Everyone loves Netflix’s The Crown, with its fascinating accounts of the behind-the-throne drama and funny foibles of the British royal family, but U.K. culture secretary Oliver Dowden is worried that everyone is putting too much stock in the creative liberties that Netflix takes with the series. Like, Margaret Thatcher? Lady Di? Queen Elizabeth II? There’s no way larger-than-life figures like that were ever real, right? What’s a queen anyway? Why don’t they just call it a president like they do here in America?
But yeah, Dowden said in an interview with the Daily Mail that Netflix should be more explicit about the fact that The Crown is fiction, because otherwise “a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.” Entertainment Weekly notes that a few other people have come forward with some variation of “um, this isn’t really what happened” lately, particularly since the new season introduced Emma Corrin’s Princess Diana. EW also theorizes that this is happening because of the fact that the show has caught up to the ‘80s, which means that a lot of the people involved in the story—or, you know, the real version of the story—are still alive and therefore have some incentive to point out the difference between truth and fiction.
Of course, The Crown has never really presented itself as anything other than a fictionalized account of the lives of Queen Elizabeth II and her family, so everyone rushing to remind the general public that it’s not a documentary should be careful not to—as another famous British person once said—protest too much. Rather than just assuming it’s all fiction, people might start looking for the stuff that’s not. For example, we’re starting to suspect that the real Margaret Thatcher may have been quite the conservative, but you didn’t hear that from us. Also, our friends at The Onion just posted this today, so that’s pretty funny: