The Royal Family Is "Frustrated" by The Crown's Portrayal of the Queen's Secret Cousins

One of the most heartbreaking episodes of The Crown involved Princess Margaret discovering that she had two distant cousins who had essentially been abandoned by the royals to live at an institution in Surrey. And while much of this show is obviously fictionalized, the story of Katherine and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon appears to be based in fact—though it’s unclear if Princess Margaret ever said their treatment was “wicked,” “cruel,” and “in keeping with the ruthlessness which I myself have experienced in this family.”

Either way, the royal family is reportedly not pleased with the show’s depiction of how Katherine and Nerissa were abandoned by their family. David Bowes-Lyon, whose father was *checks notes* the Queen Mother’s first cousin once removed, told The Telegraph (via The Sun) that the royals are “frustrated” with The Crown’s portrayal.

“I’m probably the only member of the family who could publicly say anything about this,” he said. “I wouldn’t say there is upset in the family, but I think people are frustrated and would like the record put straight.”

When it comes to Princess Margaret, Bowes Lyon said, “She knew who they were in every respect, as you would any cousin. She knew exactly who they were and what had happened. It is completely wrong to say they were forgotten and certified as lunatics.”

He added that the sisters were not “abandoned” and were visited “frequently” by members of the family. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter notes that according to a Daily Mail report in 2011, the last known family visit to Katherine and Nerissa was in the 1960s. So, yeah, Princess Margaret’s comment about the “cruelty” of her family on The Crown still seems to hold up.

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