMail: “He came up to us and said, ‘Hi, nice to meet you all, I’m not even close to how I’m portrayed on Netflix.’
Sarwar has reflected on this, adding: “I thought it was a very interesting way to describe yourself.” And shortly after he realized what was revealed: “I’m going to get into a huge problem for this, because I don’t think private conversations can be counted.” According to the same newspaper, Clarence House, the public relations office of Elizabeth II’s eldest son, has declined to comment on the issue.
This is the first time that one of Carlos’s opinions about the successful series is known out loud, but some previous conversations had been leaked that had shown his anger at some of the representations that of him and his people had been done. After all, the true facts, the intimate ones, are not known, only the few snippets that reach the press from anonymous sources —and almost always on behalf of them— or what is now narrated by the series, which for many, despite to his sometimes imprecise and fictional portraits (“Sometimes you have to give up accuracy, but you can never give up the truth”, its creator, Peter Morgan, once said), has become the official version.
A couple of years ago, a source close to the Prince of Wales claimed that “he was enraged by the version that had been made of his family for television and accused the producer of exploiting the pain of the royal family for financial gain” by presenting as facts a twisted version of what happened. A series of unofficial spokespersons then criticized the premiere of the third season of the successful Netflix fiction, in which the courtship and marriage between the young Diana Spencer and Carlos were portrayed. “This is a drama and entertainment for commercial purposes that is made without taking into account the people involved,” commented one of those sources, always unidentified, when Daily Mailwhich must also always be taken with some care. “They have dedicated themselves to resurrecting things that happened during a very difficult time, 25 or 30 years ago, without stopping to think about people’s feelings. It is not fair or true, ”said one of those people supposedly close to Carlos and his current wife, Camila de Cornualles, from anonymity.
An anger that also, apparently, reaches Elizabeth II, who in 2018 learned that she was not happy with the portraits that were made of her husband, Philip of Edinburgh, and her eldest son. In the penultimate chapter of the second season, called PaterfamiliasCharles’ stage at Gordonstoun boarding school in Scotland was shown, and according to the queen her husband was portrayed as a cold and cruel father who treats his son in a detached and old-fashioned way.
A senior courtier then told to the diary The Express that Elizabeth II was “aware that many of those who see The Crown They take the series as an accurate portrait of the royal family, and you can’t change that.” “But I can say that he was angry at how Prince Philip is portrayed as a father who is insensitive to the welfare of his child,” he said. The biographer of the royal family Hugo Vickers already said it then: “The problem is that the series is well written, well acted and lavishly shot. Which makes it that much worse because it perverts the truth: there are entire episodes built on fabrications.”
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