The King Charles III reviews are in – and the reactions have been mixed…

King Charles III was the controversial play by Mike Bartlett that’s been adapted into a BBC drama and has been making headlines this week for its shocking portrayal of the royal family.

Set in the aftermath of Queen Elizabeth II’s death the drama, which aired on BBC Two last night, is written entirely in blank verse. The plot centered around the newly crowned ‘King Charles’ refusing to sign a bill which would restrict the freedom of the press.

The topical storyline explored what the consequences might be if this were to happen in reality, with Charles exercising his ancient right as a monarch to dissolve parliament, and the country consequently descending into civil war.

The contentious show also covered subjects such as Prince Harry’s parentage and featured a scene in which the late Princess Diana appears to Charles as a ghost.

Although the play was first performed in 2014, the choice to air the adaptation on the BBC this year – which marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death – has been criticised by some for being insensitive. Especially following weeks in which both Prince William and Prince Harry have spoken openly about the struggle they still suffer coming to terms with their mother’s tragic and sudden death.


Despite this, the show has still received wide-spread praise. While the Daily Telegraph describes the BBC drama as, “a majestic, unmissable drama” the Guardian notes that the programme is the, “boldest BBC show of the year.” Many viewers agreed:

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Tim Pigott-Smith’s performance as King Charles III has been widely praised as one of his best ever. Many are calling for the actor, who sadly passed away in April this year, to be awarded a BAFTA award for his performance posthumously.


However, aside from the positive reviews and the praise for Piggot-Smith, the King Charles III reviews have been mixed. The Daily Mail described the drama as, “bordering on contemptuous” and “uncomfortable” viewing, while those watching the show at home were quick to take to Twitter to share their opinions on the shocking show.

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What do you think? Let us know your opinion by joining the conversation on the Woman & Home Facebook page!

Appearing on Good Morning Britain this morning, former royal correspondent Jennie Bond revealed that she didn’t think the royal family would be watching the controversial show. However, she did admit that it was likely the family would have been briefed on the drama.