March 22, 2018

King Charles III: The New Royal Drama That's Courting Controversy

19 May 2017, 11:43 | Max Haynes

PBS Timothy Pigott Smith as Charles

Timothy Pigott Smith as Charles

King Charles III has been adapted from the award-winning play of the same name by Mike Bartlett.

The stage show has been lauded since its London premiere in 2014-but its television adaptation, which will also air on BBC 2 in the U.K. Wednesday, has been stirring up controversy for weeks, particularly among those who question its less-than-flattering depictions of figures like Charles, Princes William and Harry, and Kate Middleton.

What follows is pretty controversial: a fictionalised Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, administering a slap to Wills, a Machiavellian Kate Middleton pulling strings behind the scenes and (to much consternation) a scene featuring the "ghost" of the late Princess Diana.

Starring the late Tim Pigott-Smith in his final TV role, it follows Prince Charles shortly after he has become the new king. Whatever the aging heir's eventual decision, "King Charles III" underscores that no matter what their fate, the royals never fade away. While the event brought in many well-wishers - and celebrity guests like Tom Cruise, Hillary Clinton, Anna Wintour, and Steven Spielberg - Diana's funeral was originally meant to be a private affair attended only by members of the royal family and her closest relatives and friends.

- Tim Pigott-Smith has made one doozy of a stage exit. "But I don't think we've done anything unreasonable or cruel". Just six weeks before her death, Diana was photographed comforting Elton at the funeral of their friend, fashion designer Gianni Versace.

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He said: "The net gain that the world has received from having him in it is so extraordinary that whilst it may be scant consolation for a life so tragically cut short, everybody who knew him, worked with him, had the pleasure of being mentored, comforted, supported, interacted with him, and everyone who has taken joy from his many magnificent performances, we can treasure that selfish memory".

The royal family is reportedly aware of the film but has not issued a public statement about it. According to reports, viewers will see Diana tell her her ex husband: "You think I didn't love you". It's s**t that the only way I can connect with the public is by being a bloody clotheshorse, but if I have to do that for the monarchy to stay relevant, then so be it. Let's suck it up.

Duchess Catherine, who is often seen smiling in appearances is portrayed as a dark and "scheming modern-day Lady Macbeth", according to The Telegraph. "A what-if history play".

A black "John Travolta" dress by Victor EdelsteinPhoto: Courtesy of Kensington Palace/Richard Lea-Hair.

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