Sunday, 28 Nov 2021

Royal Family told they can ‘sue Netflix’s The Crown’ for libel by legal experts

The Royal Family has reportedly been told they can sue Netflix over The Crown.

Pals shown in the new series consulted the Queen's lawyers who claimed they and the royals had grounds for legal action.

Close friends of the family, worried about their own portrayal in the upcoming series, decided to seek advice from solicitors.

They included a range of experts from the Queen's favoured law firm Farrer & Co and Harbottle & Lewis.

Friends close to the monarchy were assured they could sue the show's makers, The Sun reports.

But crucially they have shared this advice with The Firm, which could pave the way for the family to take historic action against the show.

A source said: "Friends of the Royal Family sought legal advice.

"The advice they received would also apply to the Royal Family.

"Although this is not direct legal advice given to the Queen and her family — they have been made aware of this advice."

The newest series is currently being filmed across the UK and will land on streaming services next November.

The Queen is played by Imelda Staunton with Elizabeth Debicki as Diana.

Series 5 is set to follow the Monarch's 1992 "annus horribilis", Diana and Charles' divorce and the tragic fallout of the late princess' 1997 death.

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Prince William is also set to be defied by Netflix as they feature Martin Bashir's 1995 interview with his mum.

A source said: "This series will be the most controversial ever. It deals with events that are still incredibly raw for many."

Last year it was announced that Harry and Meghan had agreed to an estimated £110million deal with Netflix for programmes.

Last year Harry and Meghan agreed to an estimated £110million deal with Netflix for programmes.

Another source told The Sun on Sunday: "The Queen’s lawyers have been keeping a close eye on everything. Given Harry’s money-spinning deal, The Crown has become even more of a talking point."

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Helena Shipman, at Carter-Ruck solicitors, said: "One battleground is the main message of the programme. Is it that the Queen acted coldly following the death of Diana? That would be a statement of opinion and Netflix would have an easy defence saying it is simply their own honest account.

"However, where The Crown has potential to overstep the mark is by suggesting something more serious — such as the Queen failing in her duties as sovereign and harming the country.

"That’s arguably a fact a defendant would have to prove true and the defence threshold for that is much higher."

The Palace has been contacted for comment.

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