Former British prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair have hit out at The Crown's depiction of them in the forthcoming series of the Netflix hit.

The new series is expected to show the then Prince Charles, played by Dominic West, cutting short a holiday with Diana, Princess of Wales to host a secret meeting with John Major in 1991, at which they discuss potentially ousting Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

John Major wrote in a letter to The Telegraph that it "will be profoundly hurtful to a family who are still grieving for the very person on whose life the entire drama was founded".

In the series, Prince Charles is reportedly shown trying to recruit Tony Blair as an ally to protect his future and pave the way for him to marry Camilla Parker Bowles, shortly after the 1997 general election in the UK.

Tony Blair's spokesman told the publication: "It should come as no surprise that this is complete and utter rubbish."

Jonny Lee Miller portrays John Major in The Crown

In his letter, John Major said: "Netflix may well take the view that any publicity is good publicity.

"But I assure them it is not - most especially when it disrespects the memory of those no longer alive, or puts words into the mouths of those still living and in no position to defend themselves.

"Fiction should not be paraded as fact."

He continued: "I gather Netflix continues to refuse to put out a disclaimer at the top of the opening credits, on the basis that 'everyone knows this is a drama series'.

"But this is simply not good enough. If everyone knows, why not acknowledge that?

"Without such action, many millions - around the world - could still be influenced by a damaging and fictional script, which claims 'authority' by being interspersed with historical fact.

"Entertainment is a great and glorious industry that brings enormous pleasure to many millions. Netflix should not demean it with portrayals which are both injurious and untrue."

Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales

Last month, Netflix put a disclaimer in the description of its YouTube trailer for the fifth series of The Crown, saying the production is a "fictional dramatisation" and "inspired by real events".

The hit drama will return on 9 November and is to feature two episodes building up to the bombshell BBC interview conducted by former BBC journalist Martin Bashir, according to The Sun.

Last year, a report concluded the broadcaster covered up "deceitful behaviour" by Mr Bashir to secure the meeting and led to a call from the then Duke of Cambridge for it never to be aired again.

The upcoming series is said to show Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki, speaking about her "crowded" marriage to the future king - a reference to the now Queen Consort.

Olivia Williams as Camila Parker Bowles and Dominic West as Prince Charles

A young Prince William will be shown seeing his mother's interview on TV while a pupil at Eton.

Prince Charles will reportedly also be shown yelling and swearing in response to the broadcast.

Source: Press Association

Click here for more television news.