Royals Fact and Fiction

I’m sure you all heard about the kerfuffle regarding The Crown – people like Dame Judi Dench insist Netflix put a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode, calling the show a “fictionalized drama”.  I suppose they worry someone might tune in and think they’re watching a documentary.  But this got me thinking – what do we really know about Richard II?  Do we have any idea what Cleopatra and Marc Antony said between the sheets?  Aren’t all historical dramas somewhat “fictionalized”?  Dame Helen Mirren played Queen Elizabeth II on several occasions – surely the audience knew those weren’t officially sanctioned.  What about that other Elizabeth – Queen Elizabeth I, who was portrayed by Dench herself.  Her Oscar-winning appearance as the sovereign for eight minutes in Shakespeare in Love was an entirely fictitious scenario.  And, if memory serves, no disclaimer was suggested then.

Then there’s a more recent royal – or ex-royal – Meghan Markle.  She recently spoke about being Briefcase Girl #24 on Deal or No Deal, where she was forced to get a spray tan, wear a padded bra, and a cute little dress.  She felt “reduced to a bimbo” and “objectified” – which comes cheap since she was only paid $800/show!  “I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage.”  I’m sure millions of people out there who take jobs that don’t utilize all of their talents can identify.  They do it because they need the gig.  And if it irks you that much, leave – which Meg ultimately did.  On the other hand, I recently hired a plumber to fix my toilet.  If he turned to me and said, “I’ve got other interests.  Let’s talk about Hezbollah,” I’d say, “Shut the fuck up and fix my toilet!”  I’m either a part of the solution, or the problem.


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