Netflix IGNORES William’s pleas not to exploit Diana’s 1995 Panorama interview with Martin Bashir
Netflix has ignored pleas from Prince William not to exploit Princess Diana‘s bombshell Panorama interview with Martin Bashir during the fifth series of The Crown in a two-episode bombshell – which even shows her eldest son watching it on TV as a schoolboy and his father Charles crying while declaring: ‘What the hell is she doing?’
The popular series, which airs on November 9, is set to show the hour-long 1995 interview with the disgraced BBC journalist over two episodes and will include its most inflammatory parts.
It was initially thought that producers had cut the recreation to show just seconds of the interview, but it will instead be shortened to a four-minute and 23-second segment.
The recreation will show William watching on as a schoolboy at Eton, while Charles will be seen shouting and sobbing as she casts doubts on his ability to be King, The Sun reports.
The interview will also include Diana’s sensational remarks that ‘there were three of us in the marriage’ – a reference to Charles and Camilla.
She will say she wanted to be a ‘Queen in people’s hearts’, but does not believe she will ever become Queen.
But the decision to recreate the interview puts Netflix at odds with William, who has called for the groundbreaking scenes to never to be aired again.
It also comes despite Prince Harry, who claimed the interview ‘lost his mother her life’, having signed a £112million deal with the streaming service for him and his wife Meghan.
He branded it ‘unethical’ and claimed the interview triggered the events that caused his mother to lose her life two years later.
Meanwhile, William said Bashir’s deceit in obtaining his 1995 chat with Diana hastened his parents’ divorce and ‘hurt countless others’ and called for it to never be aired again.
It comes as Netflix is also said to have exaggerated language and made up sections of the interview, according to The Sun.
The popular series is set to show the hour-long 1995 interview with the disgraced BBC journalist over two episodes
The then Prince of Wales, played by Dominic West in The Crown, shown crying in the trailer for the show as Diana casts doubts on his ability to be King
Princess Diana pictured during her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC in 1995
Undated handout photo issued by Netflix of Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales appearing in the fifth season of the streaming website’s show, The Crown
Elizabeth Debicki plays Princess Diana in the Netflix series, which is now likely to face a backlash from royals
The decision to recreate the interview puts Netflix at odds with William, who has called for the groundbreaking scenes to never to be aired again
The decision to recreate the interview comes despite Prince Harry, who claimed the interview ‘lost his mother her life’, having signed a £112million deal with the streaming service for him and his wife Meghan.
How Charles and William reacted while watching the BBC Bashir interview with Princess Diana, according to The Crown
Martin Bashir (MB): Your Royal Highness, do you genuinely believe that members of the royal household have been out to get you?
Princess Diana (PD): When I separated from the Prince of Wales I was seen as problem number one, the first of my kind.
MB: When your first son was born, that must have been a very happy moment?
PD: When William was born I became unwell with postnatal depression. I just wanted to stay in bed all day. I was in a very dark place.
MB: Did you reach out for help?
PD: I suppose if you’re the first person in a family to ever feel low then it’s pretty hard to get the support you need, so you suffer alone.
MB: Your husband is said to have rekindled his relationship with Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles around 1986, did this continue to the breakdown of your marriage?
PD: Well there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded. Was I devastated? Yes. Did I feel like a failure? Mmm.
MB: Reflecting back you say the Royal Family has effectively given up on you? Why do you think that is?
PD: Because I don’t do things the way they do. Because I want to connect with people emotionally and comfort them in distress.
MB: And this isn’t something that the Royal Family provides?
PD: You have to remember I didn’t just marry into a family I married into a system. But I won’t go quietly. I’ll battle till the end.
MB: What impact do you think the breakdown of your marriage had on Prince William?
PD: Well, he’s a boy that’s a serious thinker so it’s hard to know the impact just yet, we’ll have to wait a few years to see.
William is watching it on TV at Eton but moves away from the screen when a teacher asks: ‘Are you ok?’
MB: Do you believe Prince Charles will be King?
PD: Who knows what fate will bring, it’s a very demanding and suffocating role and Charles was always conflicted about it
Prince Charles is watching the interview and exclaims: ‘Oh God’
He adds: ‘What the hell is she doing?’
MB: Some might view this as you taking revenge on the Prince of Wales
PD: I don’t speak with bitterness or anger, but sorrow, because our marriage has failed.
Charles is shown crying
MB: Do you think you will ever be Queen?
PD: I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts. But I don’t envisage myself ever being queen of this country, no. I don’t think many people will be calling for that, when I say people I mean those at the top, on my husband’s side, because they’ve decided I’m an issue, full stop. A liability.
But someone’s got to go out on to the streets and give people the love that they need.
Majesty Magazine editor-in-chief Ingrid Seward told the newspaper: ‘William will be furious. He said his piece when he said it should never be aired again. This is his mother and her memory they are doing this to.
‘It must be very frustrating as he can’t say any more because it will just give Netflix more publicity.
‘They should have listened to him. The interview has no credibility after the investigation. Everyone knows it has no legitimacy now.
‘Charles will think they can say whatever they want about him but leave Harry and William out of it. He won’t give a stuff about how he comes across but just don’t attack his sons this way.’
The dramatisation of the interview will attribute blame to King Charles, then the Prince of Wales, and depict Diana in a sympathetic light.
Charles is shown yelling and swearing as Diana gives the interview, with the scene ending with him breaking down in tears alongside Camilla.
William, meanwhile, is shown watching the interview as a young boy attending Eton.
Visibly upset, his schoolmaster begins to console him, but William insists he is ‘fine’ before walking away from the TV.
A spokesperson for the prince has been approached for comment, but William said in April that the interview ‘played on her fears and fuelled paranoia’.
Reacting to Lord Dyson’s damning report into how the original interview was obtained, he said: ‘It is welcome that the BBC accepts Lord Dyson’s findings in full – which are extremely concerning – that BBC employees: lied and used fake documents to obtain the interview with my mother; made lurid and false claims about the Royal Family which played on her fears and fuelled paranoia; displayed woeful incompetence when investigating complaints and concerns about the programme; and were evasive in their reporting to the media and covered up what they knew from their internal investigation.’
He added: ‘It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said.’
‘This Panorama programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again. It effectively established a false narrative which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialised by the BBC and others.’
The independent report plunged the BBC into one of the worst crises in its history, with the two royals accusing it of ruining their mother’s life and helping to bring about the events that led to her death two years later.
Despite this, the episodes have gone ahead as planned.
Insiders said: ‘The Crown’s creators see the interview as the keystone moment in series five. To the writers, the stormy marriage between Charles and Di led up to her outpouring on Panorama, and the aftermath of that decision defined her final months.
‘They are making a huge investment in that. The Crown has a track record of delving into areas of the Royal Family’s history they’d rather be left alone.’
Bashir commissioned forged bank statements in flagrant breach of BBC rules to convince Earl Spencer to introduce him to Diana, Lord Dyson concluded in his excoriating inquiry.
Bashir admitted at the time to having the documents forged, but denied ever showing them to anybody.
It comes as Netflix is already facing accusations of ‘insensitivity’ from Diana’s friends after crews from The Crown were spotted filming the moments leading up to her fatal car crash – just 100 yards from the Paris tunnel where she died 25 years ago.
Our exclusive photographs showed filming of a Mercedes in Paris near the site of the car crash that claimed her and Dodi Al Fayed’s lives.
Onlookers said Netflix crews were seen filming between 2am and 3am today around 100 yards from the Alma tunnel, where the crash happened in the early hours of August 31, 1997.
The pictures show a black Mercedes like the one the couple were travelling in on that tragic day being filmed in another nearby tunnel on the same road.
Netflix has insisted the ‘exact moment’ of the crash will not feature in the controversial drama, which has recently come under fire for sensationalism and inaccuracy.
A friend of Diana’s said the show’s makers could face accusations of ‘insensitivity’ over the filming in Paris. Debbie Frank, who was Diana’s astrologer, said it would be ‘terrible’ for Princes William and Harry to see a recreation of the moments leading up to their mother’s death.
‘It’s obviously terrible for Diana’s children to have to see that again. It’s insensitive,’ she said.
She added: ‘I feel Diana’s death and the crash was the biggest shock our generation. It had such a huge impact across the national psyche.
‘I guess the makers of The Crown feel they are entitled to show a re-enactment of scenes leading up to her death and that it has dramatic impact. But relatives would think otherwise.’
William (pictured during a filmed response to the report) privately vowed to continue his battle to uncover ‘the truth’ about how his mother came to be callously duped
An inquiry by Lord Dyson in May found Bashir (pictured) had lied to obtain the interview, using ‘deceitful’ methods later covered up by a ‘woefully ineffective’ internal investigation by Tony Hall, who later became BBC director-general
Bashir commissioned forged bank statements in flagrant breach of BBC rules to convince Earl Spencer to introduce him to Diana
Netflix crews film just moments before Princess Diana’s car crashed in Paris for The Crown last week
Netflix crews were spotted filming late at night on Voies Georges Pompidou
There are no depths of bad taste The Crown does not plumb: Netflix series portrays Charles, Philip and The Queen with disdain bordering on mockery while William is seen as slightly dim and sulky and Harry is let off lightly, writes CHRISTOPHER STEVENS
There are no depths of bad taste that writer Peter Morgan does not plumb in the new ten-part series of The Crown on Netflix.
Divorces, infidelities, the most intimate conversations, the infamous interview with Princess Diana and Martin Bashir, even the death of a five-year-old from cancer, all are exploited for lurid drama.
As the eight-and-a-half hours of new film were made available to journalists last night, under a stringent embargo, the sheer virulence of the storylines became shockingly clear.
Charles, Philip and at times the Queen herself are portrayed with disdain bordering on mockery. A teenage Prince William is also shown in an unflattering light, as slightly dim and sulky, though his younger brother Harry is let off lightly and barely features.
Netflix may well find that, with the international grief and mourning that marked the death of the Queen less than two months ago, viewers’ appetite for royal muck-raking has disappeared.
Insiders at the streaming video giant say the mood in the company is already uneasy, with some American executives surprised by the backlash from fans who fear the death of the Princess of Wales will be re-enacted in graphic detail.
Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales from season five of The Crown, which will air next week
Bashir is shown meeting Diana in a dimly lit car park and feeding lies to her, urging her to trust no one
Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales, Dominic West as Charles, Teddy Hawley as Prince Harry and Timothee Sambor as Prince William, from season five of The Crown
Divorces, infidelities, the most intimate conversations, the infamous interview with Princess Diana and Martin Bashir, even the death of a five-year-old from cancer, all are exploited for lurid drama. Pictured: The recreation from the series
Olivia Williams as Camilla and Dominic West as Charles, from season five of The Crown
Diana pictured during her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC in November 1995
A teenage Prince William is also shown in an unflattering light, as slightly dim and sulky, though his younger brother Harry is let off lightly and barely features
This series stops short of that moment. It ends with Diana, divorced from Charles, preparing for a Mediterranean holiday with her friend Dodi Fayed.
Full reviews, with assessments of individual performances and an analysis of how far the script strays from historical fact, are embargoed until Saturday morning.
But no spoiler alert is needed when I say that this series of The Crown is unrecognisable in its tone, compared to the original series in 2016.
This show with its almost unlimited budget and all-star cast has become a monstrous perversion of itself.
At the beginning, The Crown charted the affectionate romance of the Princess Elizabeth and her prince, the Duke of Edinburgh, played with touching vulnerability by Claire Foy and Matt Smith.
But it has descended into scandal-mongering, intent on inflicting every possible embarrassment on the Royal Family.
The Crown is now a nakedly republican polemic, using embarrassment as its chief weapon against the monarchy.
Chief victim is the monarch himself. Perhaps Morgan and his Netflix paymasters imagined, like most of us, that the Queen would survive, ruling above reproach, for a number of years to come – and that the Prince of Wales was fair game.
Certainly, none of the preview episodes (labelled, it ought to be said, as ‘work in progress’) carried an acknowledgment of Her Majesty’s death. Any viewers expecting a respectful caption, saluting her 70 years on the throne, will be disappointed.
But from the outset, the campaign against Charles is lacerating. In scene after scene, he is depicted as devious, impatient, resentful, devoid of self-awareness in his desperation to be king.
How Prince Harry, who professes hatred of any media exploitation of his mother’s memory or intrusion into his own life, can continue to be associated with Netflix defies belief
When the interview airs, long sections of it are restaged, despite Prince William’s insistence that it should never be aired because it harmed his mother so much
Insiders at the streaming video giant say the mood in the company is already uneasy, with some American executives surprised by the backlash
This prince is a plotter whose mind works constantly, even during holidays with friends, on ways to dislodge his mother and force her aside. His aides talk of little else.
Despite the fact that former Prime Minister John Major has categorically dismissed this picture as nonsense, Charles is seen making a pathetic fool of himself as he tries to recruit the Tory PM into his treacherous schemes.
Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles – now the King and Queen Consort, a fact shamefully ignored by Netflix – suffer greater indignity still, with the replay of that excruciating phonecall.
Dominic West as Charles and Olivia Williams as Camilla, then his married mistress, re-enact every word of it… including that awful extended metaphor about being reincarnated as a tampon.
It is performed without mercy, and to emphasise the humiliation we see the reaction of other royals when the transcript is published. Princess Margaret reads it in bed. Diana holds her head in her hands.
But even this is overshadowed by Netflix’s relish for the way the Princess of Wales was tricked into a damaging TV interview by Martin Bashir of the BBC.
The affair is spread across two episodes, as Bashir is shown meeting Diana in a dimly lit car park and feeding lies to her, urging her to trust no one, at a time when her mental health was at its most fragile.
When the interview airs, long sections of it are restaged, despite Prince William’s insistence that it should never be aired because it harmed his mother so much.
We hear Elizabeth Debicki, as Diana, discussing her post-natal depression after William was born, her conviction that allegations that she was ‘crazy’ were used to discredit her, her fears for her children and her belief that Charles would never be king.
Some of these lines are spoken as we watch other members of the Royal Family, either glued to their TV sets or pointedly ignoring the broadcast. Charles reacts with rage, shouting, ‘What the hell is she doing?’
Undated handout photo issued by Netflix of Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales appearing in the fifth season of the streaming website’s show, The Crown
The affair is spread across two episodes, as Bashir (pictured) is shown meeting Diana in a dimly lit car park and feeding lies to her
Prince William (played by Senan West, Dominic’s son) is seen at Eton: a teacher asks if he is all right, and the boy, then 13, says, ‘Yes, I’m fine,’ before getting up and walking away.
But the camera is trained on Diana’s face as she murmurs the most famous line from the interview: ‘Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.’
Equally callous is the decision by Morgan to include the death of Leonora Knatchbull, granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten, who was just five when she died from kidney cancer in 1991.
We see her in the first ten minutes of episode one, as Charles and the girl’s father, his friend Norton, admire the child’s curly hair and discuss her treatment.
In the second episode, Prince Philip (Jonathan Pryce) visits Leonora’s grave with her mother, Penny. Both Norton and Penny are still alive, and friends say they are distressed at the thought of their child’s death being presented on screen.
Their feelings, and those of all the Royal Family, are ignored. Netflix and Peter Morgan treat them with cold-blooded contempt. Rarely has a drama been more cruel.
How Prince Harry, who professes hatred of any media exploitation of his mother’s memory or intrusion into his own life, can continue to be associated with Netflix defies belief.
His own media company, Archewell Productions, has signed a deal with Netflix worth a rumoured $100 million (£87.2m). That will have to be a matter between Harry and his conscience.
‘Let’s stop talking about it and move on’: The Crown star Elizabeth Debicki urges critics to stop complaining about show’s plotlines now producers have added disclaimer to latest trailer
Critics who have condemned The Crown for its portrayal of the Royal Family have been told to ‘move on’ by one of the show’s stars.
Elizabeth Debicki, who plays Princess Diana in the upcoming season of the Netflix show, said it was an ‘interpretation’ of events and ‘we can maybe stop talking’ about the controversy.
The streaming giant was recently forced by the row to add a disclaimer to its trailer for season five saying it was a ‘fictional dramatisation… inspired by real events’.
It followed accusations of callousness amid reports the show will recreate the Paris car chase that resulted in Diana’s death and scenes of young princes William and Harry following their mother’s coffin in a future season.
Crown’s Diana: Critics who have condemned The Crown for its portrayal of the Royal Family have been told to ‘move on’ by one of the show’s stars Elizabeth Debicki, who plays Princess Diana
But Miss Debicki, who features in new photos as Diana in Radio Times, told the magazine: ‘I respect people’s points of view and I, being an actor in the show, understand the nature of what the show is.
‘It was always very clear to me that one can never know what happens behind closed doors and that a writer is interpreting what may have happened.
‘Now the disclaimer is up there, we can maybe stop talking about it and move on. If that’s helpful for certain people, so be it, and now the conversation can be returned to the creative endeavour of what the show is.’
She added: ‘There’s a huge amount of room for interpretation and that’s the value and beauty of The Crown as well, that you receive a different message depending on who you are. That’s good drama to me.’
New series: It will document Diana’s split from the then Prince Charles. It includes a re-enactment of the moment the princess wore what became known as her ‘revenge dress’ (pictured)
The new series, which begins next week, will document Diana’s split from the then Prince Charles. It includes a re-enactment of the moment the princess wore what became known as her ‘revenge dress’ – an off-the-shoulder silk number by Christina Stambolian.
Diana wore it to a Vanity Fair party at the Serpentine Gallery in June 1994 on the same night a documentary was broadcast in which Prince Charles admitted to being unfaithful with Camilla.
Miss Debicki, who has replaced Emma Corrin as Diana, revealed she had been so nervous after accepting the role that she was unable to get on with simple chores at home.
The Australian-born actress said: ‘My sister would find me staring at the sink full of dishes and would go, “Oh my God, what’s wrong?” and I’d say, “I can’t do it. I don’t know how to do it.”
‘It was enormous pressure. It feels insurmountable until the scripts get delivered to you and the entire process begins.’
Friends: Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip and Natascha McElhone as Penny Knatchbull, who bonded over a shared passion for equestrian sport
The upcoming series covers the 1990s and will reportedly include controversial scenes such as a re-enactment of the ‘tampongate’ phone call between Charles and Camilla.
Taped by an amateur radio enthusiast and leaked to the press, it recorded them discussing their intimate relationship.
Dominic West, who plays Prince Charles alongside Olivia Williams as Camilla, said his research on the 1993 scandal showed him ‘how badly Camilla was treated’.
‘I don’t think that would happen today. It happened for many reasons, one of them being she’s a woman,’ he added.
Striking resemblance: Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in a gold sweater vest
‘I remember thinking it was a sordid, embarrassing discussion but, revisiting it, I found it was just an intensely personal conversation, and what was sordid was the prurient interest in it.
‘It’s very sweet, tender and gauche but, like any intensely personal conversation, just not for public consumption.’
The series will also air fictional scenes in which Prince Charles discusses the possibility of the Queen’s abdication with Sir John Major, which the former prime minister has dismissed as ‘malicious nonsense’.
New pictures also show Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip with his confidante Penny Knatchbull, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, played by Natascha McElhone, on a carriage ride after the pair bonded in 1975 over their shared love for equestrian sport.