'The Crown' slammed over 'offensive' slur used in Princess Margaret scene featuring Helena Bonham Carter
After three successful and promising years on Netflix, 'The Crown' is facing major backlash owing to inaccuracies in the portrayal of the Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, after Helena Bonham Carter's character on the show was heard saying an 'offensive' slur in one of the scenes.
As one of the most riveting shows chronicling the life of the British Royals, 'The Crown' took a time jump in its Season 3 and featured Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II, the protagonist, and Bonham Carter as her sister Margaret. In Episode 10, 'Cri de Coeur', Margaret takes a shopping trip to Peebles to buy swimming trucks for her lover Roddy Llewellyn. The scene shows the queen's sister entering a shop and refer to the residents, saying: "I think we’ve stumbled across an experiment in inbreeding." This deemed-offensive comment arrives in the middle of severe criticism on the accuracy of the show after critics pointed out that the series relies on speculation based on wrong information about the Royals and their day-to-day activities in their personal lives.
"It’s common knowledge locally that Princess Margaret probably did meet Roddy Llewellyn in the beautiful Borders and took advantage of the fantastic shops in Peebles to impress him. So for once, The Crown seems to have got something right – it’s just a shame they blow it with this crass and offensive comment." The scene is featured in an episode entitled 'Cri de Coeur'; the footage where the princess can be seen using the slur shows a Peebles filmed in Rye on the Sussex coast, Daily Mail quoted South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth as saying.
Addressing the scene, Smyth further adding: "Maybe if Netflix had filmed the series in the Borders they would have found out how wrong the comments are, and the producers could have followed in Princess Margaret’s footsteps by taking full advantage of the great shopping offer in Peebles that goes well beyond swimming trunks."
The outlet also reports that SNP councilor Stuart Bell, who represents Tweeddale East, said: 'It is well known locally Princess Margaret was a close friend of the Tennant family of The Glen [estate] near Peebles. 'The Crown' is entertainment, rather than a factual documentary, but I cannot imagine the Royal Family or the bright and welcoming residents of Peebles today will be very entertained by their dismissive portrayal in that show."
While Netflix hasn't commented on the flak, Lady Anne Glenconner has referred to the real-life incident in her autobiography 'Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown' noting that Princess Margaret had "whisked Roddy off shopping to find him some swimming trunks for the pool’ – and he returned with ‘budgie smugglers."
As for the 'inbreeding' remark, the outlet quoted a Scottish Borders Council spokesman as saying: "The Queen and members of the Royal Family have spent a lot of time in Peebles over the years and always seem to enjoy meeting the wonderful members of this community. TV series like The Crown can use poetic license and I don’t think anyone will pay much notice to this or take any offense."