Netflix cashes in on the Sussex effect: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s explosive Oprah interview leads to 85% spike in streams of The Crown
- Netflix’s The Crown got a viewership bump following Oprah Winfrey’s interview
- Viewers rushed to watch the historical drama, with ratings jumping 85 per cent
- Prince Harry, 36, has previously said the series reflects pressure of being royal
- Duke and Duchess of Sussex, 39, have a deal with The Crown creators Netflix
The Crown got an 85 per cent viewership bump in the week after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s tell-all bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Royal fans rushed to watch the historical drama after hearing the Duke, 36, and Duchess of Sussexes’, 39, explosive comments, including accusations of racism within the Royal Family.
According to The Wrap, in the week after the interview, viewers tuned in to the show for a total of 449 million minutes, an 85 per cent leap from 242 million minutes the week before.
The Netflix drama has come under fire from friends of close senior royals including Prince Charles, with some accusing the latest season of ‘trolling on a Hollywood budget’.
Harry and Meghan Markle raised eyebrows when they signed a deal with the streaming platform, thought to be worth around £100million, last year.
The hit Netflix show The Crown got a viewership bump after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s tell-all bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey
In the week after the interview, most viewers tuned in for the first season of ‘The Crown,’ as well as Season 4 episode, ‘Favourites.’
In that episode, the Queen, 94, meets with each of her four children to figure out which one she likes best, eventually settling on Prince Andrew.
Days before the explosive interview, while speaking on The Late Late Show with James Corden, the Duke gave his seal of approval to the Netflix show, which portrays his father Prince Charles as callous and self-serving and his grandmother the Queen as cold.
Prince Harry – who also name-dropped Netflix elsewhere in the interview – said The Crown is ‘fictional’ but is ‘loosely based on the truth’ and captures the feeling of being expected to put ‘duty and service above family and everything else’.
Royal fans rushed to watch the historical drama after hearing the Duke, 36, and Duchess of Sussexes’, 39, explosive comments, including accusations of racism within the Royal Family
Harry added he would like Homeland actor Damian Lewis to play him if his character ever appears on the show as an adult.
‘They don’t pretend to be news, it’s fictional,’ Prince Harry said of The Crown. ‘But it’s loosely based on the truth.
‘Of course it’s not strictly accurate but it loosely it gives you a rough idea of that lifestyle and the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else and what can come from that.
‘I’m way more comfortable about The Crown than the stories I see written about my family, my wife or myself. Because it’s the difference between that’s [the fact] obviously fiction, take it how you will – but this is reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news.’
In the week after the interview, most viewers tuned in for the first season of ‘The Crown,’ as well as Season 4 episode, ‘Favourites’
During their interview this month, Prince Harry and Meghan said racism drove them out of Britain and claimed their son Archie was denied the title of prince because he is mixed-race.
The couple accused an unnamed royal, not the Queen or Prince Philip, of raising ‘concerns’ about ‘how dark’ their son Archie’s skin tone would be before he was born.
Meghan also described her ‘pain’ that officials had denied Archie the title of prince, accusing Buckingham Palace of failing to protect him by denying him 24/7 security.
Despite Prince Harry’s endorsement of the show, many royal experts and friends of Prince Charles have panned the programme for its historical inaccuracy.
Controversy over invented scenes prompted the Princess’s brother to add his voice to the calls for a disclaimer. Pictured, Emma Corrin as Diana
Speaking on True Royalty TV’s Royal Beat Angela Levin, author of Harry: Biography of a Prince, said the portrayal of the Firm in The Crown is ‘wrong’ – while expert Robert Jobson went so far as to call it ‘dangerous’.
‘They saw people mainly for their faults, they didn’t try and balance it,’ she claimed.
‘It’s an attack to get rid of the Royal Family. A lot of them are still alive and I think it is spiteful. They should have balanced it, it’s not fair.’
She added it’s ‘appalling’ the drama ‘attacked the Queen’, claiming senior members of the Royal Family ‘try really hard’ for the country and have provided comfort and reassurance during the pandemic.
‘We saw The Queen talking to us when the Covid virus was at its peak, saying, “We will get better, we will meet again.” Kate and William did that on their train journey,’ Ms Levin went on.
‘They are saying, “Thank you, we are part of this, we are all together.” It gives you strength and courage and [for The Crown] to make them [into] inept idiots is wrong.
Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, has indicated his support for a disclaimer being added. He previously told ITV’s Lorraine: ‘I think it would help The Crown an enormous amount if, at the beginning of each episode, it stated that, “This isn’t true but it is based around some real events”.’
He added: ‘I worry people do think that this is gospel and that’s unfair.’
Netflix has said it had ‘no plans – and sees no need’ to add a disclaimer.
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