Anne Glenconner: The Crown's portrayal of Royal Family is 'fantasy'

‘It just makes me so angry’: Princess Margaret’s confidante Lady Anne Glenconner says The Crown’s portrayal of the Royal Family is ‘complete fantasy’ and ‘so unfair’

  • Lady Anne Glenconner has said The Crown is ‘complete fantasy’ and ‘unfair’
  • Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour she said the show ‘makes me so angry’
  • She said: ‘It’s so irritating. I don’t watch The Crown now, it makes me so angry’

The Crown’s portrayal of the Royal Family is ‘complete fantasy’ and ‘so unfair’, Lady Anne Glenconner, the late Princess Margaret’s lady-in-waiting, has said.

The socialite, 90, who was a maid of honour at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour that the show ‘just makes me so angry’. 

She said: ‘The trouble is that people, especially in America, believe it completely. It’s so irritating. I don’t watch The Crown now because it just makes me so angry. And it’s so unfair on members of the royal family.’ 

A Netflix spokesman previously said: ‘The Crown has always been presented as a drama based on historical events.

‘Series five is a fictional dramatisation, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the Royal Family – one that has already been scrutinised and well documented by journalists, biographers and historians.’

Lady Anne Glenconner (pictured in November 2019), who was a lifelong friend of the late Princess Margaret, opened up about The Crown calling it a ‘complete fantasy’ and ‘so unfair’

Lady Glenconner, (left) was formerly Lady Anne Coke, eldest daughter of the fifth Earl of Leicester, who was 19 when she was chosen to be one of the six Coronation maids of honour for Queen Elizabeth

Imelda Staunton is playing Queen Elizabeth II in season five of the Netflix drama The Crown 

Speaking about one episode in series two, which portrayed the Duke of Edinburgh as being responsible for his sister Cecilie taking the flight that resulted in her death in a plane crash in 1937, she said was ‘terribly hurting.’

She said: ‘That was completely untrue and I think to say something like that about people is terribly hurting. Nobody wants to have their relations trashed like that.’

Anne, who turned 90 this year, has been making waves with her explosive new book Whatever Next.

She joined Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning Monday to talk about her new book and she said Netflix doesn’t need to ’embroider’ the truth to be appealing to viewers. 

The socialite, who was married to Colin Tennant, Baron Glenconner from 1956 until his death in 2010, said she has found the show’s portrayal of Margaret to be untrue and ‘hurtful.’ 

She added that actress Helena Bonham Carter, who played Princess Margaret in the third and fourth series of the show, admitted to her that she found Netflix’s portrayal of Margaret was ‘disappointing.’ 

Lady Anne went on to say that while she doubts the royal watch the show, she called Netflix out for ‘hurting’ them with untrue claims, particularly about the late Duke of Edinburgh. 

Pictured: Anne and Princess Margaret with Colin Tennant, left, in 1977. The pair were friends for all of Margaret’s life 

Lady Anne Glenconner told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield that Netflix’s The Crown doesn’t need to ’embroider’ the truth to be appealing to viewers

The aristocrat admitted to Phil and Holly that she had enjoyed The Crown’s earlier episodes, but that it ‘somehow went ‘terribly off-piste.’

‘I know from my own experience, being in The Crown, it wasn’t true at all.’

She spoke specifically about a pool party scene where her character appeared with Princess Margaret and she said made it seem like she was ‘pimping’ for the royal. 

‘Of course that didn’t happen. I don’t know why they had to do that. The real thing about the royal family is so interesting. They don’t have to embroider it,’ she said. 

Helena Bonham-Carter and Nancy Carroll, right, played Princess Margaret and Anne in the third series of The Crown 

She said she talked to Helena Bonham Carter about her performance on the show after it was released by Netflix. 

‘Afterwards, I said to her, ‘a bit disappointing, wasn’t it?’ And she replied ‘yes, but I’m an actress, I have to do what’s written’,’ she added. 

Asked by Phil whether she thinks the show is damaging to the members of the royal family, Anne said: ‘I think it does hurt,’ before adding: ‘I don’t think they watch it, 

‘The one thing I minded was when Prince Philip was accused of killing his sister, which was completely untrue, that’s so hurting,’ she said. 

The socialite told Phil and Holly, left, that she finds the Crown hurtful and ‘completely untrue’ in parts 

The aristocrat with her husband, Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner in 1955, when they were newly weds. Anne has opened up about her late husband’s abusive tendencies in her new book, Whatever Next 

She was referencing an episode of the show’s second series where The Crown implies that Prince Philip’s older sister Cecilie died in a plane crash because she was flying to the UK to see him, because he had misbehaved in school.

Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark died in a horrific plane crash aged 26 in 1937, with her husband Georg Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse and their four children. 

They had been travelling to the UK to attend the wedding of Louis, Prince of Hesse and by Rhine. 

‘Those two events were completely separate,’ Lady Glenconner stressed. 

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