“The Crown” was already among Netflix’s most-viewed originals — and the recent palace intrigue involving Meghan Markle and Prince Harry helped drive interest in the show about the British royal family even higher among American audiences.
Another big factor fueling the recent bump for “The Crown” was its win for best drama television series at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards last month alongside Emma Corrin (who portrays Princess Diana) and Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles) winning the acting awards for a drama television series. Gillian Anderson (Margaret Thatcher) picked up the trophy for performance by an actress in a supporting role in a series, limited series or motion picture made for television category. Olivia Coleman had received a Globes nomination for her portrayal of the Queen.
Oprah’s exclusive interview with Meghan and Harry, broadcast March 7 on CBS, drew more than 21 million U.S. viewers through March 12, per Nielsen. In the days leading up to the telecast, interest in “The Crown” surged, according to an analysis by Reelgood, a platform that lets users track streaming content.
That peaked on March 1, the day after “The Crown’s” Globes wins and the day that CBS released highlights of the Meghan-Harry interview, driving viewership of the show on Netflix to nearly double the average daily viewership in the preceding weeks. Viewing also spiked the day of the CBS broadcast and two days later with the release of a statement from Buckingham Palace on behalf of the Queen.
Here’s the data from Reelgood, showing the relative streaming activity among Netflix U.S. subscribers from Feb. 1-March 17 from a baseline of average viewing in January 2021:
This past week, “The Crown” ranked as the No. 9 most-watched show on Netflix across Reelgood’s approximately 2 million U.S. users.
Netflix doesn’t release regular viewing metrics for its service. The company does selectively tout viewership using its own proprietary metric (tallying the number of accounts that watched a minimum of two minutes of a given title).
“The Crown” Season 4, which premiered Nov. 15, helped push total viewers of the show to more than 100 million since its initial launch, Netflix said in January. The streamer said more member households opted to watch Season 4 within the first 28 days of release than each of three prior seasons.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry commented on “The Crown” in an interview that aired Feb. 25 on CBS’ “The Late Late Show With James Corden.”
“Of course it’s not strictly accurate,” the Prince said of the Netflix show on “The Late Late Show.” “It gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle is, the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that.” But, he added, “I’m way more comfortable with ‘The Crown’ than I am seeing the stories written about my family, my wife or myself.” Asked who should play him in the series, Prince Harry named “Billions” actor Damian Lewis.
Netflix’s “The Crown” period drama follows the decades-long reign of Queen Elizabeth II starting in the 1940s. The streamer has said “The Crown” will end with Season 6, taking the show into the early 2000s. In the final two seasons, Imelda Staunton is set to play the Queen. Claire Foy played Queen Elizabeth II across its first two seasons, earning her both Golden Globe and Emmy Awards. “The Crown” won the Globes’ drama television series award 2017 for its first season.
Pictured above: Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in “The Crown” Season 4