The Portrayal of Princess Diana in Season Four of “The Crown”

Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana, Princess of Wales

Elizabeth Atchley, Writer/Social Media

The royal family is no stranger to the public, and the hit Netflix series “The Crown” made sure of that. Starting in November 2016, the show has covered 4 seasons of television and most of the second half of the 20th century. The focal point is Queen Elizabeth II, her reign of England, and all the drama and conflict surrounding her. However, the hot topic of this latest season is Princess Diana of Wales, played by Emma Corrin. Since the recent season came out in mid-November, many viewers have questioned how accurate “The Crown” is in terms of depicting the late princess as a young girl and the wife of Prince Charles.

The introduction of Lady Diana was seen in the first episode of season four, where she and Prince Charles, played by Josh O’Connor, first meet. In this scene, Diana Spencer is hidden behind a bush in a tree costume when Charles first encounters her. The Prince is visiting with Diana’s sister, Sarah. However, according to Independent, this is not entirely accurate. The two met when Diana was 16 years old and “in the middle of a plowed field” in Althorp, at one of the Spencers’ homes. The Spencers had been connected to the royal family for quite some time, but Diana and Charles did not really meet up until this point, and especially not with Diana dressed as a tree.

On the contrary, “The Crown” does well in showing the short timespan of Diana and Charles’ courtship. Their meetings seem to take place after the assassination of Lord Mountbatten, someone who was a father figure to Prince Charles. Diana sympathized with him, and fairly soon after this they began their relationship. Mountbatten died in August 1979, Diana and Charles began their relationship in 1980, and the two were engaged and then married in 1981, Charles 33 years old and Diana only 20.

The rocky relationship of the Prince and Princess is seen as early as their engagement, with Charles’ close relationship to ex-girlfriend and friend Camilla Parker Bowles, and Diana’s struggle with taking on the duties of royalty and her frequent separation from Charles. The future princess has serious reservations about their relationship, and as seen in episode three of season four, she begs to speak to Queen Elizabeth to call off the wedding. Diana’s constant indecisiveness this late in the engagement seemed to be true: an article from Bustle discusses Diana “having reservations so severe she considered calling off the wedding.” Although to the public they seemed to be a perfectly in love couple, Charles and Diana had more struggles than anyone seemed to know.

The portrayal of Princess Diana and her position in the royal family in season four of “The Crown” has left many viewers wondering just how difficult her life was as Princess. With her natural charisma and empathetic nature, the public couldn’t dislike Diana: they adored her. The eventual divorce of Charles and Diana was well-known, in addition to the death of Diana, but season four of “The Crown” on Netflix helped the public further understand the complicated dynamics and events that led to the downfall of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

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