Do we need any more movies/series/documentaries based on Princess Diana?
by Ana Walia | Thu, 09 Dec 2021 12:38:23 GMT
Image Source: The New York Times

Kristen Stewart starred "Spencer", a historical fiction psychological drama written by Steven Knight and directed by Pablo Larrain, was released on November 5th, 2021. The movie revolves around Princess Diana’s decision to end her marriage to Prince Charles and leave the British Royal Family. Pablo Larrain said about the movie, "We decided to get into a story about identity, and around how a woman decides, somehow, not to be the Queen."

It has been almost 25 years since the tragic loss of Princess Diana, or Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales, in a disastrous car chase in Paris, but she is still remembered as someone who led a miserable life even though she was on top. Following her death, United Kingdom President Tony Blair referred to her as "the people's princess" in a tearful speech.

It was also reported earlier that CNN added to the reservoir of Diana documentaries with an original six-part series, while director Ed Perkins is working on his archival theatrical documentary slated for release next year. In the first season of The Crown, actress Emma Corrin, who portrayed Princess Diana, won a Golden Globe for her exceptional performance, and now actress Elizabeth Debicki is gearing up to take over the controversial role of Princess Diana in the final two seasons of the show. Pablo Larrain’s Spencer also created a buzz around the industry as the makers chose a sensitive topic to showcase on-screen and, sure, they did receive a positive response, but the question remains the same, "Do we need any more movies/series/documentaries based on Princess Diana?" It was also reported that the royal family has a hard time watching all of these as it opens their wounds from the past, especially for Prince William and Prince Harry.

Arianna Chernock, states, "We've never been able to get enough of this woman." Image Source: Cosmopolitan

According to sources, the question arises because it has been seen that Princess Diana’s life is not treated as the life of a real person, but more as an abstract concept that has to be presented to the audience and earn a profit from it. Boston University’s history professor, Arianna Chernock, states, "We've never been able to get enough of this woman." From "The Crown" to "Spencer," "this fresh batch of dramatizations doesn't help (Prince) Charles particularly, but they do help her sons. They certainly helped humanize William and show that he was trying to assert some of her values. Harry and William have both used their very privileged positions to shine a light on pressing social issues. And to do that not so much in the name of their mother, but in her spirit. "

It was earlier reported that Prince Harry, who has the most license to discuss his mother’s life, has signed a four-book deal worth $20 million with publishing house Penguin Random House. British Journalist and royal commentator Jonathan Sacredoti stated, "The high price of the book deal signed by Prince Harry will doubtless have been driven up by the fact that she will feature in his memoir. Even all these years after her death, Diana's image can still bring in the bucks." But here, it can be said that Prince Harry just wants the world to know what exactly happened to his mother, which is fair, but a four-book deal seems a bit stretched.

A critic mentioned that Princess Diana in the Netflix special "Diana: The Musical," was so bad that it almost looked disrespectful to Princess Diana, the British Royal family, and the Queen. The critics, as well as the audience, have mentioned from time to time that movies/series/musicals/documentaries on Princess Diana or her tragic life are not needed because people would not like to relive the tragic story of how a princess’ life falls apart on screen again. Even after her tragic passing away, Princess Diana has managed to be one of the most popular faces on the Internet because as soon as you type "Diana" or "Royal Family" or any word related to Princess Diana, the internet showcases about 14 movies and 6 documentaries about her.

There is no denying the fact that Princess Diana is an iconic person in history who is an inspiration to a lot of people and is remembered for her voice, smile, stunning 80s wedding dress, Peruvian jumpers, and black revenge dress. At the time and even today, Diana was every woman’s fashion icon and every little girl’s fantasy as she lived a fairy tale life, yet the narrative is that she hated every second of it.

With movies/series/musicals/documentaries made with varying degrees of accuracy, they have portrayed Princess Diana’s worsening mental health, eating disorder, and suicide attempts. The makers intended to showcase Prince Charles’ adulterous relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and Diana’s constant requests for him to leave her. They have managed to recreate how the Princess of Wales publicly admitted to having been cheated on (and cheating herself), divorced the heir to the throne, and was repudiated by British royalty.

Diana spoke to Andrew Morton for his book Diana: Her True Story and said, "I understand they had a job, but people did not understand that they had binoculars on me the whole time." Recently, during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry has spoken about his fear that his wife Meghan Markle would suffer the same fate as Diana, being "commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person." Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, stepped down as royal members of the British Royal Family. Prince has also raised his concern prior to the interview as well. 

Princess Diana in black revenge dress. Image Source: The Irish Times

The critics and audience believed that Lady Diana, or Princess Diana’s name and image should be used to publicize the cause she believed in, which was raising awareness of social issues such as AIDS, homelessness, and landmines. The filmmakers and everyone who is involved in making a profit out of her tragic end should honor her work and constant effort to make the world a better place to live. And for profit, there are great women like Ida B. Wells, Ada Lovelace, Maria Tallchief, etc. whose life stories could be more impactful for the audience.

What do you think?