Royal insiders blast The Crown for portraying Diana as unstable schemer

The Crown has come under fire from royal insiders who say the show inaccurately portrays Princess Diana, it has been reported.

Insiders have argued that the Netflix fictionalised show, which is broadly based on real events, gives a further platform to an “inaccurate” image of Diana first constructed around the time of the infamous Martin Bashir BBC interview.

A source told The Sun : “Diana was led astray to make statements and say things that otherwise were not true and it formed a narrative around her that she was unstable and a scheme.”

“This narrative has been there for 25 years – and it is still inaccurately told today in TV shows such as The Crown.”

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in The Crown

They added that the narrative was “false”.

The Mirror has contacted Netflix for comment.

In season four of Netflix’s The Crown Diana is seen meeting, and then marrying, Prince Charles. Diana is played by newcomer Emma Corrin, and Prince Charles by God’s Own Country actor Josh O’Connor.

The criticism echoes recent remarks made by Prince William following Lord Dyson’s report into the interview, which concluded that Bashir acted inappropriately and in serious breach of BBC guidelines.

Emma Corrin and Josh O'Connor as Diana and Charles in The Crown
Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor as Diana and Charles in The Crown

“It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said,” the Duke of Cambridge said in a public address. “The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse. And has since hurt countless others.”

“It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.

“But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived. She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions.”

Emma Corrin in Princess Diana's wedding dress
Emma Corrin in Princess Diana’s wedding dress

Prince Harry also released a statement which read: “That is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these – and even worse- are still widespread today. Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication.

“Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed. By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life. Let’s remember who she was and what she stood for.”

The Crown has been mired by claims of false representation for years, but the new series received even closer scrutiny. Although producers claim the show is fictional, its critics claim creators must take some responsibility for accuracy.

Helena Bonham Carter, who plays the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret on the show, has said the show has a “moral responsibility” to put a disclaimer at the beginning of episodes making it clear the show isn’t based on reality.

Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in The Crown
Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in The Crown

“I do feel very strongly, because I think we have a moral responsibility to say, ‘Hang on guys, this is not … it’s not a drama-doc, we’re making a drama.’ So they are two different entities,” Helena said on an official podcast for the show.

The Minister for Culture and Media, Oliver Dowden, has also criticised the show’s representation of historical figures. “I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact,” he told the Mail on Sunday.

“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.”

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