Princess Diana's Butler Says 'The Crown' Is "Pretty Close to the Truth"

"I'm afraid that's what I saw behind closed doors."

Prince Charles and Princess Diana as portrayed in 'The Crown.'
(Image credit: Des Willie/Netflix)

While Netflix's The Crown is considered fiction, one source close to the royal family—Princess Diana's former butler Paul Burrell—tells The Sun that some of the events depicted, specifically in regard to Diana and Charles, are "pretty close to the truth." Interestingly, the royal family gave not only a "no" but a "firm no" when it came to fact-checking the events of the show.

Burrell weighed in on how the Netflix drama portrayed Prince Charles and Princess Diana's relationship, and how the ever-so-wonderful Josh O'Connor got Charles' right. In an interview with The Sun, Burrell said, "Josh O'Connor plays Prince Charles as a rather uncaring, cold person. And I'm afraid that's what I saw behind closed doors." Burrell continued saying: "He was married to probably the most beautiful woman in the world. But he didn't look after her, and that's what comes across in The Crown."

Paul Burrell and Princess Diana

(Image credit: Antony Jones/Getty Images)

Burrell worked alongside Diana for ten years and has commented numerous times on the late People's Princess. He told The Sun he believes the rift goes back to Princess Diana's sudden rise in popularity. "You're seeing an unknown young girl rise while Charles's star doesn't and her popularity becomes greater than his," said Burrell. "And that's the whole problem."

Burrell added: "Diana said to me, 'I thought when I got married that my husband would be there for me, to care for me, to support me, to encourage me, but he isn't.'" And to skeptics who doubt the accuracy, Burrell says: "People that jump up and say, 'Well, that's not factual', well, that's pretty close to the truth."

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Bianca Rodriguez is the Fashion & Luxury Commerce Manager at Hearst Magazines, covering fashion, beauty, and more for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Town & Country. In addition to spearheading commerce content across brands—from writing about wardrobe must-haves and sales at major retailers to strategizing—she is also an avid reader with a deep love and knowledge for books of all genres. More often than not, you can find her lounging with a good book on the weekend.