Will 2019’s Royal Scandals Make the Best Season of ‘The Crown’?

As Netflix’s hit show The Crown has encroached ever closer to modern-day accounts of the royal family’s life, fans have to be wondering if 2019’s rocky series of scandals will make its way into the show soon. 

After all, the year was punctuated with scandals of all kinds for the royals, and these tidbits would certainly make for juicy and dramatic viewing. And there would be enough content for an entire season.

Furthermore, new evidence suggests the queen herself has been tuning in to see the fictional depiction of her famous family’s historical unfolding, so adding in the latest scandals would pack an even bigger punch. 

Cheating allegations rocked the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

For the most part, Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton have been the darlings of the royal family. They haven’t faced the scrutiny and criticism of Prince William’s younger brother, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan Markle.

Instead, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge been seen as the perfect picture of royal behavior, which is appropriate since Prince William is in the direct line of succession to the throne and will likely follow his father into the role of king. 

Not everything was so smooth for the couple all year, though. The Duchess of Cambridge had a falling out with her formerly close friend Rose Hanbury. Tabloids quickly reported that the cause of the rift was an affair between Prince William and Hanbury.

The press coverage became so damaging that Prince William eventually sent his legal team after the tabloids to put a stop to it. By then, though, the damage was done. And a shadow of the rumors hung over the couple even though there was never confirmation and solid proof that they were true. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle refused to toe the royal line

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Overshadowing the rumored affair of his big brother, Prince Harry made tons of waves of his own by breaking many royal traditions in 2019. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex frequently butted heads with the press in an attempt to keep their privacy.

Their secrecy surrounding things like the birth of their son, Archie, and even the name of their dog frustrated fans who wanted a closer glimpse into the family’s personal life. 

At the height of the controversy, which often pitted Duchess Meghan and her Hollywood past as the catalyst for the rebellion, speculation began that the pair were planning to move to California and bow out of royal life altogether. While those rumors remain unsubstantiated, the Sussexes refusal to quietly play their part in the royal family has been a source of constant tension and potentially provides plenty of material for The Crown to explore in (fictionalized) depth. 

Prince Andrew’s alleged sex crimes overshadow everyone else

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A statement by His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG.

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Of course, the rest of these rumors and speculations pale in comparison to the scandal hanging over Prince Andrew’s head. In the aftermath of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide, Prince Andrew’s connection to the infamous criminal continues to be a problem for the royal family. 

A decades-old allegation of Prince Andrew trafficking a teen victim for sex resurfaced in 2019, and it has brought renewed attention to the prince’s long-standing friendship with Epstein—a friendship that continued even after Epstein’s earlier arrest and conviction for sex offenses.

To make matters worse, Prince Andrew attempted to smooth things over by doing a disastrous interview on BBC. While the move was supposed to clear his name and signal his innocence, he instead enraged the public even more by admitting he had no regrets about his friendship with Epstein. 

The fallout from the interview was bad enough that Prince Andrew stepped down from royal duties for the foreseeable future. He entered 2020 with the allegations still very much in the public’s mind. 

Will ‘The Crown’ tackle some of these scandals?

When Season 3 of The Crown wrapped up, the series had covered the time just before Queen Elizabeth took the throne up until 1977. Season 4, which is currently in production, is supposed to cover the time of Margaret Thatcher’s prime ministry and would also introduce Princess Diana. 

If prior seasons are any indication, we could expect the series to catch up to modern times within a few more seasons. However, Netflix has not yet confirmed that there will be additional seasons after Season 4. It’s also possible that the showrunners could choose to slow down the pace of progression to allow a deeper dive into recent history. 

While it may not impact their writing choices, the show creators have to be a little jolted to see that the queen included a subtle nod to the show in her annual Christmas speech. While she has not confirmed watching it, she placed a picture on her desk of herself shaking the hands of the Apollo 11 crew. This seems like a direct reference to The Crown, which covered this very event in Season 3.