The Crown creator has defended making up scenes for the Netflix drama involving the Prince of Wales and his beloved great-uncle Lord Mountbatten.
The fourth season of the much-talked about series is streaming now and the opening episode features an imagined interaction between the two men.
Charles Dance’s Lord Mountbatten admonishes Josh O’Connor’s Charles for his pursuit of Camilla, who at the time was married to Andrew Parker Bowles.
Viewers see the older man writing a letter warning Charles he is in danger of bringing “ruin and disappointment” to the family. On the show, the prince only reads the note after the IRA assassinated Lord Mountbatten in August 1979.
While no record of the letter exists, Peter Morgan, creator of The Crown, believes the interaction to be based in truth.
Speaking on the show’s official podcast, he said: “What we know is that Mountbatten was really responsible for taking Charles to one side at precisely this point and saying, ‘Look, you know, enough already with playing the field, it’s time you got married and it’s time you provided an heir’.
“As the heir I think there was some concern that he should settle down, marry the appropriate person and get on with it.”
Criticism of The Crown has often focused on its portrayal of made up events. The show employs researchers but Morgan defended his right to creative freedom.
He said: “In my own head I thought that would have even greater impact on Charles if it were to come post-mortem, as it were. I think everything that’s in that letter that Mountbatten writes to Charles is what I really believe, based on everything I’ve read and people I’ve spoken to, that represents his view.
“We will never know if it was put into a letter, and we will never know if Charles got that letter before or after Mountbatten’s death, but in this particular drama, this is how I decided to deal with it.”
Season four of The Crown explores Charles’ relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales. Actress Emma Corrin has won plaudits for her portrayal of Diana.
Former royal butler Paul Burrell said the new season is a “fair and accurate dramatisation” of the royal family’s treatment of Diana.