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Claims by The Crown that the late Queen was haunted by thoughts of abdicating have been torn apart by royal experts in the latest episode of their hit podcast.
In The Crown: Fact or Fiction, listeners are given unrivalled insight into the final episode of the Netflix drama.
The Mail’s Robert Hardman and The Mail on Sunday’s Royal Correspondent Natasha Livingstone unpick a plot centred on the marriage of Charles and Camilla and the late Queen’s apparent internal struggles.
The central thread woven through the episode is the suggestion Elizabeth II battled with the idea she should abdicate and hand the throne to her heir.
Viewers are even led to believe she was moments away from announcing this at Charles’ wedding in 2005 – but our experts conclude this is writers getting ‘very arty’.
Claims by The Crown that the late Queen (pictured) was haunted by thoughts of abdicating have been torn apart by royal experts in the latest episode of their hit podcast
Hardman said: ‘The idea the Queen was lying awake at night being tormented should she be handing over, it’s something that she never pondered.
‘She had made her oath for life at her Coronation. The A-word simply wasn’t part of her vocabulary.’
Viewers of the series are shown a scene in which the Queen, then aged 79, is made to watch detailed plans for her funeral, which were called Operation London Bridge.
Hardman said: ‘This is another case of The Crown retro-fitting what we now know, which simply was not being discussed at the time.’
In researching his Book – Charles III: New King. New Court. The Inside Story, which was released yesterday – Hardman ‘spoke at some length to those involved in planning the Queen’s funeral’.
He added: ‘No one was talking about London Bridge in this sort of detail at that point.’
Hardman is critical of a scene in which Charles is made to confess his ‘past wickedness’ before he is allowed to marry Camilla.
He said: ‘This just reflects the fact that people are very unfamiliar with the ways of the Church because that’s just bog-standard rubric in the Book of Common Prayer.
‘Here, it’s been dressed up as some special atonement for past naughtiness.’
Robert Hardman (pictured) said: ‘The idea the Queen was lying awake at night being tormented should she be handing over, it’s something that she never pondered’
With the episode drawing the drama to a close after six series, Hardman concluded: ‘It has certainly lifted the profile of the monarchy and we live in an age of soft power. So it could be argued that it has been a good thing.
‘But if you’re going to make out that this is a very noble piece of truth telling, as the makers have professed in the past, then they could have been a little more accurate.’