Series 4 of immensely popular “The Crown” has now started airing on streaming giant Netflix. The revered drama series is based upon Queen Elizabeth II and the life and times of her reign, and this season has brought to the spotlight the life and untimely death of Princess Diana. One thing for certain, the portrayal of Princess Diana has sent people into a frenzy.
The new series is set in the 1980’s, and introduces Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher as main characters. The series closely follows the lives of the two iconic women who have paved the future of Britain. The star cast welcomes back Olivia Coleman returning to her role as the Queen and introduces Gillian Anderson in this series as Margaret Thatcher.
Diana is portrayed by Emma Corrin, 24. It is certain that the actress has quite a tough task to portray Diana, who is known to have stolen the hearts of a nation and become ‘the people’s princess’. There is no doubt that this portrayal will reignite her legacy for old and new generations. Whilst Diana’s name has always been held dear across the world, she was also heavily scrutinized particularly through the breakdown of her marriage.
Mother to Princes William and Harry, The Crown’s adaption of these events come at a time of speculation for the two sons, with their relationships and lives in the spotlight. At present they are separated with Harry moving to the US, removing himself from his royal duties for the privacy and safety of his wife Meghan Markle and their son Archie. Perhaps his claims now seem somewhat justified seeing the not so glamorous life of the princess played out on screen.
Diana, aged 36, died in Paris having been taken to hospital in the early hours of 31 August 1997, with injuries following a car crash in a Paris road tunnel. The driver and fellow passenger, Diana’s partner Dodi Fayed were pronounced dead at the scene. This was news that shocked and devastated the nation.
As a Drama, the show is based upon real people and events with a storyline which can then reflect reality, but with a fictional script by Peter Morgan. This provides an interpretation of what we might have once seen on the news or read in the Newspaper. The show brings real life elements to the characters and brings depth to events and the life of the royals.
For many the show will celebrate the life of Diana, however there has been controversy regarding how much truth there is behind the interpretation of the events offered by The Crown. In a recent article for The Guardian, Simon Jenkins was critical of the portrayal of the royal family and cited how historian Hugo Vickers has noted eight instances of “complete fabrication in the new series.”
Jenkins added: “When millions of viewers are told that both Diana and Thatcher were humiliated by the royal family at Balmoral, we should not have to rely on someone like Vickers to reply that this was utterly untrue. The correction will pass millions of viewers by.”
Within the disputed fourth series we see the wedding of Charles and Diana, which took place on Wednesday 29th July 1981, which the series portrays as a marriage he is deemed to not want to enter. There have been many books, interviews and documentaries over the years since Diana tragically died, but the recent series of The Crown follows a documentary on UK TV channel Channel 4 titled ‘Diana: The Truth Behind The Interviews” featuring and investigating an interview that has been marked in history. Diana appeared on the BBC tv show Panorama back in 1995 where Diana openly discussed her personal life and also Prince Charles’ affair throughout their marriage.
The Crown first aired on Netflix in November 2016, and the first series introduced Queen Elizabeth II at the start of her reign, following the events up until 1955 and featuring historical events such as Winston Churchill’s resignation as Prime Minister. The second series was released in Dec 2017, focusing on the period from 1956-1964, and the third series was aired November 2019 covering from 1947 through to 1977.
The show is set to spark the interest of both new and old followers of the royals alike. Perhaps you followed this as news when it was reported, and so you have memories that will now be ignited, or this may create a new interest and curiosity to find out more about what happened throughout these times. The show will certainly make you think and wonder, but it is also important to fact check and search for more information as this is a dramatization for entertainment purposes.