It’s Harry the victim (again!) in The Crown’s take on Wills row
THE seeds of the Prince William-Prince Harry conflict — so compellingly explored on Netflix by Prince Harry in his documentary Harry & Meghan — will be depicted on the same streaming channel, in the final series of The Crown.
A teenage Harry (Luther Ford), will be seen raging over the ‘unfairness’ of his position in the family in the show. He says William (Ed McVey), the heir to the throne, is held to different standards. The conflict arises after Prince Harry is pictured in Nazi fancy dress at a party in 2005, aged 20, and there are revelations about him boozing and smoking dope. I’m told that he says words to the effect that he is like the scapegoat and the black sheep, yet William can do no wrong. It’s fascinating stuff, as everyone has been wondering whether dramatist Peter Morgan will go easy on Harry, given that the Duke of Sussex still has a megabucks contract with Netflix reportedly worth £78 million over five years.
Morgan did say earlier this year that Harry’s role is small. ‘I do little bits of dramatisation of Harry, but mainly only in relationship to William,’ he told Variety.
According to a source who has seen the show, the portrayal of both young Princes, who are grieving the death of their mother, is sympathetic. But we do get to see Harry feeling sorry for himself as the ‘spare’.
In his bombshell autobiography — Spare — Harry tried to blame William and his wife Kate for his decision to wear the Nazi costume to the party. He said it was a toss-up between a pilot uniform or a Nazi uniform. ‘I phoned Willy and Kate, asked what they thought. Nazi uniform, they said.’ When he tried it on and showed them ‘they both howled’.
In the Harry & Meghan docuseries he admitted that the fancy dress was ‘probably one of the biggest mistakes of my life’, adding: ‘I felt so ashamed afterwards. All I wanted to do was make it right.’
Morgan told Variety that he has not read Spare. ‘Not that I wouldn’t be interested, but I didn’t want his voice to inhabit my thinking too much. I’ve got a lot of sympathy with him.’
Some have criticised Prince Harry for what they see as his relaxed view of the show, which depicts the death of his mother. He told a talk show in January that he had watched The Crown and ‘fact checked’ it. He said: ‘They don’t pretend to be news. It’s fictional,
but it’s loosely based on the truth. I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family or my wife or myself. Because it’s the difference between fiction, take it how you will; but this is being reported on as fact, because you’re supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.’
The Paris car crash will not be shown, although Diana is seen visibly distressed by the behaviour of paparazzi in the lead-up to it. There are also scenes of her former husband Prince Charles (Dominic West), overcome by grief after seeing her body in a morgue in Paris; and having a conversation with her ‘spirit’.
Morgan said: ‘I never imagined it as Diana’s “ghost” in the traditional sense. It was her continuing to live vividly in the minds of those she has left behind. Diana was unique and I suppose that’s what inspired me to find a unique way of representing her.
‘She deserved special treatment, narratively.’ Part one of the sixth season will be released on November 16, and will take the story up to Princess Diana’s funeral. Part two will stream from December 14.