A young Prince Harry appears in the final season of the Netflix royal drama, but Peter Morgan didn't pick up a copy of his book
"I've not read a word of it," Morgan said in a new interview. "Not that I wouldn’t be interested. But I didn’t want his voice to inhabit my thinking too much. I’ve got a lot of sympathy with him, a lot of sympathy. But I didn’t want to read his book."
Morgan said his focus for the show remained on the direct line of succession to the British throne: Queen Elizabeth, King Charles and Prince William. And while Prince Harry appears more in the sixth and final season, premiering next month, the creator said his role is "mainly only in relationship to William."
Prince Harry — who, along with his wife Meghan Markle, has a partnership with Netflix — has previously called The Crown "fiction."
"They don't pretend to be news. It's fiction. But it's loosely based on the truth. Of course, it's not strictly accurate," the Duke of Sussex, 39, told James Corden during a 2021 appearance on the host's late-night show. "It gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle, what the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that."
He added, "I'm way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife, or myself. That is obviously fiction – take it how you will. But this is being reported on as fact because you're supposedly news."
Morgan told Variety that he's never discussed the series with Prince Harry, and co-chief executive officer of Netflix Ted Sarandos told the outlet, "We keep a wall around this topic when we talk, for obvious reasons."
— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) October 16, 2023
Prince Harry's character (played by actors Fflyn Edwards and Luther Ford as he ages) will get more screen time in the final season of the show, set from 1997 to 2005. The Crown will cover the tragic death of their mother, Princess Diana, which Harry — just 12 at the time of the Paris car crash — reflected on in Spare.
Prince Harry was told the news about his mother's involvement in the accident by his father, Charles.
Harry wrote, "I remember waiting patiently for Pa to confirm that indeed Mummy was all right. And I remember him not doing that."
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Prince Harry told PEOPLE around the time of his book release that he felt most defined, both publicly and privately, by his role as the "spare" to Prince William.
"While I know much of my life may seem unrelatable, I do think most siblings can relate to struggling with comparisons, and my brother and I are no exception," he said.
As for what he hopes his family's takeaway is from his memoir, the Duke of Sussex said: "I don't want to tell anyone what to think of it and that includes my family. This book and its truths are in many ways a continuation of my own mental health journey. It's a raw account of my life — the good, the bad and everything in between."
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