“They don’t pretend to be news. It’s fiction,” Harry, 36, said during a special segment on the Thursday, February 25, episode of The Late Late Show With James Corden. “But it’s loosely based on the truth.”
The award-winning series, which debuted on the streaming service in November 2016, puts a dramatic twist on the reign of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s to near-present day. Season 4 aired in November 2020 and introduced Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana (played by Emma Corrin), in the early days of her marriage to Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor).
While the former military pilot noted that the Peter Morgan-created show is “obviously fiction” and “not strictly accurate,” he thinks it allows viewers to get a taste of the ins and outs of royal life.
“It gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle, what the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that,” he told James Corden as they toured Los Angeles on top of a double-decker bus. “I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife, or myself.”
Harry even knows exactly who he’d want to play him on the show: Billions star (and fellow redhead) Damian Lewis.
When the fourth season premiered last fall, British politician Oliver Dowden urged Netflix to begin each episode with a disclaimer to remind viewers that it’s not a documentary. Amid the uproar, The Crown‘s Helena Bonham Carter agreed that the series has a “moral responsibility” to state that the events portrayed on-screen are highly “dramatized.”
At the time, Morgan, 57, told The Times that the show was never marketed as a docuseries. “We do our very, very best to get it right, but sometimes I have to conflate [events],” the screenwriter said. “You sometimes have to forsake accuracy, but you must never forsake truth.”
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As the show inches closer to present-day events, fans have wondered whether Harry and Meghan Markle‘s royal exit will become part of the plot. The duo, who wed in May 2018, initially announced their step back from their senior roles in January 2020 before their departure was made permanent earlier this month. However, actor Jared Harris previously told Us Weekly exclusively that the Sussexes aren’t likely to make an appearance on The Crown.
“It’s not gonna go that far. No, I asked. Peter [Morgan] said he’s not going that far,” Harris, who played King George VI on the first season, said in February 2020.