Royal Insiders Are Upset About Netflix's Latest Princess Diana Tweet

Royal insiders are upset that Netflix tweeted a trailer for Diana: In Her Own Words in response to fan questions about The Crown.

  • In the fourth season of Netflix's hit drama The Crown, viewers get a glimpse at the beginnings of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's relationship—albeit one that many royal experts and insiders say is inaccurate. 
  • While the show makes it seem as though Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles was going on at the very beginning of his relationship with Diana, it actually began later.
  • Netflix responded to royal fans' questions about the depiction by tweeting a clip from the documentary Diana: In Her Own Words, which also seems to suggest that Charles and Camilla were romantically during her engagement to Charles. Royal insiders take issue with the tweet, calling it "sinister." 

Netflix's hit drama The Crown has a lot of fans, but the members of the royal family are reportedly not among them—especially since the premiere of the show's controversial fourth season.

In Season 4, The Crown took on more modern royal moments—like the early days of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's relationship, for example. That's the thing that many royal experts and insiders take the biggest issue with, since the show presents a sometimes misleading (or outright inaccurate) picture of the fraught romance. Specifically, the show implies that Charles was cheating on Diana with his now-wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, from the very beginning of their marriage, which was not the case in real life.

As a result of this liberal take on history, many royal fans and viewers of The Crown were left with lots of questions after watching the fourth season. Netflix recently responded to fans' questions on Twitter by sharing a clip from the documentary Diana: In Her Own Words, along with the message, "The documentary DIANA: IN HER OWN WORDS answers much of what you’re asking."

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In the clip shared in the Netflix tweet, Diana discusses her famously tearful goodbye with Charles at the airport in 1981, when they were just engaged. In the audio clip, Diana reveals the real reason she was crying that day—which had to do with Charles' relationship with Camilla.

"You may recall seeing a picture of me sobbing in a red coat when [Prince Charles] went off on his aeroplane," Diana says in the clip. "That was nothing to do with him going. The most awful thing had happened before he went....I was in his study talking to him about his trip. The telephone rang; it was Camilla, and just before he was going for five weeks. So I thought, 'Shall I be nice, or shall I just sit here?' So I thought I'd be nice, so I left them to it. And it just broke my heart, that."

Those close to the royal family were upset with Netflix's decision to tweet the clip, which they see as doubling down on the narrative about Charles and Diana's relationship presented in The Crown.

"It's one thing to make a drama that not even the writer claims is entirely factual, but for Netflix to use its corporate social channels to create and post material that is one-sided at best feels like corporate trolling—it's pretty sinister," one royal insider said, according to the Daily Mail

FWIW, royal correspondent Omid Scobie has said that Netflix asked the royal family to participate in fact-checking The Crown, but that the royals declined.

Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.