Paul Burrell says The Crown showing Diana’s death is ‘too much’
The Crown just dropped part one of season 6 of the Netflix hit.
As some of the most critical years for the royal family play out on screens around the world, insiders within the Windsors are opening up about scenes from the show that the family would rather fans not see.
Hugo Vickers, a historian and friend of the royal family recently blasted the show for taking liberties when it comes to certain events within the royal family. Specifically with the portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in her later years and the events that led up to Princess Diana’s death.
“You cannot escape that they are picking away at the souls of real people. It’s vile,” Vickers said to Page Six.
“This queen looks so boring [and] nothing like her at all. The queen always managed to keep her twinkle in her eye and keep her sense of humour even in the most difficult of times — she was not slumped like this woman on TV.”
Read more: What was Diana and Charles’ relationship like after their divorce? The Crown fact-checked
“The timeline of those final days has been gone over so many times, it’s very easy to get this part right. But [producers] could not give a damn about getting details right — they just want the drama,” he said.
For instance, The Crown shows Princess Diana insisting on leaving the Ritz Carlton and going to Dodi Fayed’s Paris apartment, but it was really Dodi who concocted the plan to try and evade the Paris paparazzi which lead to the car crash that took both of their lives on August 31, 1997.
The show also has Diana turning down a marriage proposal which never took place, and returning as a ghost who visits her ex-husband the Prince of Wales and Her Majesty.
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“There was never any question of her marrying Dodi,” Vickers said. In fact, Princess Diana told close friends in her final days; “I want another marriage like I want a bad rash.”
“The character impersonation is so awry … Diana has to appeal to the American audience, to her army of fans,” Vickers added. “‘The Crown’ paints her as so articulate, so together — which she definitely wasn’t at that time. She was spiraling into chaos in this terribly volatile way.”
The Crown also dramatises the final phone call that Princes William and Harry had with their mother. Prince Harry, who once said he watched the show to “fact check” it, has been very open about that phone call, saying it was actually quite brief because the young princes were playing with their cousins.
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Lord John Stevens, the former head of London’s police force, who carried out a painstaking three-year probe into every aspect of Diana’s death, revealed that the show’s creators didn’t reach out to him regarding how to portray her death.
“These things are not doing anyone justice, nor justice to Diana’s memory,” said Lord Stevens.
“I spent some time with the boys, Prince William and Prince Harry on a one-to-one basis, going through what happened, they wanted to know all the details,” Stevens said. “They know what happened, so it must be very difficult.”
When asked about the criticism regarding the truth of his hit series, creator Peter Morgan told Variety: “Never in any area of my work has that come up as much as in The Crown.”
“Everyone in Britain, whether they acknowledge it or not, has that level of sensitivity and attachment to this family, which is why it is an absolute minefield for dramatists to explore. And yet dramatists are born to write about kings and queens. That’s what we do.”
Part one of season 6 of The Crown is currently on Netflix, Part two drops December 14.
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