Princess Diana's Former Chef Insists 'The Crown' Got Her Relationship With Prince Charles Wrong

Former royal chef Darren McGrady has claimed The Crown's depiction of Princess Diana and Prince Charles' troubled relationship is inaccurate.

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(Image credit: Princess Diana Archive)

The latest season of The Crown depicts the troubled relationship between Princess Diana and Prince Charles, renewing public interest in the subject and sparking the ire of some royal insiders. The latest to call out the show? Former royal chef Darren McGrady, who worked at Buckingham Palace for 11 years and catered for Diana and Charles. "My goodness, they really went for the artistic license," McGrady told Us Weekly.

The chef specifically called out the show's take on the couple's 1983 royal tour of Australia and New Zealand, which is depicted as explosive behind closed doors. "You see them in Australia sort of arguing and fighting, but, you know, they were happy there," McGrady said. "And the same as, you know, Balmoral Castle [in Scotland], when we had the Ghillies Ball."

"I remember standing there watching Prince Charles and Princess Diana dancing together, and they were spinning and spinning, and the princess loved to dance. So she took advantage and she was spinning the prince faster, and then he was laughing louder and louder," he continued. "And when I see The Crown and see that and think, 'You don’t know the whole truth.'"

As mentioned above, McGrady isn't the first royal insider to publicly criticize The CrownDiana's brother, Charles, Earl Spencer, has repeatedly condemned the Netflix show, saying it relies on "a lot of conjecture and a lot of invention." Charles subsequently suggested the show should incorporate a disclaimer, stating "this isn't true but it is based around some real events."

Diana herself, however, confirmed that there was at least some discord between herself on Charles during their tour of Australia. In her controversial 1995 Panorama interview with BBC journalist Martin Bashir, the royal revealed that her growing popularity on the tour provoked Charles' envy, which led to marital trouble. "We'd be going round Australia, for instance, and all you could hear was, 'Oh, she's on the other side,'" she said, explaining that waiting crowds expressed their dismay that they were closer to Charles, not Diana. "They weren't on the right side to wave at me or to touch me."

"Now, if you're a man like my husband, a proud man, you mind about that if you hear it every day for four weeks. And you feel low about it, instead of feeling happy and sharing it," Diana continued. Asked if she was "flattered" by the media attention she received, she responded, "No, not particularly," adding, "because with the media attention came a lot of jealousy; a great deal of complicated situations arose because of that."


prince charles and diana, princess of wales 1961 1997 at the perth hockey stadium in bentley, perth, western australia, 7th april 1983 diana is wearing a pink suit by donald campbell photo by jayne fincherprincess diana archivegetty images

(Image credit: Princess Diana Archive)
Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.