Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes thinks The Crown was unfair to Prince Philip

"For me," he said, "I'm not completely comfortable with dramatising people who are still alive and still living their lives."
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While we’re all overwhelmingly engrossed in Netflix’s The Crown, it’s easy to blur the lines between fact and royal fiction. Though the show is widely praised and boasts an incredibly loyal fan base, anticipating how the series would reflect the current royal family as it catches up with real life was always going to be a bit tricky.

Downton Abbey creator Lord Julian Fellowes thinks that the show wasn’t particularly fair to Prince Philip in it’s second season, however.

Though he praises The Crown‘s acting and writing talent, speaking on Katie Couric’s podcast Fellowes said: “For me, I’m not completely comfortable with dramatising 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,” he added.

Matt Smith as Prince Philip in The Crown

Fellows was careful to add that he’d probably be punished for criticising what he openly acknowledges to be “a great success and it deserves to be”. However when it comes to relaying the lives of living people, the thinks the lines are less clear.

He said: “I think when people are still alive, living their lives, doing a good job and popular and loved, do they deserve it? And in that sense, I’m not sure they do.

“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 rumour or someone’s rather prejudiced account. And then it was presented as fact. I’m not sure that’s just.”

Credit where credit’s due, of course. Though we’re unsure of how the Duke feels about the series, Fellows is still a fan of the team behind the how.

“I’m a big fan of Peter Morgan, I repeat that,” he added. “I think he’s the best writer on television at the moment. And it’s deservedly successful as far as I’m concerned.”

As season 3 of The Crown draws closer, we’ll undoubtedly be paying extra attention to how the series relays the lives of some of Britain’s living royals.

This article originally appeared on Grazia.

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