Charlie Brooker’s Death to 2021 on Netflix is slammed for ‘going too far’ by royal fans after poking fun at Prince Philip’s death and dubbing him the ‘Duke of Deadinburgh’
A Netflix show has been slammed by royal fans for going ‘a step too far’ in mocking Prince Philip‘s death.
Charlie Brooker’s Death To 2021 evoked angry reactions from royal fans who said the mockumentary was ‘distasteful’ in poking fun at The Queen’s late husband, just days after the monarch spent her first Christmas without him.
In a scene showing clips from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s now infamous tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired in March, a voiceover said: ‘After the interview, Prince Philip withdraws from public life permanently, by dying.
‘Millions watched the funeral of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke Of Deadinburgh.’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have a £112million deal with Netflix, which has come under fire for its treatment of the Royal Family in its original series The Crown, as well as its decision to host the filmed version of Diana: The Musical.
The couple signed a deal with the streaming service last year for their new production company to make documentaries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming.
The Queen and Prince Philip, pictured in 2007, were married for 73 years before his death
Death to 2021 arrived on Netflix in the same week that The Queen paid an emotional tribute to Prince Philip – who died in June aged 99 – in her annual Christmas Day speech.
Royal supporters swiftly took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
One wrote: ‘#DeathTo2021 is terribly brilliant and chaotic, the Prince Phillip gag was maybe a step too far, though.’
Another said described the gag as ‘a touch too far and maybe a little distasteful.’
Meanwhile one viewer concluded: ‘Watched #DeathTo2021 today which was hilarious, but I thought the Prince Phillip section was a bit much and not needed.’
Royal experts have previously demanded Prince Harry tears up his Netflix deal and takes a stand over how his family is treated in its programming.
Prince Harry’s biographer Angela Levin criticised the Duke of Sussex for not ‘finding his voice’ over the streaming giant’s controversial portrayal of his mother in The Crown.
Satirist Charlie Brooker’s production company Broke And Bones is behind the mockumentary
Meanwhile, Princess Diana’s friend Jemima Khan withdrew her support for The Crown over its ‘disrespectful’ script after she broke up with the show’s creator Peter Morgan.
On Christmas Day the Queen’s traditional message, delivered for the first time as a widow, following the death in April of her husband of 73 years.
The broadcast, which was around 10 minutes long and was one of the most emotional speeches the monarch has ever given, saw her reflect on the events of the year including the loss of her husband and the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the poignant speech, the monarch said there was ‘one familiar laugh missing’ during the festive season this year.
Wearing the sapphire brooch she donned on her honeymoon in 1947 and again for her diamond wedding anniversary, the 95-year-old head of state also reached out to families who have lost loved one this year and addressed the Covid crisis.
Viewers were left surprised by the comments about Prince Philip, with some royal fans claiming the show went too far
The Queen sat behind a desk adorned with a solitary photograph of the Queen and the duke in 2007 to mark their 60th wedding anniversary as she spoke to the nation from the White Drawing Room in Windsor Castle.
Wearing a sapphire chrysanthemum brooch pinned to her Christmas red Angela Kelly dress, said of Philip: ‘His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation were all irrepressible.
Charlie Brooker’s Death To 2021 blends archival footage of real events from the past year with commentary from fictitious characters.
A number of well-known faces returning from last year’s cast include Hugh Grant, Tracey Ullman, Samson Kayo and Diane Morgan.
The show aired in the same week The Queen paid tribute to Prince Philip on Christmas Day
They are joined by Lucy Liu, Stockard Channing, Ted Lasso’s Nick Mohammed and The Good Place’s William Jackson Harper.
Brooker’s production company Broke And Bones is behind the mockumentary, though the satirist was replaced this year by Cunk On Britain’s Ben Caudell as writer on the special, alongside Jones.
The Royal Family came under fire earlier this year in controversial HBO animated series The Prince, which aired after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death and depicted him as a drooling idiot.
The show, created by Family Guy co-executive producer Gary Janetti and starring Orlando Bloom as Prince Harry, centres around a fictional version of Prince George as a child tyrant with expensive taste, a withering sense of humour and a dim view of his family.
‘Christmas can speak to the child within us all’: Read the Queen’s 2021 Christmas Day speech in full
Although it’s a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones.
This year, especially, I understand why.
But for me, in the months since the death of my beloved Philip, I have drawn great comfort from the warmth and affection of the many tributes to his life and work – from around the country, the Commonwealth and the world.
His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation were all irrepressible.
That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.
But life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings – and as much as I and my family miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas.
We felt his presence as we, like millions around the world, readied ourselves for Christmas.
While Covid again means we can’t celebrate quite as we may have wished, we can still enjoy the many happy traditions.
Be it the singing of carols – as long as the tune is well known – decorating the tree, giving and receiving presents, or watching a favourite film where we already know the ending, it’s no surprise that families so often treasure their Christmas routines.
We see our own children and their families embrace the roles, traditions and values that mean so much to us, as these are passed from one generation to the next, sometimes being updated for changing times.
I see it in my own family and it is a source of great happiness.
Prince Philip was always mindful of this sense of passing the baton.
That’s why he created The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which offers young people throughout the Commonwealth and beyond the chance of exploration and adventure.
It remains an astonishing success, grounded in his faith in the future.
He was also an early champion of taking seriously our stewardship of the environment, and I am proud beyond words that his pioneering work has been taken on and magnified by our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William – admirably supported by Camilla and Catherine – most recently at the COP climate change summit in Glasgow.
Next summer, we look forward to the Commonwealth Games.
The baton is currently travelling the length and breadth of the Commonwealth, heading towards Birmingham, a beacon of hope on its journey.
It will be a chance to celebrate the achievements of athletes and the coming-together of like-minded nations.
And February, just six weeks from now, will see the start of my Platinum Jubilee year, which I hope will be an opportunity for people everywhere to enjoy a sense of togetherness, a chance to give thanks for the enormous changes of the last 70 years – social, scientific and cultural – and also to look ahead with confidence.
I am sure someone somewhere today will remark that Christmas is a time for children.
It’s an engaging truth, but only half the story.
Perhaps it’s truer to say that Christmas can speak to the child within us all.
Adults, when weighed down with worries, sometimes fail to see the joy in simple things, where children do not.
And for me and my family, even with one familiar laugh missing this year, there will be joy in Christmas, as we have the chance to reminisce, and see anew the wonder of the festive season through the eyes of our young children, of whom we were delighted to welcome four more this year.
They teach us all a lesson – just as the Christmas story does – that in the birth of a child, there is a new dawn with endless potential.
It is this simplicity of the Christmas story that makes it so universally appealing, simple happenings that formed the starting point of the life of Jesus – a man whose teachings have been handed down from generation to generation, and have been the bedrock of my faith.
His birth marked a new beginning.
As the carol says: ‘The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.’
I wish you all a very happy Christmas.