Buckingham Palace has a secret theater for staff movie nights, but they're not allowed to watch 'The Crown'

Business Insider US
The third season of 'The Crown' aired on Netflix on Sunday.
Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images, Netflix

There's been a long-running rumor that Buckingham Palace has a secret movie theater inside so that royal staff can enjoy private screenings.

That rumor was just confirmed by Emily Maitlis, the BBC journalist who visited the palace to interview Prince Andrew earlier this month.

However, Maitlis notes there's one show in particular the staff aren't allowed to watch.

According to Maitlis, the palace's south drawing room was being transformed into a theater as she passed through after the interview.

"The floor is being transformed by palace workmen. It looks for a minute as if railway tracks are going down," Maitlis wrote in The Times.

She then spoke to a staff member, who told her: "It's for the Buckingham Palace cinema. All the people who work here come along. It's 'Judy' tonight if you want to stay.'"

"Perhaps you want to get everyone along for Sunday," Maitlis replied. "It's the new series of 'The Crown.'"

Maitlis said the staff member appeared "momentarily apologetic" before replying: "We had 'Downtown Abbey' last week. But we don't do 'The Crown' here."

Buckingham Palace declined to comment when contacted by Insider.

There has been much debate on whether the royal family has ever watched the hit Netflix series, the third season of which aired this week.

According to royal biographer Robert Lacey, the family refuses to watch it because the show is too close to reality.

"Whenever any of them are asked about 'The Crown', they always deny watching it," Lacey previously told the Radio Times. "And that may be because imagination can convey a truth that the facts themselves cannot.

"I would say that 'The Crown' comes the closest to actually re-creating the reality of royal life. It is not a documentary, but there is an enormous team of historical researchers who examine every detail intensely, to make sure that what we see people feeling and thinking on screen feels right," he added.

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