Meghan and Harry ‘insist The Crown ignore them’ but Netflix wants ‘pint of blood’
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been warned Netflix will want a "pint of blood" after the Duke insisted hit show The Crown stops before it covers their story, it is claimed.
Royal biographer Angela Levin warns the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that signing a megabucks deal with the streaming giant was a "terrible error" as its hit show "is ridiculing his father, his mother and his grandmother."
And she claimed the Duke of Sussex told her two years ago that the Royal family was watching "everything" the show did but he was "'going to insist it stops before it reaches me'."
But in a series of interviews the royal author, who in 2018 released Harry: Conversations with the Prince, has warned how the couple "are being naive" and Netflix may use them to get gossip and private info which could "absolutely decry the Royal Family."
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Meghan and Harry are set to make millions from their Netflix deal
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Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, who stepped back as senior royals in March this year before moving to California with their son, Archie, have signed a deal with Netflix which could see them earn more than $250million (£190million).
Meanwhile Levin's comments come as members of the family are now said to be “particularly uncomfortable” with the latest series of the lavish drama.
Season four involves graphic scenes of Charles’s marriage break-up with Diana as well as her struggles with bulimia and chronicles the turbulence of Britain from May 1979 when Margaret Thatcher is elected Britain’s first female prime minister to her departure in 1990.
Prince William has reportedly told pals he was greatly displeased with the depiction of his family, believing that "his parents are being exploited and presented in a false, simplistic way to make money".
Speaking to talkRADIO this week, author Levin said: "When I met Harry at Kensington Palace the first question he asked me was, 'Are you watching The Crown?'
Writer Angela Levin has hit out at the show
(Image: Phil Coburn / Daily Mirror)
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"I mumbled and said, 'are you and the rest of the Royal Family?' He said, 'yes, we're all absolutely watching everything but I'm going to insist it stops before it reaches me'.
"And he's now actually doing what I think is so disloyal and rude and that is taking money from a company like Netflix that knows exactly that it's going to get its pint of blood out of somebody when it offers a lot of money.
"When he knows the same company is ridiculing his father, his mother and his grandmother."
Presenter Mike Graham asked: "How long ago did you speak to him, Angela?"
Princess Diana is played by Emma Corrin in the show, while Josh O'Connor portrays Prince Charles, unfairly, some say
(Image: Des Willie/Netflix)
The biographer continued: "It was on the second instalment so a couple of years ago."
Graham added: "Ok, that's not long enough for me for someone to completely change their view."
Levin was also interviewed by Good Morning Britain this week, on Wednesday, where she first made her ominous "pints of blood" warning.
She told GMB: "I think Harry made a terrible error.
Oscar winner Olivia Coleman plays the Queen
(Image: Liam Daniel/Netflix)
"I think the way that he has left the Royal Family, the way he did it, and he’s changed.
"He’s almost unrecognisable from Prince Harry I spent a lot of time with.
"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 realise that a big company like Netflix is going to want its pint of blood.
Piers Morgan said the show painted Diana as "'pathetic' and 'embarrassing'
(Image: Ollie Upton/Netflix)
"They’re going to delve in and get a lot of information that will absolutely decry the Royal Family.
"I think the Royal Family does a lot of for us. Of course they’ve got a lot of faults, haven’t we all.
"But the sense of duty Prince William has now, and Prince Charles, I spent a year with Prince Charles before his 70th birthday, I was astonished at how many young people he had managed to get off the streets and into work.
"I don’t think we should just paint them black."
Diana's troubled life is played up for dramatic effect
(Image: Des Willie/Netflix)
Levin has weighed into the ongoing furore about The Crown's depiction of The Firm as it dramatises the marriage of Princess Diana and the Prince of Wales in its fourth series.
On the one hand, there are those who defend the show for taking an artistic licence, such as Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell, who said it was "a screenplay" and "not a documentary", even going so far as to describe it as "a fair and accurate dramatisation of what happened" in an interview with ITV's Lorraine this week.
Meanwhile, there are those appalled at the depiction of the family, and the intrusion into their lives, such as Royal biographer Penny Junor who slammed the show for being full of inaccurate depictions of events and personalities, describing it to the Times as "the most cruel and unfair and horrible portrayal of almost all of them."
Depictions of Charles bear little resemblance to the man Dickie Arbiter says he worked with for years
(Image: Des Willie/Netflix)
And it is clear what side writer Levin sits on.
She told GMB that The Crown felt like a "deliberate attack on the monarchy".
"I think the programme stinks actually," she said.
"It’s spiteful, it just goes for people’s negative points rather than their positive ones. It is unbalanced.
"It’s like a golden apple that inside is rotten. It is very, very unfair to the Royal Family."
Levin feels the show paints the family in a bad light
Regardless of what Harry may have said to Levin two years back, the Mirror reported that Prince Charles told friends “I’ve never seen it”.
Dickie Arbiter, the Queen's former communications secretary for a decade, said the royals were "pretty used to being portrayed" for entertainment purposes, but expressed concern that some viewers may not realise that The Crown is not an accurate portrayal of events.
He accused programme makers of being “over the top on dramatic licence” with depictions of Prince Charles “nothing like the man I worked with for five years”.
A source close to Charles, 72, said: “His Royal Highness has absolutely no views about it.
Harry's late mum is being humiliated, some critics feel
(Image: Des Willie/Netflix)
“He has never watched The Crown. I shouldn’t think he knows it’s coming out.”
Royal insiders have described The Crown as “drama and entertainment for commercial ends . . .with no regard to the actual people involved who are having their lives hijacked and exploited”.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are also understood to have been angry with previous series.
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Philip was alluded to have had an affair with a ballerina during the second series and, in the third, ignoring his mother, Princess Alice, when she came to live at Buckingham Palace in 1967.
Neither are understood to have ever happened.
One person who certainly sides with royal expert Levin is Piers Morgan.
Never shy in coming forward, the Good Morning Britain host and Mail Online columnist blasted Harry this week, having recently binge-watched the fourth season of The Crown.
The 55-year-old suggested that Harry was a "hypocrite" who "sold his soul" to the streaming site after it painted his late mother as "pathetic" and "embarrassing".
In his Mail Online column, Piers fumed: “It portrays both Diana and Charles in an incredibly unflattering light.
“She is depicted as a delusional, needy, childish, embarrassingly naïve, petulant and slightly bonkers bulimic, and he as a sour, resentful, cruel, nasty, poisonous, whiny, monstrous and ultimately loathsome piece of work.”
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The outspoken TV star went on to blast Harry, who he said has "shut his eyes" to the controversy and joined wife Meghan in striking a seven-figure deal with the streaming service.
“By doing so, Harry is literally accepting money made from humiliating his own family, especially his own mother whose experience with the press he constantly holds up to demand greater deference for his wife Meghan," Piers raged.
“And now, as a storm of controversy grows over this appallingly hypocritical decision, he's shut his eyes and stuck his hands over his ears.”