Princess Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris may have happened more than 25 years ago, but it is still fresh in many people’s minds.
That’s why the depiction of such events in Netflix’s new series, The Crown, has received so much attention.
The first part of series six, written by Peter Morgan and released on Thursday, has divided critics for its depiction of sensitive and personal events.
Warning: This article contains spoilers.
Over four episodes, Princess Diana’s post-divorce life is explored – from her role as a doting mother to Princes William and Harry, to her charity work on land mines in Bosnia and her friendship with Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al Fayed and her romance with him. Dodi’s son.
Episode three focuses on the events leading up to Princess Diana’s death, culminating in the car crash that killed her, aged 36, and Dodi, aged 42, on the Pont de l’Alma underpass in Paris.
In the fourth episode, which concludes the first release of the sixth series, we see a dramatization of the events that occurred after Diana and Dodi’s deaths, including the reactions of the royal family, the public and then Prime Minister Tony Blair.
What he did right
This part of the series (the next six episodes will be released in mid-December) is dominated by the media attention Princess Diana received, with paparazzi harassing her wherever she went, while also showing her efforts to try and bargain with them. protect herself and her children.
Royal commentator and film critic Richard Fitzwilliams said this depiction was “quite accurate” and even said “she was hounded” by the cameras.
He told the BBC: “If you’re honest, Diana did play around with the press and [The Crown] provides some insight into that.”
Fitzwilliams also said the show’s depiction of a “truly horrific” bidding war by newspapers for a photo of the late princess felt true to history, as did the complicated relationship between the press and the royals at the time.
The fourth episode also grapples with the royal reaction to Princess Diana’s death, with a storyline based on the Queen’s reluctance to make a public statement.
Academic and royal expert Pauline MacLaren said the portrayal of the Queen and the public’s reaction to the current royals was “quite accurate”.
He said the Queen’s address to the nation made almost a week after Diana’s death was “certainly a major criticism” of the time.
“One of the crisis points the Queen faced during her reign was the public reaction to the lack of sympathy for Diana’s death,” he told the BBC.
MacLaren also said he believed Prince William and Harry’s grief at the event “was handled well”.
The young princes, William, played by Rufus Kampa, and Harry, played by Fflyn Edwards, were 15 and 12 years old when their mother died.
In the event, Prince William was seen coping with his mother’s death by disappearing into the grounds of Balmoral Castle, in Scotland, for several hours in the pouring rain.
Although MacLaren said it was unknown whether this incident was “fact or fiction”, he saw it as a “sensitive depiction of the boys’ grief over the death of their mother”.