Sir John Major has branded ‘The Crown’ “damaging and malicious fiction”.
The former Prime Minister – who will be played by Jonny Lee Miller in the upcoming fifth season of the Netflix drama series – insisted he has “never been approached” by producers to discuss the scenes planned for the show and hit out a storyline depicting then-Prince Charles (Dominic West) lobbying him to join a plot to urge Queen Elizabeth (Imelda Staunton) to abdicate.
The 79-year-old former Conservative leader insisted there was “never” such discussions between himself and Charles during his time as Prime Minister.
He told the Mail on Sunday newspaper in a statement: “Sir John has not co-operated in any way with ‘The Crown’. Nor has he ever been approached by them to fact-check any script material in this or any other series.
“As you will know, discussions between the Monarch and Prime Minister are entirely private and — for Sir John — will always remain so. But not one of the scenes you depict are accurate in any way whatsoever. They are fiction, pure and simple.
“There was never any discussion between Sir John and the then Prince of Wales about any possible abdication of the late Queen Elizabeth II — nor was such an improbable and improper subject ever raised by the then Prince of Wales (or Sir John).
“Neither Sir John nor Dame Norma have discussed the Monarchy remotely in these terms. [What you report as depicted in the script] has never been their view, never would be their view, and never will be their view.
“Thus, if the scenes you describe are broadcast, they should be seen as nothing other than damaging and malicious fiction. A barrel load of nonsense peddled for no other reason than to provide maximum — and entirely false — dramatic impact.”
The episode, which is due to be released on 9 November will see Charles summon the prime minister and hint the monarchy should follow the Conservatives after they ousted Margaret Thatcher in favour of the younger politician.
Sir Malcom Rifkind, who was Foreign Secretary under John said the idea Charles encouraged the Prime Minister to support his bid to have the queen abdicate was “pathetic and absurd”.
He added: “At the time, the Queen was in her 60s – younger than the King is today. It’s pure fantasy which is what we have come to expect from this particular programme.”
Originally published at www.femalefirst.co.uk