As The Crown gears up for its fourth season, which includes the introductions of both Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) and Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), its creator is weighing in on a pair of real-life royal controversies. During a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Peter Morgan detailed the next installment in his chronicles of the modern royal family. Naturally, he was asked to comment on some current events involving a few members of the monarchy.
At the start of the year, there was Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s headline-making decision to step back from royal duties. It’s a conclusion Morgan says reminds him of Diana’s exit following her high-profile split from Prince Charles and clashes with the royal family. “When you see a beautiful young princess struggling to find love and acceptance within the family, the parallels are obvious and the parallels write themselves,” he told the outlet. “If you come into [the royal family] with any agenda for yourself—or if you come in and connect with the public in a way that threatens to change the way that the royal family connects with the public—that’s something that doesn’t particularly sit comfortably for either side.”
Morgan implied a contrast between Markle’s attempt to assimilate into the family and Kate Middleton’s: “Really, the only version of events that works is if somebody comes in and becomes invisible, and just sort of knuckles down to a lifetime of agreeable supplicancy to the duties of the crown,” he said, adding, “Diana struggled to fit in with the institution in a way that it’s impossible not to see the parallels with Meghan Markle and Harry. So the story feels both incredibly vivid historically, but also it really shines a lot of lights on where we are now.”
The showrunner’s willingness to comment on the Sussexes in real-life, however, doesn’t mean he’ll cover them on future seasons of The Crown. Back in 2018, Morgan told Entertainment Weekly, “I feel uncomfortable writing about events within a certain time period.” He went on to say, “Let’s wait 20 years and see what there is to say about Meghan Markle. I don’t know what there is to say about Meghan Markle at the moment. I wouldn’t know and I wouldn’t presume. She’ll only become interesting once we’ve had 20 years to digest who she is and what her impact has been. If I were to write about Meghan Markle I would automatically be writing journalistically.”
Another recent royal event Morgan has vowed not to cover: Prince Andrew’s own exit from royal duties under far different circumstances. Last November, the Duke of York released a statement stating that he would “step back from public duties for the foreseeable future,” a move approved by the Queen following Andrew’s close ties to Jeffrey Epstein and his own sexual misconduct allegations. The statement went on to address Andrew’s “ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein” as a “major disruption to my family’s work.” While Vanity Fair reports that “the queen reexamines her relationship with each of her young adult children” in a season 4 episode, Morgan has no plans to depict the controversy outright. “If you draw too many intentional parallels, it actually becomes quite ugly,” he told the outlet.
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