After complaints over the historical accuracy of The Crown, a Netflix drama about the British monarchy, the streaming giant says it has no plans to issue a disclaimer to accompany the series.

Who has been complaining?

Take your pick from aristocrats, newspaper columnists, Conservative politicians, a UK government minister – Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – and even anglers.

Start with the anglers. What’s the catch for them?

It involves the fishing technique displayed by Josh O’Connor, the actor playing Prince Charles. It has developed into quite a spat and has even reached the letters pages of the Daily Telegraph, a right-leaning broadsheet. “To imagine that any self-respecting fisherman would allow his line to touch down so catastrophically is bad enough,” wrote one irate correspondent, “but to then suggest that such a cast could possibly result in the landing of a fine salmon is tantamount to gross – almost criminal – negligence”.

So who else is joining O’Connor in the Tower?

Creator Peter Morgan and Netflix have both come in for criticism, though for transgressions which go way beyond not knowing their backcast from their line tip. Morgan has responded by saying the series is thoroughly researched. In a statement, Netflix said: “We have always presented The Crown as a drama and we have every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction that’s broadly based on historical events … As a result we have no plans, and see no need, to add a disclaimer.”

And now the UK government is involved?

Well, there’s nothing much else happening this month so yes, they have turned their attention to The Crown. Interviewed in the Mail On Sunday, a right-leaning tabloid – do you sense a theme developing here? – culture secretary Oliver Dowden said he plans to write to Netflix and ask for a sort of health warning.

Like on a packet of cigarettes?

Yes, but less startling. “It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that,” said Dowden. “Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”

Which events does he have in mind?

Conservative politicians of a particular stripe are scunnered by Gillian Anderson’s depiction of Margaret Thatcher in the newly-released season four and the anti-Crowners are especially vexed by the depiction of the marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Newspaper columnist Simon Jenkins has accused The Crown of upping the “fabrication and the offence” and Charles Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, told ITV: “I think it would help The Crown an enormous amount if, at the beginning of each episode, it stated that ‘This isn’t true but it is based around some real events’. I worry people do think that this is gospel and that’s unfair”.