While the historical drama has been much dissected since its 2016 premiere for its dramatic interpretations of the British royal family, the current fourth season has sparked the most debates and headlines.
Set in the ‘80s, the series now focuses on the widely publicized marriage of Charles and Princess Diana, as well as the 11-year tenure of Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, which transformed and divided Britain.
Diana passed away in 1997 at age 36 from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash. Thatcher died in 2013 at age 87.
Lumley, who currently appeared on the Chopper’s Politics podcast for The Telegraph, was asked if she has streamed the series or if she would ever make a guest appearance. The actress quickly said “no.”
“No, I didn’t watch it,” the 74-year-old said, as quoted by U.K.’s The DailyMail on Tuesday. “Lots of people love it and lots of people know it’s mostly made up, but lots of people don’t know it’s made up which is awful.”
“I find it all ghastly,” she added.
According to the outlet, the “Absolutely Fabulous” star and the Prince of Wales have been friends for years. She’s an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, a youth charity that helps young people who are struggling to find jobs.
She also attended the 72-year-old’s 2005 wedding to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
“Well, some people say ‘Oh everybody knows it’s made up’ – they don’t, they think it’s the truth,” Lumley explained. “I couldn’t watch it because I feel if you don’t disagree with something you don’t watch it and go ‘oooh I hate that.’ Just don’t watch it.”
Former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter previously called “The Crown” a “hatchet job” on Charles and Diana. Arbiter has also accused the series of “stretching dramatic license to the extreme,” The Hollywood Reporter shared.
Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, has also said the show should carry a notice that “this isn’t true but it is based around some real events.”
“I worry people do think that this is gospel and that’s unfair,” the 56-year-old told broadcaster ITV.
Netflix has since rejected calls from British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to add a disclaimer to the series that states it is a work of fiction. The streaming giant said the show is presented in enough context.
“We have always presented ‘The Crown’ as a drama — and we have every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction that’s broadly based on historical events,” according to a statement released by Netflix.
“As a result, we have no plans — and see no need — to add a disclaimer.”
“The Crown” creator Peter Morgan, whose work also includes recent-history dramas “The Queen” and “Frost/Nixon,” has defended his work, saying it is thoroughly researched and true in spirit.
In a 2017 discussion of “The Crown,” Morgan said, “you sometimes have to forsake accuracy, but you must never forsake truth.”
Steven Fielding, a professor of political history at the University of Nottingham, said the suggestion that “The Crown” carry a disclaimer was “reasonable and yet pointless.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.