Netflix has scored a huge hit with its fourth series of The Crown.
A new report claims that 29 million people logged onto the streaming service to watch the latest series of the royal family drama in its first week of release earlier this month.
While official figures are yet to be released by Netflix, that reported figure would mean more people watched the dramatised version of Prince Charles and Princess Diana‘s courtship than the couple’s real life wedding in 1981.
Hit: Series four of Netflix’s The Crown scored 29 million viewers in its first week of release, according to a new report (pictured Emma Corrin as Princess Diana)
Just under 29 million globally watched the drama in its first week of release from November 4, that’s 600,000 more than watched TV coverage in Britain of the royal wedding in 1981, reports The Sun.
750 million viewers watched the wedding around the world.
Netflix does not officially publicise figures until a month after a show first comes out with official figures for series three showing that 21 million watched in its opening week.
The fourth series though is expected to draw in more viewers thanks to its highly publicised portryal of Charles (played by Josh O’Connor) and Diana’s (played by newcomer to the show Emma Corrin) early years of courtship and marriage.
Royal wedding: While official figures are yet to be released by Netflix, that reported figure would mean more people watched the dramatised version of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s courtship than the couple’s real life wedding in 1981
The Sun report that Josh and Emma and other members of the cast were told about the soaring viewing figures recently, with a source saying: ‘Everyone involved is totally thrilled.’
‘There was more hype than ever on this year’s series, and arguably more pressure on all the cast, crew and writers.
‘But the reviews have been almost unanimously rave – and this is reflected in the first week viewing figures.
The lead up to the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana is shown in episode 3 of the new series, but while fans get a glimpse of Emma in the Princess of Wales’ iconic dress, the show chose not to renact the wedding in full.
Drama: The lead up to the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana is shown in episode 3 , but while fans get a glimpse of Princess of Wales’ iconic dress, the show chose not to renact the wedding in full (pictured Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor in the engagement scene)
As Emma explained to The Hollywood Reporter recently: ‘We never re-create things just for the sake of re-creating them.’
‘I think if we do re-create a scene – like the engagement scene, for instance, when they do the announcement – it has to be because it’s linked to something that the characters are going through. It has to be part of the story.’
She pointed out that, with the wedding scene, ‘you can YouTube it and you could be watching it in 10 seconds, so I don’t think there’d be any point in us re-creating it’.
Josh added of the decision made by the show’s creator: ‘Peter Morgan isn’t interested in showing you the wedding because, yeah, Emma’s right, you just go on YouTube and you can watch it.’
Global event: Just under 29 million globally watched the drama in its first week of release, that’s 600,000 more than watched TV coverage in Britain of the royal wedding in 1981
‘I think all the historical events are important for punctuating so that the audience know where we are,’ he added.
‘[Morgan] basically signposts it using historical events. But what’s more interesting, because Charles and Diana have to be a certain way on their wedding day, you don’t see the nuance; whereas when it’s behind closed doors, [like] the rehearsal, we have more license to create and fictionalise.’
Emma and Josh have seen their stars rise since landing the royal roles, with Emma praising Queen Elizabeth II actress Olivia Colman and Princess Margaret star Helena Bonham Carter for ‘protecting her.’
Emma will be replaced by Elizabeth Debicki for series five of the Crown with Dominic West rumoured to be taking on the role of Prince Charles.
Iconic: 750 million viewers watched the royal wedding around the world in 1981
What royal experts say about The Crown
Richard Fitzwilliams: ‘William will undoubtedly detest it. I think, if he watches it, he will see it as deeply intrusive and will think its portrayal of senior royals as so malign and ill-mannered as callous and the way it takes so many liberties with fact as deeply deplorable.’
Penny Junor: ‘I think Harry will find himself in a very awkward situation right now. It is yet another example, perhaps, of how difficult it is to mix being royal with the commercial world. There are bear traps everywhere.’
Ingrid Seward: ‘You mustn’t believe it, but watch it and enjoy it. But don’t take it as completely true… Because I suppose I’m something of a royal anorak, I think it’s pretty inaccurate.’
Dickie Arbiter: ‘The Crown is first and foremost entertainment, based on the events of the day, but the script is fiction, the words are fiction and some of the actions are fiction.’
Sally Beddell Smith: ‘The Crown is a work of fiction and the level of invention has been growing. While the earlier seasons were period pieces, series four is recent history, so it seems more cruel in its false depictions’
Tom Quinn: ‘That’s total nonsense [that Diana pursued Charles]. That really didn’t happen. It was much more subtle. According to my sources, Diana certainly didn’t accost Charles either in his car or anywhere else.’
Paul Burrell: ‘This is just a peek behind the doors of Buckingham Palace, that perhaps the palace don’t want you to see because this is the truth in many ways. It’s a fair and accurate dramatisation of what happened.’
Amid its huge success with fans, commentators have lined up to criticise series four of the drama, including Ingrid Seward who called it ‘pretty inaccurate’, Dickie Arbiter who said ‘some of the actions are fiction’ and Sally Beddell Smith who said ‘the level of invention has been growing’.
Tom Quinn said parts of the show were ‘total nonsense’, although Paul Burrell was full of praise, saying it was a ‘fair and accurate dramatisation of what happened’.
Friends of Prince Charles launched a blistering attack on the show earlier this month, accusing producers of the hit Netflix drama of ‘trolling on a Hollywood budget’.
Some of the Prince’s closest confidantes have accused the streaming giant of exploiting the Royal Family’s pain for financial gain and raged that ‘fiction is presented as fact’ in its twisted version of events.
In a series of highly unusual public interventions that demonstrates the depth of concern at the very top of the Royal Family, Palace insiders lined up to slate the Netflix show.
One insider said: ‘This is drama and entertainment for commercial ends being made with no regard to the actual people involved who are having their lives hijacked and exploited.
‘In this case, it’s dragging up things that happened during very difficult times 25 or 30 years ago without a thought for anyone’s feelings. That isn’t right or fair, particularly when so many of the things being depicted don’t represent the truth.’
It is the depiction of a callous and self-serving Charles meeting and marrying an innocent Diana while maintaining his affair with the then-married Camilla Parker-Bowles which has sparked such anger.
A Palace source said: ‘The new series paints the Prince and Duchess in a very unflattering light but at least at the start of reality shows like The Only Way Is Essex they admit that some scenes have been invented for entertainment.
‘There is no sense of telling carefully nuanced stories – it’s all very two-dimensional.
‘This is trolling with a Hollywood budget. The public shouldn’t be fooled into thinking this is an accurate portrayal of what really happened.’