Prince William is “Totally Sickened” by the Portrayal of Princess Diana in ‘The Crown,’ and is Angry with Prince Harry About His Decision to Work with Netflix

“It’s incredibly hurtful to have his mother exploited over and over again in this tawdry fashion.”

Prince William Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Brotherly love, it seems, still eludes Prince William and Prince Harry, as William is “sickened” by The Crown’s portrayal of his mother, Princess Diana, in its final season—which will debut next month. William is apparently particularly incensed by Diana’s depiction as a ghost in this season of the series, which streams on Netflix. (Diana’s ghost, The Mirror reports, allegedly brings the late Queen Elizabeth to tears in one episode.) Harry, of course, has an ongoing multimillion-dollar deal with the company, and has since 2020.

Prince Harry and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge embark on a walkabout ahead of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 18, 2018 in Windsor, England

(Image credit: Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty)

“William is angry about a lot of things in connection with Harry,” a friend of William’s told The Daily Beast. “His decision to work with Netflix, who have ruthlessly exploited the family, is certainly one of them. It’s incredibly hurtful to have his mother exploited over and over again in this tawdry fashion by Netflix. He won’t watch it, but he will be totally sickened by it.”

A friend of the late Queen’s told the publication “Thank God she [Her late Majesty] will never even hear about it.”

Prince Harry and Prince William

(Image credit: Getty)

While it’s unknown which members of the royal family (if any) actually watch The Crown, all are certainly aware of it. King Charles made a quip about the show while attending a multi-faith event before the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 2021, according to Anas Sarwar, former leader of the Scottish Labour Party. “There was a group of MSPs all standing, and he came over and went, ‘Hello, nice to meet you all,’ and he went, ‘I’m nowhere near how they portray me on Netflix,’” Sarwar said, per The Daily Mail. “I thought that was a really interesting way of how you describe yourself.”

Harry has confessed to watching the show and said in an interview with James Corden that it’s more accurate than people think. “They don’t pretend to be news,” Harry said. “It’s fictional, but it’s loosely based on the truth. Of course, it’s not strictly accurate, but loosely, it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle, what the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that.”

the crown season 6

A still from "The Crown" on Netflix

(Image credit: Daniel Escale/Netflix)

Though Harry and Meghan have no direct involvement with the show, their close association with Netflix—which had been on the air for years before the two brokered their deal with the streaming giant—has affected how The Crown is perceived. “Royal content is massive for them [Netflix], and they probably would have signed Harry and Meghan for the documentary anyway,” a television executive told The Daily Beast (referring, of course, to the six-part Harry & Meghan docuseries released last December on the platform). “But The Crown is one of their biggest shows, and signing Harry and Meghan certainly had a halo effect on its credibility.”

The sixth and final season of The Crown will be, for the first time, released in two parts; the first installment of four episodes will air November 16, and the second installment will be released on December 14. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.