Netflix's "The Crown" is under intense scrutiny for its portrayal of Princess Diana's fatal car crash, with critics, including her former butler, Paul Burrell, labeling the depiction as 'grotesque' and 'graphic.' Burrell, who served Diana as a butler, has publicly condemned the show for recreating the tragic accident in Paris that claimed Diana's life along with Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul.
The recent release of "The Crown's" sixth and final season has reignited painful memories, especially for Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. Burrell expressed his disbelief at the inclusion of such a distressing scene, emphasizing the ongoing emotional impact on Diana's family. "It's a nightmare that keeps revolving and coming back to haunt them. So they don't want to see it," Burrell stated in an interview.
The depiction of Queen Elizabeth II, played by Dame Imelda Staunton, has also stirred discontent. Burrell remarked on the Queen's portrayal as critical of Diana, which he believes is a misrepresentation of her true character. He described the late Queen as a warm, loving figure, a stark contrast to her depiction in the series.
Elizabeth Debicki plays Princess Diana, and Khalid Abdalla portrays Dodi Fayed in the series. The storyline includes controversial elements, such as Mohammed Al-Fayed, Dodi's father, orchestrating the relationship between Diana and Dodi to blackmail the royal family and the British government. These depictions, particularly around conspiracy theories that have been debunked, add to the contentious nature of the series.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams shared insights into how the royal family, particularly Prince William and Prince Harry, might perceive the show. He suggested they are unlikely to comment on the series, to avoid drawing more attention to it.
The dramatization of Diana's last moments in Paris, including her conversation with Henri Paul and the ensuing chaos with paparazzi, culminates in a sound that implies the tragic crash, without explicitly showing it. This approach has done little to alleviate concerns about the sensitive nature of the subject matter.
As "The Crown" navigates these turbulent waters, the focus on its portrayal of real-life events and its impact on the individuals involved remains a topic of debate and concern. The series' approach to such a poignant chapter in royal history continues to evoke strong reactions from viewers and critics alike.