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Judi Dench would like you to remember that The Crown is fictional

The Cats actor slammed the Netflix series based on the British royal family as "crude sensationalism"

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Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Photo: Stuart C. Wilson (Getty Images)

Sure, season five of The Crown doesn’t come out until next month, but that’s not about to stop Judi Dench from having an opinion on the new episodes of Netflix’s acclaimed drama based on the British royal family. Following a September report that Buckingham Palace wants to remind everyone that the series is “a drama not a documentary,” the Cats star penned an open letter to The Times UK saying the show has veered towards “crude sensationalism.”

“Given some of the wounding suggestions apparently contained in the new series—that King Charles plotted for his mother to abdicate, for example, or once suggested his mother’s parenting was so deficient that she might have deserved a jail sentence—this is both cruelly unjust to the individuals and damaging to the institution they represent,” Dench writes, via Variety and WalesOnline.

The veteran actor, who has apparently gone all in on that “Her Majesty’s Secret Service” thing after playing M in two decades’ worth of James Bond movies, also supports the campaign to add a disclaimer about the show being fictional.

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“The time has come for Netflix to reconsider—for the sake of a family and a nation so recently bereaved, as a mark of respect to a sovereign who served her people so dutifully for 70 years, and to preserve its reputation in the eyes of its British subscribers,” she continues.

For what it’s worth, Emma Corrin, who portrayed Princess Diana in season four of the series, has a higher opinion of Netflix viewers, previously saying, “It is very clearly a dramatized version of events.” Of course, Dench is also historically invested enough in the royal family that she accepted an appointment to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire from the queen back in the ‘80s.

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Season five of The Crown premieres on November 9.