Any guest who suggests watching “The Crown” instead of playing charades at Sandringham this Christmas would be banished to the stables and never invited again.  

But has the Netflix show been bad for the Royal Family? No.  

The worst thing that can happen to a monarchy is being ignored. It then becomes irrelevant. The late Queen knew this. Fifty per cent of her job, she once told me, was being seen.  

With its awards and record audience figures, “The Crown” has ensured that its vision of our monarchy has certainly been seen, throughout the world.  

East Anglian Daily Times: The Crown is a love letter to Elizabeth II, Michael saysThe Crown is a love letter to Elizabeth II, Michael says

If Buckingham Palace kept a balance sheet, the six “seasons” of “The Crown” would have to be marked as a strong 8. That’s a big hit, in show business and royal terms.  

There have been errors, some serious, some absurd, others laughable. But has the show told the truth, the only real purpose of art? 

Yes. Shakespeare’s history plays are littered with historical mistakes, but would anyone seriously dispute that they reveal enduring truths about great events and the people who shaped them? 

Guided by distinguished royal historian Robert Lacey, “The Crown” has chronicled seven decades of history with a light touch and an eye for telling detail, with brilliant portrayals, Elizabeth Debicki’s Princess Diana being acutely observed and deeply sympathetic.  

East Anglian Daily Times: Michael admired Elizabeth Debicki's performanceMichael admired Elizabeth Debicki's performance (Image: Netflix)

The first two “seasons”, starring the enchanting Claire Foy as the young and beautiful Queen Elizabeth ascending the throne at the age of 26 and quickly mastering the arts of being a monarch, had the courtiers hugging themselves with glee at such a glossy free advertisement for an ancient institution.  

I am sorry that “The Crown” did not stop at the end of Season 5, as was originally planned, climaxing with the Golden Jubilee of June 2002, the Queen delighted and a little surprised by the crowd’s enthusiasm in The Mall, after the trauma caused by Diana’s death.  

“Season 6”, with the final six episodes just released, is a season too far for me. I shall never watch the fourth episode, depicting the aftermath of tragedy in Paris. Those events remain too raw. Diana and Dodi will always be in my thoughts. I stand with those who mourn them still.    

East Anglian Daily Times: Claire Foy was enchanting as Elizabeth II, says MichaelClaire Foy was enchanting as Elizabeth II, says Michael   

Peter Morgan, who created “The Crown”, chooses to end his series by looking towards the present day, with the courtship of Kate Middleton by Prince William, Prince Harry’s Nazi-uniform disgrace and Prince Charles finally finding his own fulfilment by marrying Camilla Parker Bowles, the late Queen and Duke pointedly staying away from the civil ceremony at Windsor Register Office in 2005 on the coldest April day I can ever remember. 

Morgan is a gifted writer. His play “The Audience” and film “The Queen” were showered with awards. Both depicted the late Queen, and her skilful way of doing things, in a positive, perhaps even flattering light.  

That’s what happens with artistic licence and Peter Morgan stretches it like an elastic band.  

But if you overlook some egregious liberties with the historical time-line and serious misrepresentations of some people and the circumstances they encountered, “The Crown” is at its core a 60-hour televised Love Letter from Morgan to the wise and dutiful Queen Elizabeth II, who did not think she was great but was.  

Morgan won’t be in this New Year’s Honours list but is already a CBE. It’s a good bet, better than even-money, after a decent interval, a knighthood awaits him and maybe it will even be King Charles who taps his shoulders.