Dame Judi Dench is accusing ‘The Crown’ of being “cruelly unjust” to the Royal Family.

The Oscar winner, 87, who was made a Companion of Honour in 2005 and played Queen Victoria in the films ‘Mrs Brown’ and ‘Victoria and Abdul’, also accused the Netflix show of “sensationalism” and said it should open with a warning it is “fictionalised drama” and not historical fact.

She said in a letter to The Times newspaper on Wednesday (19.10.22): “The closer the drama comes to our present times, the more freely it seems willing to blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism… no one is a greater believer in artistic freedom than I, but this cannot go unchallenged.

“The programme makers have resisted all calls for them to carry a disclaimer at the start of each episode.

“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 their own reputation in the eyes of their British subscribers.”

Dame Judi added she was irked by reports the upcoming fifth series of the show would include scenes of the then-Prince Charles, played by Dominic West, lobbying to force his mother Queen Elizabeth’s abdication as she fears it will give an “inaccurate and hurtful account of history”.

Former British Prime Minister John Major has called scenes which will apparently be included showing Charles lobbying him for the monarch to give up the throne as “a barrel-load of malicious nonsense”.

The former Conservative leader’s spokesman told The Mail on Sunday (16.10.22): “If the scenes you describe are broadcast, they should be seen as nothing other than damaging and malicious fiction.

“A barrel load of nonsense peddled for no other reason than to provide maximum – and entirely false – dramatic impact.

“As you will know, discussions between the monarch and Prime Minister are entirely private and – for Sir John – will always remain so.

“But not one of the scenes you depict are accurate in any way whatsoever. They are fiction, pure and simple. There was never any discussion between Sir John and the then Prince of Wales about any abdication of the late Queen Elizabeth II – nor was such an improbable and improper subject ever raised by the then Prince of Wales (or Sir John,)”

Another reported upcoming scene that has provoked Sir John’s anger is said to show a private conversation between him and his wife Norma in their bedroom when staying at Balmoral.

There has also been backlash over reports the fifth series will focus on Princess Diana’s death.