Prince William furious about The Crown profiteering from Diana

Princess Diana's storyline is controversially set to take centre stage in upcoming seasons of <i>The Crown</i>.

Princess Diana's storyline is controversially set to take centre stage in upcoming seasons of The Crown. Photo: Netflix

Hit Netflix show The Crown is on a collision course with a furious Prince of Wales, who reportedly believes it is profiteering from his mother’s bombshell BBC interview.

There is more trouble for the show’s producers, with plans to portray the lead up to the death of Princess Diana sparking a backlash from production staff and even a former British prime minister.

Parts of the controversial 1995 Panorama interview with Diana – in which she famously declared “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded” – will be depicted in the fifth series of The Crown.

The series will portray the scandal-plagued dissolution of the marriage of the then Prince Charles and Diana.

Palace sources have told Britain’s Telegraph newspaper that Prince William believes producers are profiteering from the interview.

In 2021, Prince William said the 1995 interview should never be aired again after an investigation found interviewer Martin Bashir used fake documents to persuade Diana to grant the sit-down.

BBC director-general Tim Davie has agreed never to rebroadcast it, either fully or in part.

Prince William said it brought him “indescribable sadness” that the interview had significantly contributed to the “fear, paranoia and isolation” his mother felt in the final years of her life.

His brother, Prince Harry, also said the interview was part of “a culture of exploitation and unethical practices” that contributed to Diana’s death.

The Telegraph‘s source said Prince William had made his feelings about the BBC interview “very clear”, and that a fictional depiction would be “met in the way you would expect”.

Crew uneasy over death scenes

The Crown‘s sixth season, currently in production, will re-enact Diana’s 1997 car crash death in Paris – which the show’s production staff reportedly feel is a step too far.

Crew members fear ‘‘a line has been crossed’’ and are starting to speak up, The Sun reports.

“To be going back to Paris and turning Diana’s final days and hours into a drama feels very uncomfortable,” a source from the set of The Crown told The Sun.

“Finally, some of the crew members are pushing back on the ideas being tabled.

“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.”

Although the show will portray the lead up to Diana’s death, including her final trip to Paris, a Netflix spokesperson told The Sun the exact moment of the deadly crash will not be shown.

Australian actor Elizabeth Debicki will play Diana in her final years.

Series five will also reportedly show the King, as Prince Charles, wrapped in a plot to oust his mother as monarch.

That storyline drew scorn from former British PM John Major, who described it as “a barrel-load of nonsense”.

It will also feature a young Prince William and Prince Harry for the first time.

The news comes after Netflix suspended production of The Crown as ‘a mark of respect’ following the late Queen’s death in September.

Diana’s legacy lives on

Princess Diana’s death in a car crash – which also killed her boyfriend, Egyptian film producer Dodi Fayed and chauffeur Henri Paul – came after months of hounding by the press following her highly publicised divorce and break from the royal family.

More than 25 years after her death, the shadow of the ‘People’s Princess’ looms over the royal family, who still face some suspicion of playing a role in Diana’s death.

Relative royal family newcomers, the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex, are constantly compared to their late mother-in-law.

The Duke of Sussex has notably talked about how he feels the alleged hounding of his wife Meghan Markle by the media is reminiscent of what his mother went through – and just as life-threatening.

“History was repeating itself. My mother was chased to her death while she was in a relationship with someone that wasn’t white,” Harry told Oprah Winfrey for Apple TV+ docuseries The Me You Can’t See.

“Now look what’s happened. You want to talk about history repeating itself, they’re not going to stop until she dies.”

Netflix did not respond to The New Daily‘s request for comment.

However, it hit back at criticism on Sunday, telling The Guardian that 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,” a spokesperson said.

The fifth series of The Crown drops on November 9.

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