Prince William's 'sad and melancholy' portrayal in The Crown season 5 challenged by expert

A royal expert has claimed Prince William's reported portrayal in The Crown season 5 doesn't reflect the 'happy times' as much as the 'grim' moments...

Prince William's 'sad and melancholy' The Crown portrayal challenged, seen here marking the Queen Mother's birthday
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Prince William's reported 'sad and melancholy' portrayal in The Crown season 5 has been challenged by royal expert who emphasized the "happy times". 


From the moment The Crown season 5 trailer landed, fans were left eagerly anticipating how the hit drama would handle the devastating events of the 1990s. It’s thought Prince William could be “furious” at Netflix’s decision to include their fictionalization of Princess Diana’s Panorama interview in the new season. However, his portrayal has also now faced criticism. Having seen a preview of The Crown season 5, FEMAIL reported that the new series depicts a rather melancholic Prince William during his teenage years. 

Now royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams has suggested that this apparent portrayal doesn’t reflect how much the future King was “loved as a child” and how there were also “happy times”...

According to MailOnline (opens in new tab), the preview showed the now-Prince of Wales, struggling throughout the breakdown of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s relationship. Their separation contributed heavily to the Queen’s Annus Horribilis being considered one of the worst years of her reign. 

The future King is supposedly seen comforting his mother during difficult moments. He is also apparently shown as “miserable” as he negotiates growing up in the public eye as one of the Queen’s grandchildren. However, according to royal expert Richard Fitzwilliam, this alleged portrayal doesn’t take into account the “happy times” that he experienced too. 

“Those watching what The Crown shows should also bear in mind that there were, even in the nineties, happy times for William too,' Richard said. 'Whereas many of the events it portrays were indeed grim, it should surely also show how William was loved as a child.' 

Princess Diana with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry on a skiing holiday in Lech, Austria

(Image credit: Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

The expert continued, “William, it has been reported, is portrayed as sad, unfulfilled and melancholy in the fifth series.”

He went on to counter this by reflecting upon how much Princess Diana taught her son and how she tried to give them a “normal” childhood, bringing a sense of fun into their lives.

“It was from Diana that he learnt to care for the less fortunate, especially the homeless and those in hospital and that has benefited them both in later life. William later said what an eye-opener seeing a different side to life was and, when he turned 40, reportedly became a Big Issue seller in memory of what his mother taught him,” he said. 

Richard continued, “She was more casual than Charles, a trip to the cinema, skiing or, most famously, to an amusement park [Thorpe Park], was more her style.

Diana Princess Of Wales, Prince William & Prince Harry Visit The 'Thorpe Park' Amusement Park

(Image credit: Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

"She wanted her sons to have as normal an upbringing as they possibly could under very trying circumstances,” Richard added. 

Richard explained that his father and grandmother helped ensure the Prince felt loved, sharing, “Charles taught William polo and traditional country sports. The Queen played a particularly important role in his life, helping to prepare him for the future, notably when he was a pupil at Eton when he visited her at weekends.”

Ultimately, whilst The Crown season 5 is based on historical events, it is of course fictional and it could simply be that they chose to take a different and more dramatic approach when it came to the depiction of Prince William’s teenage years.  

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.