Recent media capitalizes on Princess Diana Spencer’s death by exposing her personal struggles, not giving justice to her character


Pallevi Pillai

Although it has been 24 years since her tragic death, it seems as if Princess Diana Spencer has gained more attraction and adoration than when she was alive, if that is even possible. The former Princess of Wales is universally beloved for a reason. With her whimsical, lighthearted nature and simultaneous elegance and sincerity, Princess Diana shattered the typical mold of the stale, out of touch royal; she was a princess of the people. Diana recently made headlines with the release of season four of “The Crown.”

The popular Netflix drama follows the history of the royal family and politics beginning with Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Fans have been eagerly waiting for a Princess Diana-centric season. They were finally satisfied in November 2020 when season four centered around Diana’s transition into the royal family. The majority of Princess Diana’s plot line focused on how the strained institution of the royal family burdened her with a mountain load of trauma- her husband’s infidelity, severe mental health struggles, and an eating disorder, to name a few. The show did a great job of capturing Diana’s desperate pleas for help from the royals that went unanswered, further isolating her into seclusion. The fast paced intensity of the drama-filled season was a striking contrast to “The Crown’s” typical slow, drawn out nature. Season four ended up becoming “The Crown’s” most commercially successful season yet.

Since “The Crown’s” success, Hollywood has been on a roll releasing Princess Diana content. “Diana: The Musical” released on Netflix on October 1st, and received murky reviews right out of the gate. Many Princess Diana superfans took offense to the caricature depiction of her character. Indie films are also jumping on the Diana train with the drama “Spencer” starring Kristen Stewart as Diana set to release in early November. The film’s focus will be on Princess Diana’s “hidden life” behind closed doors and the internal struggles she endured during her time in the royal family.

It is blatantly clear that these creators are borrowing from “The Crown’s” Diana storyline in order to use her trauma as a selling point; it is inevitable for Princess Diana lovers to flock to the next big TV show or films surrounding her. It is hypocritical for filmmakers and screenwriters to have this perception that they are doing a service by exposing Princess Diana’s personal struggles, as it was the same violating front-page frenzied media that is said to have led to her death.