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Are Princess Diana, King Charles ‘The Crown’ Storylines Accurate? Royal Expert Weighs In

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Prince Charles and Princess Diana are pictured attending a centenary service for the Royal College Of Music on Feb. 28, 1982 at Westminster Abbey, London.
Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

KEY POINTS

  • Nick Bullen claimed “The Crown” Season 5 “widened the mark” when it comes to Diana’s “Panorama” interview
  • The royal expert said he believes the series “didn’t even go far enough” in looking at how Martin Bashir scored the interview
  • He claimed “The Crown” also featured several inaccuracies for King Charles’ storyline

Some of the British royal family’s storylines on “The Crown” Season 5 were not entirely accurate, according to a royal expert.

The latest season of the hit Netflix series focused on the events surrounding the very public separation between then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana, including the late royal’s 1995 “Panorama” interview.

However, according to True Royalty TV editor-in-chief Nick Bullen, Princess Diana’s infamous interview with Martin Bashir, in which she spoke about her battle with bulimia and her unhappy marriage to Charles, wasn’t depicted as truthful as possible on the show.

“Look, it’s drama. It’s fiction that’s somewhat based on fact,” the royal expert told Us Weekly. “Virtually all of it was — certainly — sort of widened the mark.”

He added, “I think they didn’t even go far enough in looking at how Bashir got the interview. I mean, they sort of touched on it, you know, it was incredibly fraudulent what went on there.”

Bullen speculated that Princess Diana was much more remorseful than she appeared on camera.

The royal expert said he thinks Princess Diana initially felt “she’d got her voice out there” and believed Bashir’s claims about “security services listening to her.”

But Bullen said he believes Princess Diana likely realized she’d made a “huge mistake” in giving the interview and “absolutely” regretted her choice as more clarity set in.

“To be fair, what ‘The Crown’ did get right was the fact that Charles Spencer, [Diana’s] brother, had started to have misgivings about Bashir before the interview and had tried to persuade Diana this perhaps wasn’t the right way to go about it,” Bullen told Us Weekly. “As we all saw in the show, Bashir was recreating bank statements, trying to claim that people were being paid by the security services. And if someone shows you that, you probably do believe it, even if you are not already paranoid about what’s going on. I think she did regret it.”

In July, the BBC issued a formal apology to King Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry after it was revealed that Princess Diana was “deceived” into doing the 1995 interview.

An independent investigation found that Bashir deceived Princess Diana’s brother by showing him forged bank statements that falsely suggested individuals were being paid for keeping the princess under surveillance. The inquiry also found that Bashir later lied, telling BBC managers he had not shown the fake documents to anyone.

BBC director general Tim Davie vowed that the network will not air the interview again following the investigation’s findings.

Aside from Princess Diana’s “Panorama” interview, Bullen also slammed the “Crown” Season 5 storylines about then-Prince Charles and other members of the royal family during the ’90s as inaccurate.

“When Charles does the handover of Hong Kong, it appears that he takes [Queen Consort Camilla] for a holiday on the Royal Yacht Britannia. Simply not true,” Bullen claimed. “The idea that Diana was meeting Mohamed Al-Fayed at the Windsor Horse Show. Not true. The idea that Princess Margaret and the queen are having standup round about Peter Townsend — not true.”

He concludes: “What ‘The Crown’ is very clever at is it does take sort of enough fact to be able to spin up a version of the truth. I think people have gotta watch it with an eye to this is drama that is based on real life events. But that’s the danger … is how far the real life events go.”

“The Crown” Season 5 streams on Netflix.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana are pictured at an official event during their first royal Australian tour 1983 in Newcastle, Australia.
Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

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