Buckingham Palace has a secret theater for staff movie nights, but they're reportedly not allowed to watch 'The Crown'

Buckingham Palace has a secret theater for staff movie nights, but they're reportedly not allowed to watch 'The Crown'
The fourth season of "The Crown" aired on Sunday, but royal staff won't get to see it.Heritage Images/Getty Images, Netflix/YouTube
  • The fourth season of Netflix's "The Crown" aired on Sunday, but it appears that royal staff won't be able to watch it.
  • BBC journalist Emily Maitlis said the palace's south drawing room was being transformed into a movie theater when she visited Buckingham Palace for her Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew.
  • Writing in The Times, Maitlis said she suggested that they use the theater to watch "The Crown," to which a staff member replied: "We had 'Downtown Abbey' last week. But we don't do 'The Crown' here."

There's been a long-running rumor that Buckingham Palace has a secret movie theater inside so that royal staff can enjoy private screenings.

That rumor was confirmed by Emily Maitlis, the BBC Newsnight journalist who visited the palace to interview Prince Andrew in November last year. However, Maitlis noted that there's one show in particular the staff aren't allowed to watch.

The palace's south drawing room was being transformed into a theater as she passed through after the interview.
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"The floor is being transformed by palace workmen. It looks for a minute as if railway tracks are going down," Maitlis wrote in The Times in November 2019.

She then spoke to a staff member, who told her: "It's for the Buckingham Palace cinema. All the people who work here come along. It's 'Judy' tonight if you want to stay.'"

"Perhaps you want to get everyone along for Sunday," Maitlis replied. "It's the new series of 'The Crown.'"
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Maitlis said the staff member appeared "momentarily apologetic" before replying: "We had 'Downtown Abbey' last week. But we don't do 'The Crown' here."

Buckingham Palace declined to comment when contacted by Insider. There has been much debate on whether the royal family has ever watched the hit Netflix series, the fourth season of which aired on Sunday.
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According to royal biographer Robert Lacey, the family refuses to watch it because the show is too close to reality.

"Whenever any of them are asked about 'The Crown,' they always deny watching it," Lacey previously told the Radio Times. "And that may be because imagination can convey a truth that the facts themselves cannot.

"I would say that 'The Crown' comes the closest to actually re-creating the reality of royal life. It is not a documentary, but there is an enormous team of historical researchers who examine every detail intensely, to make sure that what we see people feeling and thinking on screen feels right," he added.
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The latest season has been criticized by royal experts for inaccuracies in its portrayal of the love triangle between Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and the Duchess of Cornwall, formerly known as Camilla Parker-Bowles.

"Charles really did make a huge effort in the early days to accommodate her [Diana]," Hugo Vickers, a royal historian and author of "The Crown Dissected," previously told Insider. "[The show] is so one-sided. The house of Windsor has been turned into a bunch of people who crush individuals who don't comply with them, but that's not fair."

Nonetheless, the Duchess of Cornwall reportedly isn't offended by the way she is portrayed in the show, which royal editor Emily Andrews described as "selfish, scheming and poisonous."
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"I imagine she'll be tuning in with a glass of red wine to watch it, she has seen the previous series," a source close to Camilla told Vanity Fair. "She has a wonderful sense of humor and this won't fuss her in the slightest."

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