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The Crown’s creator Peter Morgan recycled old dialogue in key showdown

The Crown’s creator Peter Morgan recycled old dialogue in key showdown between the Queen and Margaret Thatcher says historian who accuses Netflix show boss of ‘sheer laziness’

  • Historian Sally Bedell Smith said Peter Morgan has lifted whole parts of dialogue 
  • The scene depicts Thatcher in a meeting with the Queen following a front page
  • Bedell Smith has claimed that there are only two small changes in the dialogue

The Crown’s creator Peter Morgan is believed to have recycled old dialogue in a key showdown between the Queen and Margaret Thatcher, a historian has claimed. 

American historian Sally Bedell Smith said Morgan has lifted whole parts of dialogue from his stage play, The Audience, which premiered in the West End in 2013. 

Bedell Smith, who was a consultant to Morgan on the play, said ‘more than 500 words’ are lifted from The Audience in a scene between Thatcher and the Queen.  

Bedell Smith, who was a consultant to Morgan on the play, said ‘more than 500 words’ are lifted from The Audience in a scene between Thatcher, played by Gillian Anderson, (pictured) and the Queen

American historian Sally Bedell Smith said Morgan (pictured) has lifted whole parts of dialogue from his stage play, The Audience, which premiered in the West End in 2013

American historian Sally Bedell Smith said Morgan (pictured) has lifted whole parts of dialogue from his stage play, The Audience, which premiered in the West End in 2013

The Crown scene depicts Thatcher, played by Gillian Anderson, in a meeting with the Queen, portrayed by Olivia Coleman, after The Sunday Times published a front-page story in July 1986 titled: ‘Queen dismayed by ‘uncaring’ Thatcher’.

In The Audience, Mrs Thatcher tells the Queen, according to The Times: ‘Before coming today I checked with the cabinet secretary and it turns out in the seven years since I have been prime minister we have had one hundred and thirty three audiences — always the model of cordiality, productivity and mutual respect — so seen within a context like that it’s perhaps not unreasonable to expect an isolated hiccup.’ 

However Bedell Smith has claimed that the only changes in the scene from The Crown are the removal of the line ‘seen within a context like that’ and the correction of 133 audiences to 164. 

The Crown scene depicts Thatcher, played by Gillian Anderson, in a meeting with the Queen, portrayed by Olivia Coleman. (pictured)

The Crown scene depicts Thatcher, played by Gillian Anderson, in a meeting with the Queen, portrayed by Olivia Coleman. (pictured)

The Crown makers have made clear that the Netflix series is based on The Audience but declined to comment when approached by The Times. 

The author of Elizabeth The Queen told the publication that the ‘self-plagiarised’ scene was ‘a professional deception’. 

It comes after the Daily Mail recently revealed how Gillian and her writer partner Peter Morgan, who worked together on the latest season of The Crown, had split amicably after four years together.

The Sunday Times published a front-page story in July 1986 titled: 'Queen dismayed by 'uncaring' Thatcher'

The Sunday Times published a front-page story in July 1986 titled: ‘Queen dismayed by ‘uncaring’ Thatcher’

The Fall actress Gillian, 52, and Morgan, 57, were one of the most glittering couples in the world of British entertainment, though they never shared a home.

Gillian won countless awards for her role as FBI agent Dana Scully in The X-Files; and more recently, acclaim for her portrait of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Season 4 of The Crown. 

Anderson and Morgan were approached for comment at the time of publication but they declined to comment. 

Gillian Anderson and her writer partner Peter Morgan who worked together on the latest season of The Crown, have split amicably after four years together (pictured January 2020)

Gillian Anderson and her writer partner Peter Morgan who worked together on the latest season of The Crown, have split amicably after four years together (pictured January 2020)

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