The Royal Family have been informed they can sue Netflix over The Crown if they want. 

As reported by The Sun, friends of the monarchy have been getting nervous about the hit show’s upcoming fifth season. They sought legal advice from top solicitors, including the Queen’s favoured firms Farrer & Co and Harbottle & Lewis.

And they were told that they’re entitled to sue the show’s makers Netflix, an action that could also be extended to the Royal Family if they wished.

“Friends of the Royal Family sought legal advice,” a source told The Sun. The advice they received would also apply to the Royal Family. Although this is not direct legal advice given to the Queen and her family — they have been made aware of this advice.”

The idea of the Royal Family suing Netflix might not be that far-fetched considering how explosive the fifth season of The Crown is set to be. It will follow the Queen’s “annus horribilis” of 1992″, Prince Charles and Diana’s infamous divorce, and the intense aftermath of Diana’s tragic death in 1997.

Martin Bashir’s notorious 1995 Panorama interview with Diana will even get its own episode, something that has provoked the anger of her son Prince William. “This series will be the most controversial ever,” a source said. “It deals with events that are still incredibly raw for many.”

Since it debuted, The Crown has consistently blurred the lines between fiction and reality, with many viewers effectively thinking it functions as a documentary. The U.K. has asked Netflix to add a disclaimer to emphasise the show is in fact fiction, something the streaming platform hasn’t done yet.

Love Film & TV?

Get the latest Film & TV news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

That’s why defamation experts think the Queen and her aides will be paying close attention to the upcoming fifth season for any damaging portrayals of the monarchy.

“One battleground is the main message of the programme,” Helena Shipman at Carter-Ruck solicitors said. “Is it that the Queen acted coldly following the death of Diana? That would be a statement of opinion and Netflix would have an easy defence saying it is simply their own honest account.

However, where The Crown has potential to overstep the mark is by suggesting something more serious — such as the Queen failing in her duties as sovereign and harming the country. That’s arguably a fact a defendant would have to prove true and the defence threshold for that is much higher.”

For more on this topic, follow the Film & TV Observer.

Check out the top 10 most shocking The Crown moments: