Netflix is facing fury over plans to dramatise Princess Diana’s final moments before her tragic death in Paris in its new season of The Crown, it is tonight being reported.
It is claimed the hit series will cover the days and even hours before the royal’s tragic death during her ill-fated trip to the French capital in August 1997.
The new series of the royal drama, which has repeatedly been accused of blurring the lines between fact and fiction, is due to be released next month – just weeks after the death of the Queen.
The show is already facing criticism over other scenes set to feature in the new series, including depicting King Charles as a disloyal schemer who plotted against his own mother and Prince Philip ‘pursuing an affair’ with his close friend Penny Knatchbull.
Last night, Netflix risked adding fuel to the fire by refusing to add a disclaimer to the series stating that the scenes, branded ‘malicious’ by one royal expert, are not fact but fiction.
Meanwhile, according to The Sun, even cast members are concerned in relation to the scenes depicting the lead up to Diana’s death, with one reportedly saying: ‘It feels as though a line is being crossed’.
One source close to Prince William last night told the paper that they expect the Prince of Wales will be angered by Netflix’s move to reproduce his mother’s final days for entertainment purposes.
Netflix inist Diana’s death, in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in central Paris, will not be recreated during the new series.
However, one set source reportedly told The Sun: ‘To be going back to Paris and turning Diana’s final days and hours into a drama feels very uncomfortable.
‘The show always tried to present a fictional version of royal history with as much sensitivity as possible. But lately, as things get closer to the present day, it feels harder to strike that balance.
Netflix is facing fury over plans to dramatise Princess Diana’s final moments before her tragic death in Paris in its new season of The Crown, it is tonight being reported. Pictured: Actor Dominic West pictured as Prince Charles and actress Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana while filming the new series of The Crown
Netflix inist Diana’s death, in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel (pictured: The Flame of Freedom statue above the Pont de l’Alma) in central Paris, will not be recreated during the new series
The new series of the royal drama, which has repeatedly been accused of blurring the lines between fact and fiction, is due to be released next month – just weeks after the death of the Queen. Pictured: Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II during the new season of The Crown
It comes as Netflix last night refused to add a disclaimer to The Crown amid a furious row over ‘malicious’ storylines.
The hit show is to depict King Charles as a disloyal schemer who plotted against his own mother in a new series to be aired next month – nine weeks after the Queen’s death.
It includes scenes in which the then prince schemes to oust the Queen and also claims she is such a bad mother that she should be in jail. The portrayal was branded a ‘barrel-load of malicious nonsense’ as those close to the new monarch called for a boycott.
Critics argue that the show should carry a warning that the ‘false, unfair and deeply wounding’ scenes are fiction, which not all viewers realise.
Yet The Crown has confirmed that series five will air from November 9 without a disclaimer.
Meanwhile, the Queen Mother’s official biographer called the series ‘odious’ and ‘deliberately hurtful’. William Shawcross told The Daily Telegraph that the programme is ‘filled with lies and half-truths encased in lace and velvet’.
He also accused creator Peter Morgan of organising ‘a campaign to abuse’ the monarchy and ‘to destroy by lies a vital institution’.
Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries said that it was only fair that the show regularly display such a warning, as is common with other programmes.
The Tory MP added: ‘If a programme is purely fiction as this series of The Crown obviously is, in the name of fairness and transparency it should clearly state so.
‘It’s quite bizarre that it would feature people who are alive today but are bound by protocol and unable to rebut false impressions and invented scenarios, knowing that many viewers would believe them to be real.’
Royal insiders have previously described the programme as ‘trolling on a Hollywood scale’, and last night no one was said to have been dissuaded from that view.
However Buckingham Palace has not formally commented on the row as it is believed officials want to rise above the fray with dignity.
A spokesman for the series said: ‘The Crown has always been presented as a drama based on historical events. Series five is a fictional dramatisation, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the Royal Family – one that has already been scrutinised and well-documented by journalists, biographers and historians.’
The new series, set in the 1990s, opens with Charles – then the Prince of Wales – lobbying Prime Minister John Major in a bizarre attempt to force the Queen’s abdication.
The new series, set in the 1990s, opens with Charles – then the Prince of Wales – lobbying Prime Minister John Major in a bizarre attempt to force the Queen’s abdication. Pictured: Charles and John Major together in 1994
The prince, played by Dominic West, actively briefs against the Queen, whom he believes is out of touch.
But Sir John told The Mail on Sunday that the meeting did not happen and the ‘improper subject’ was never discussed. His office said that not one scene is ‘accurate in any way’, adding: ‘They are fiction, pure and simple.
‘They should be seen as nothing other than damaging and malicious fiction – a barrel-load of nonsense peddled for no other reason than to provide maximum – and entirely false – dramatic impact.’
In another scene, Charles says: ‘If we were an ordinary family and social services came to visit they would have thrown us into care and you [the Queen] into jail.’
While the new series was written at least a year before the Queen died and filming completed months ago, the timing of its release may lead to criticism.
Sources close to the Palace have said the Queen’s death just five weeks ago makes the scenes particularly hurtful.
How Netflix drama The Crown twists truth time after time: Royal historian IAN LLOYD separates fiction from fact…
By Ian Lloyd for the Mail on Sunday
How far have The Crown’s storylines strayed from reality? Royal historian Ian Lloyd separates fiction from fact…
THE CROWN VERSION
In a private audience with Prime Minister John Major in 1991, Prince Charles argues for a change of monarch, saying it would be dangerous to ignore a newspaper poll showing the public prefers him to his mother.
This is utter nonsense. Charles would never have lobbied for the Queen to abdicate, as he knew very well that his mother had made a solemn oath to serve for the whole of her life.
THE CROWN VERSION The Queen (played in the new series by Imelda Staunton, right) orders John Major to pay for repairs to the Royal Yacht Britannia out of public funds, even though he is worried that in a recession it might backfire on both of them.
The new series, due to be screened next month, shows Charles lobbying Prime Minister John Major in a bizarre attempt to force his mother’s abdication
Summoning Mr Major, played by Trainspotting star Jonny Lee Miller, to a private meeting, he asks him to keep their discussions secret in the episode
In their exchange, Charles hints that the monarchy should follow the lead of the Conservative Party which a year earlier had ousted Mrs Thatcher in favour of the younger Major (Pictured Johnny Lee Miller and Dominic West as John Major and the then Prince of Wales)
Pure drama. The Queen loved the Royal Yacht but was stoic about its future. In 1997 Defence Secretary Michael Portillo announced that Britannia would be replaced ‘because we believe a Royal Yacht is an important national asset.’
THE CROWN VERSION
In the Royal stables, Charles confronts the Queen about the failed marriages of her children. He tells her: ‘If we were an ordinary family and social services came, they’d have thrown us into care and you into jail.’
Any suggestion Charles would have been so vile to the Queen is malicious fiction. There was friction, but this is going too far.
Charles confronts the Queen about the failed marriages of her children in the show but this never happened. Pictured: Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh)
THE CROWN VERSION
The Queen Mother asks her daughter not to make her ‘annus horribilis’ speech, in case people think that ‘their Queen is depressed’.
When the Queen spoke of her ‘annus horribilis’ during a lunch on November 24, 1992, her voice was still croaky from the smoke inhalation she suffered during the fire at Windsor Castle. In fact, the Queen Mother was supportive. She wrote a warm note in February, telling her daughter: ‘My Darling Lilibet… I do hope that you feel rested and relaxed after all the ghastly happenings of last (& this) year.’
THE CROWN VERSION
John Major tells his wife Norma: ‘The senior royals seem deluded and out of touch, the junior royals feckless, entitled and lost. It cannot help but affect the stability of the country and it feels it’s all about to erupt on my watch.’
John Major remained a staunch supporter of the Royal Family throughout his tenure and a close friend of the Queen. I very much doubt he ever believed the monarchy was about to crumble.
- Ian Lloyd is the author of The Queen: 70 Chapters In The Life Of Elizabeth II