Paul Burrell: ‘The Crown’ is ‘a fair and accurate dramatization of what happened’

The Crown S4

Obviously, the Royal Industrial Complex is completely freaking out about The Crown’s Season 4, or the season where Prince Charles is an a–hole to Princess Diana. The entire establishment set Diana up to fail, they wanted to break her and make her conform and then send her away. Actually, they didn’t know what they wanted from her. They were mostly just sick with jealousy from all the attention she got, and they were beyond pissed at the ease with which she made them all look like what they were and are: out-of-touch a–holes. The one exception to this collective hysteria around The Crown getting the broad strokes correct: Paul Burrell, Diana’s longtime butler, friend and confidante.

The Crown is a ‘true, fair and accurate’ depiction of Princess Diana as a ‘victim of people who didn’t really care’, her former royal butler has claimed. Speaking on Lorraine this morning, Paul Burrell suggested Emma Corrin, who plays the late princess in Netflix’s drama, which aired its fourth season yesterday, has perfected Diana’s mannerisms and personality. Paul, based in Cheshire, who was Princess Diana’s butler and confidante, claimed the royal wasn’t taken care of when joining The Firm, as shown in the programme.

‘This is just a peek behind the doors of Buckingham Palace, that the palace perhaps doesn’t want you to see,’ he said. ‘Because this is the truth. In many ways, it is a fair and accurate dramatisation of what happened. I was there, from the very beginning, I remember meeting the shy young girl lost in a corridor in Balmoral in 1980, I was 22, she was 18. I took her back to her room and she said “You wouldn’t stay a while and have a chat would you?” and I said “Of course”. She said “Run me through the day, what happens in this place, you know I’m completely out of my depth”, so I ran her through the whole programme.’

He added: ‘There’s no rule book, there’s nobody to help you. You have to just fumble your way through it and hope that there are kind people along the way that will help you. Princess Diana was a romantic young girl. She fell in love with her prince, she thought he was going to protect her, he was going to love her, he was going to support her, but none of that happened because he was in love with another woman. But that affair, ruled his life and Camilla, her presence is omnipresent. She’s always there, and Diana had to battle with that from day one.’

The former butler revealed that he had to unpick any entwined Cs from Diana’s shoes and handbags – such as Chanel logos – because ‘she didn’t want to be reminded of that affair that she had to live with’.

Paul also remarked on Emma Corrin’s portrayal of Diana in The Crown, saying: ‘I watch it from profile and I think it’s her. I think she’s got it exactly and her mannerisms, and the way she talks, and I’m feeling it again… I’m feeling her personality be picked at behind the scenes by these people who don’t really care. They’re all gods in their own kingdoms, and they’re just looking out for themselves. They didn’t take care of her. She didn’t get any praise, she only got negativity. She became a victim because of the way she was treated.’

But Paul admitted that Diana did have a ‘ripple of support’ from Prince Philip who wrote ‘very supportive letters’ to his daughter-in-law.

[From The Daily Mail]

If you want to look at a modern parallel, think of the arguments made by these same royal commentators about why they were completely fair to the Duchess of Sussex and why they weren’t ever racist: it was because Harry and Meghan got the wedding they wanted, and everyone loved Meghan at the beginning. It’s the exact same thing with Diana – the commentary was positive at first, this beautiful young teenager who is shy and loves kids and isn’t she wonderful? But then the jealousies crept in hard and fast and the same establishment which lavished her with praise then left her out in the cold, ignored her, and she was on her own. The cruelty with which they tried to destroy Diana cannot be understated. It can also never be understated how much damage Charles and Camilla’s affair really did overall.

Also: I kind of love that Burrell still chimes in. He was a good protector for Diana in the last years especially. I know the royal commentariat class looks down their noses at him, but he has a long memory and he hasn’t even told half the sh-t that he knows.

Lady Diana Spencer, the future Princess of Wales

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Photos courtesy of Netflix, Avalon Red, WENN, Getty.

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107 Responses to “Paul Burrell: ‘The Crown’ is ‘a fair and accurate dramatization of what happened’”

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  1. Noki says:

    I guess he would know better than anyone really. But i feel like the UK just thinks of him as a joke so no one will say ‘yes if Paul Burrell says so it must be true.’

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      The UK thinks he’s a joke partly due to bad press and partly due to him selling Diana out. Ironically everyone who knew her ended up betraying her in some way. However, he was very close to her and I believe he has kept a lot back.

      • Burrell not only has sold Diana out, he continually sells out Harry and has been pretty nasty about Meghan. So, kudos to him for saying something positive, but I’ve thought for years it’s been all about money for him. He’s got a lot of nasty under his rock.

    • Lizzythe2 says:

      So far I’ve seen 4 episodes. I wonder how, if it’s true that Charles didn’t call Diana while he was on a trip right after their engagement, it’s horrible. I wonder why she even married him. It’s sad she really had no friends in the family and had no support from her husband. She was totally alone.

      I’m loving Gillian Anderson as Thatcher. Her visit to Balmoral and the two bedrooms was hilarious to me. Also her ironing her husbands shirt after she won the election.

      • Becks1 says:

        For me, the big thing this show is blowing open is that Diana and Charles were never really happy together. I think I had kind of assumed, even with Charles’s behavior, that there was some affection between the two of them in the beginning and that things didn’t sour until around the time Harry was born. But this makes clear that things were always sour, so to speak.

  2. Elizabeth Regina says:

    The parallels between Diana and Meghan are uncanny but racists hate to admit it. The RF is very dysfunctional and it takes a lot of courage and inner work to admit it and do better by your descendants. Glad Harry chose to protect his wife and child. Paul Burrell may be odious but he is right. There is a reason why the Queen used her powers to halt his trial. I believe that he hasn’t spilled even a quarter of what he knows. If he did, heads will roll.

    • Eleonor says:

      Me think If at some point he would have told all he knows he will be dead by now.

    • Agree Elizabeth Regina —- They had Burrell dead to rights in that trial. When the Queen stepped in, I knew he had something really good under his rock that the Firm was desperate to keep there. Just imagine what it must be for them to have the Queen — not Phillip, Charles, or anyone working for her at the time of her death — but the Queen, who halted the trial with a deposition stating she JUST remembered that she had given permission for him to steal ….oh…pardon me….‘ remove and store’ ….everything he stole of Diana’s after her death. Yeah, he’s got something on someone.

      • Anance says:

        IIRC, the Queen stopped the trial right before Burrell was to take the stand. How they allowed it to get that far, I don’t know. Talk about someone who should have been bought off and silenced.

  3. marni112 says:

    This coming from Paul Burrell is rich -the guy who stole things from Diana and then was charged with theft .I always thought he had a creepy crush on Diana which his wife must have been unamused by .Anyhow the Crown is not historically accurate (if you read any reputable biography on the Royals , this becomes obvious ) and the writers have admitted to making certain incidents up . I suspect that without some creative licence though , the Crown or any historical TV /movie would be completely boring .A good example of this is Braveheart which was wildly inaccurate but a popular film.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      Yes they made things up because the actual events were far worse. Charles gave an interview admitting his adultery way before his separation and divorce. His emotional affair with at least 2 mistresses continued all through the marriage which was dead on arrival anyway. Paul Burrell is awful but he did witness everything that happened.

      • Anance says:

        Paul Burrell—I think he has been unfairly tarnished. Nevertheless, I believe his portrayal of events, albeit from Diana’s POV, is accurate.

        Oh…The Crown did not show the worst of it.

    • Griftergold says:

      didn’t it come out that he hadn’t actually stolen anything and had informed the Queen that he had several items in safe keeping. When Diana’s sister tried to have him tried and possibly jailed for said thievery, the queen only stepped in at the 11th hour to confirm the conversation they had:https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/nov/01/monarchy – sorry to say but Burrell is yet another victim of the aristocracy.

      • Becks1 says:

        Yes this is what happened and what’s sort of stupid about it is that the Queen really did step in at the final moment – there had already been all this money spent on the investigation and lots of time – it wasn’t until after that that the queen stepped in. Good use of government resources I guess?

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        There is a difference between several items and 200 boxes full of her personal stuff. The magnitude of what he had ‘in safe keeping’ only came to light after his house was raided by the police.

        The fact that he told no one has always made me suspicious that he always intended to keep it – to sell at a later date. He was making statements that Diana wanted him to keep it all. It was all bonkers.

        It was also rumoured at the time that she only made that statement to stop it going to court where they feared him blabbing their dirty laundry in a court of law.

      • equality says:

        I wonder if he hid some personal things because he was afraid the Palace would destroy the evidence.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @equality – I have wondered that very same thing.

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        He is. The reason her sisters took him to court was because a day after her death, they turned up at her apartment trying on her things. He then decided to take Dian’s things away for safe keeping. It says a lot about him that he was the only person to stay with her body all through the night in the Abbey just before her funeral. No family or friend kept vigil. I don’t particularly like him but that family will chew anyone up and spit them out.

    • Dani says:

      If anything The Crown is doing the Royal Family a favor with the show. They somehow make you feel bad for some of them, even empathize with them, when they truly are all horrible racist people. There is a reason why the RF doesn’t like the show – not because it’s fake, but because it’s showing everyone who they really are.

      • HayGrl says:

        After watching TC, I don’t feel bad for the RF atall-they come off as entitled, condescending, debauched yet smug. Wonder if sloppy drunk Princess Anne actually told -the- Margaret Thatcher not to sit in Queen Victoria’s chair? To think, the teen Diana was trafficked in the late 80s to an old man as a “breeding mare”? The RF time supported by taxpayers might come to a screeching halt…it’ll be this lifetime I’d bet

      • Eleonora says:

        Wasn’t it Princess Margaret with the chair?

      • Vera says:

        I’m only on s3, tbh s3 is a bit dull to watch so it’s going slower.
        But in this one they come through as entitled, whiny people constantly complaining about their gilded cage and being horrible to each other.
        Phillip’s midlife crisis and complaining about how they dont get paid enough is especially grating.
        We should just get rid of them all.

      • Anance says:

        An unimaginable mixing of victimhood and arrogance, that’s the Royal Family.

    • ABritGuest says:

      Burrell is a shameless opportunist but the jist of what has been portrayed in the Crown this season has been out there for years & widely reported. Charles briefed Jonathan Dimbleby for that authorised bio that he never loved Diana & was forced by Philip to marry her & now him or his friends are upset that the Crown portrays this scenario? GOH

      Of course unless the Crown is using transcripts from stolen conversations like Tampongate then they are either using old reports or creative licence for the shows conversations.

      What I think the Crown gets right is certain themes eg Charles resentment about being outshone by Diana was widely documented. Watching season 1 again and the sibling rivalry it portrays and idea of Queen not wanting to be outshone by Margaret- seems to be a recurring theme and resonates to the modern day with the treatment of the Sussexes post Oceana tour. The Times talked about William needing to be reassured that Harry’s popularity will wane. Other reports around Charles’ book stated William was competitive about spotlight. Sally Bedell talked about the courtiers slapping Meghan down for stealing the spotlight so idea of fragile egos from the Crown is definitely a real thing

      As I said on earlier post there’s so much worse stuff the Crown leaves out so the royal minions should try and stick to no complain no explain for once

      • The Hench says:

        Yes, completely agree. The Crown can’t possibly get detailed conversations correct or stick to an absolutely accurate timeline because of the constraints of a series BUT many of the overall themes are accurate and all this shrieking about things not being true from various royal defenders – or the royals themselves – forgets that, especially for this series, many of us were there. We watched this unfold in real time.

      • Myra says:

        Yup. The Crown’s portrayal of these characters is consistent to how I viewed them before watching the show. If anything The Crown provided a little explanation on why they are shitty people stuck in a cycle of jealousy and pettiness. They should thank The Crown for not portraying the other horrible things they have done.

  4. Snuffles says:

    The truth is probably a thousand times worse than what is being dramatized. The audience aren’t idiots. We know these aren’t the exact conversations and scenes but they got the broad strokes right.

    Diana WAS young and naive and believed in the fairy tale. Charles NEVER loved her and cheated on her from day 1. The family IS cold and out of touch and left her to fend for herself. They DID get jealous when she began outshining them all. Charles being the MOST bitter and jealous of them all.

    And the biggest truth of them all, the family NEVER learns from their mistakes and are doomed to repeat them for all eternity.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      Hear! Hear!

    • Ariel says:

      I have watched part of the season, and i know Diana was painfully young and apparently no longer leaned on her friends, but after her lunch with Camilla, and Charles completely ignoring her and spending his first night back with Camilla- before the wedding. I can’t believe she didn’t leave the engagement ring and bolt.

      Of course, that is what we as women are taught, don’t make waves, don’t upset people, b/c they will call you hysterical or crazy.
      She should have left and made a public statement about him not loving her and already cheating on her. How do you start a marriage like that????
      Horrifying.

      • Anance says:

        I believe Diana’s family was against it. Their point, summarized by Phillip on the TV series, is that Diana had the ring, she was growing more beautiful each day, she would run off Camilla in short order.

        We only see Diana’s grandmother explaining how important the Balmoral weekend was to the family. The rest is left out. In fact, we don’t hear much about their opinions.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yeah I don’t understand the comments about how “some of this stuff never happened” well OF COURSE some of it never happened and OF COURSE there are some conversations that are made up to suit the plot and all that. We all know that. But like you say and like Kaiser has said, they got the broad strokes right. Did Diana ever roller skate around Buckingham Palace? I don’t know if she did or not. But if she didn’t, does it make the whole “young girl trapped in a palace and out of her element” sense of those scenes less true?

      • Brandy Alexander says:

        I think I remember the roller skating around the palace from Tina Brown’s book. It’s been a few years since I read it, so I won’t swear to it, but I do think that is a nugget of truth.

      • Ohlala says:

        Actually with all this cries from RF and minions “these conversations never happened!” “Stuff never happened” i start to believe it DID happened. Also i heard that a lot of conversation that “did not happen” are actually the real words and were told and retold by staff and insiders and aristo crowd off the record for years and years. So yeah i believe there is much more accuracy to it all than they trying to hush

    • Lizzythe2 says:

      Agreed SNUFFLES. I think the gist of it all is common knowledge. Seeing some of the things 4 episodes in makes me remember a lot. But to see it portrayed I think is heartbreaking. She really was in love with him and thought he loved her too. Women will believe it if a man says it’s over because they want it to be true until it can no longer be ignored. All of a sudden I have such disdain for Camilla and Charles for destroying her spirit all over again. But still she managed to thrive and was loved by the people. Doesn’t seem any of the women were supportive in any way. It’s interesting that the only one who encouraged her was Price Phillip.

      She was too young for sure.

  5. MissMarierose says:

    I believe he admitted lying at an inquest into Diana’s death, so I’m not sure how much credence should be given to his statements now.

    • Kalana says:

      Do you think Charles didn’t have an emotional affair or the bracelet or cufflinks or photo in his diary didn’t happen? Or that he didn’t expect Diana to fall in with all his interests while being dismissive towards her or that he wasn’t jealous of her popularity? Or that Diana wasn’t surrounded by people who were helping Charles cheat on her?

      All of that happened and Diana was mocked for being upset about it. The Crown did that get that right.

      Charles’ defense is to paint Diana as entirely erratic and self-absorbed and insincere so that poor Charles had no other option than to cheat on her. He blames all his behavior on her and his parents. If he was hoping that would be the story in the show, he’s delusional.

  6. MapleAngel says:

    I’ve watch a few episodes now and Emma is so refreshing and gorgeous just like Diana was. Her addition to the show is a perfect parallel to real life: we thought the crown and all the royalty were so fantastic until we saw this beautiful breath of fresh air that showed them for what they were a bunch of study old racist mean spirited snobs living fat of taxpayers and doing absolutely nothing.
    Same Deal with Megan she was wonderful they were assholes but this time history played out differently and she saved herself and her family.

  7. Mignionette says:

    It’s not helpful that he is actually confirming events …… arghhhhh….

    It’s almost as if someone put him up to it to dilute the shows credence.

    • Snuffles says:

      We don’t need him to confirm anything. Diana said it all, tons of other people basically said the same thing and even Charles admitted to a lot of it. People can quibble endlessly about the details and spin it how ever they want but the basics facts have never changed.

      • Mignionette says:

        @Snuffles…. I think you should read my last sentence again….

        “It’s almost as if someone put him up to it to dilute the shows credence.”

  8. Mtec says:

    It’s really hard for me to believe that Diana was actually all that charmed by Charles and really thought he loved her. I can’t see him pretending all that well or being likeable at all lol but who knows maybe when he was younger he had a certain charm 🤷🏽‍♀️

    • Kalana says:

      My guess is she felt overlooked in her own family and felt seen and valued by a prince wanting her. Then she found out he doesn’t want or like her, just her lineage and her looks and well, her uterus.

    • Snuffles says:

      Are you saying that not once in your life you deluded yourself into believing that someone was amazing or things would work out because you REALLY wanted them to but they turned out to be terrible for you and the whole situation blew up in your face? NEVER?

      • Ariel says:

        We have all been that dumb. All of us at some point. Made the wrong call. Wanted to wish something good into existence.
        Ugh. I just hurt for her.
        the british royal family that were alive in 1980, were all petty, provincial, jealous, small minded trash.

      • Mtec says:

        No @snuffles, I can actually say I haven’t in a relationship, perhaps in friendships I have though. But My comment wasn’t meant to be critical of her, in fact, the opposite, I thought I remembered Diana being savvier than that, but like @Ariel says everyone has their moments, and I always forget how young she was when she began to be indoctrinated into that family.

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        This resonates with me because I was that young and dumb. When you are damages and have no self esteem, the attention of a prince who was thought to be a bit of a dish will turn your head. Diana was looking to be rescued. Charles was never free to love her and did not even give the marriage a chance. All he saw were her faults because he was not invested in her emotionally. It was all about ‘duty’ for him. He thought she would just put up and shut up. She refused to.

    • HK9 says:

      I think she did. She was 18-she didn’t even know that the fact that to go weeks without contact between dates was a red flag. I mean, the man didn’t even pick up the phone to say hello. Not a good sign. He was her first really big relationship. I think if she had dated more, there were things that might have stood out as odd. Please note, when a lot of people meet Charles, they do say he is charming. If you have the time and inclination, take a look at his younger polo pics and cover up his head-the man was fit. She was too young to really get that she was embarking on a losing battle.

      • Mtec says:

        yeah @HK9, thanks for that insight. I was really young when she died so the narrative of that story to me was always that Charles is a sour, humorless, cheater, and she was smart to divorce him. I guess my comment should have been that I can’t buy that he was all that charming lol

    • Becks1 says:

      I think she did think she was in love with him. She was 18/19, its very easy to be dazzled at that age by a PRINCE. And if the first time she really spent significant time with the royal family was at Balmoral (I don’t know if that’s true or not), I can also see that playing a role because life at Balmoral is so different from the royal life in London. So she goes, she sees this aristocratic family in their big country mansion, with hunts and walks and such – probably thinks “oh they’re not so different from everyone else I know.” Then she gets engaged and to Buckingham and realizes oh shit, they’re VERY different.

      • Mtec says:

        hmm interesting! like I said above most I know about her was after her tragedy post BRF and I always forget how young she was!! I could definitely see a young girl get caught up in the idea of a fairytale.

      • Becks1 says:

        I know, I always forget how young she was too. She was only 20 when William was born! (She turned 21 a few weeks later, but still.) I think its something the show is doing really well – showing how young and in over her head she was. But I also don’t think she was actually in love with him – I just think she thought she was, you know?

    • Mignionette says:

      Diana was vulnerable and Charles was the older creepy guy who saw that weakness and knew when and how to manipulate her. The odd kind word here every now and then followed by constant gas-lighting and emotional abuse, then back to kind words every now and then.

      Rinse and repeat. Add her desire to create a stable home for her children and is it any wonder she felt she was going mad.

      I don’t think enough is said about the fact that Charles and Camilla essentially created a hostile home-life for his children and potentially hers. They were both absolutely callous in their pursuit of each other,

      • Mtec says:

        gosh, that sounds horrible. I didn’t think it was something that dark, although that age difference is definitely sus, I guess after these comments I was looking at it from a perspective of a young girl with stars in her eyes, but you make a good point, there was definitely a creepy factor, and a lot of manipulation. Man, that family is awful.

    • TorontoBeach says:

      I’ve read Diana did have second thoughts and considered exiting the relationship days before the wedding but her sisters told her it was too late as her face was already on the tea towels. She was only 19 years old – it would’ve taken a lot of courage to extradite herself from the relationship at that stage. I remember as a young girl, waking up very early in the morning to watch the wedding live on TV with my family. Saved all the newspaper articles for a period of time. Many years later, my husband was lucky enough to have met Diana briefly and said she was very tall, strikingly beautiful and put everyone at ease. I suspect if she was alive today, she would’ve discretely contributed stories to Peter Morgan which would’ve been beyond awesome.

    • Thirtynine says:

      Agree with all the other posters who point out her youth and inexperience, but other than that, he didn’t have to carry it off very much, they had only met a dozen times and I th i nk were almost always chaperoned. I think she was dazzled by what she saw- he’s a Prince!- and her romantic and innocent imagination filled in all the blanks.

  9. mynameispearl says:

    Hmmm, Paul Burrell is an odious toad who has tried to profit off Diana’s name now for decades. He even was a judge on a show in Australia, make me a princess or something like that (I lived in Oz at the time). Its disrespectful the way he uses her mae to make money.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      And let’s not forget he was papped at H&M’s wedding trying to get into a VIP area and told the press that Diana would have wanted him to be there and other such ramblings.

  10. line says:

    I just finished season 4, for me Emma Corrin did a great job as Diana. She succeeded in capturing the essence of Diana (her loneliness, her naivity, her desperate desire to be loved by Charles but also the rest of the family, in particular the queen).And there are several scenes when she’s in face’s profile that she really looks like Diana .

  11. Katie says:

    oh this is very interesting, I too think the actress does a great job, although I know very little about Diana (which is again why I’m glad this guy is peaking up, I hope he’s accurate)

  12. Gabriella says:

    The thing that always gets me is – how could Camilla want him knowing how he treated the mother of his children?

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I never thought Camilla was “in love” with Charles. I think she just got caught up in all of this. I will always believe that Andrew Parker-Bowles was the love her life.

      • Other Renee says:

        Yea and Parker Bowles was a big cheater, and she probably got an ego boost from having Charles so in love with her. At least someone was even if it was not her one true love. In any event, Charles had other lovers and a sense of entitlement so his marriage would never have succeeded anyway.

      • Anners says:

        So really her “come-uppance” was having to actually marry Charles after their affair came out and the dissolution of her marriage. Whelp, karma kicked some ass there lol

      • ClaireB says:

        I have never believed that Camilla was in love with Charles and wanted to marry him. I don’t know how she felt about Andrew P-B, but I think she liked the attention from Charles and the status of being the Prince of Wales’ mistress. But once it all came out, they had to turn it into a love story for the PR, because otherwise they all looked like the callous, aristo a–holes they are. So now she’s stuck with the job and man she never really wanted, which I suppose are sort of just desserts, instead of having a nice quiet life with her dogs, horses, and grandchildren.

    • Kalana says:

      I wonder if that confrontation between Diana and Camilla really happened. The one at the party where Diana asks Camilla to leave her husband alone and Camilla tells her that Diana has everything. Diana said it did but she could also exaggerate.

      If it is true, it shows Camilla’s viewpoint that she was resentful that she was never considered good enough for the family. Even if she had been a virgin, I don’t think the family would have wanted her. Camilla married their circle’s most wanted bachelor and clung to her status as mistress to the Prince of Wales and clearly by that tampon phonecall had to put in a ton of emotional labor in dealing with Charles. I think she probably still has a lot of jealousy and resentment towards women who have it easier in any way.

      • Seraphina says:

        In my opinion, Diana fit the bill for the BRF – at least on paper she did and once Diana came on the scene it further cemented the believe she was not deemed worthy enough to marry the FK and be a BRF member. To be fair, due to Diana and all her positive qualities (as seen by the BRF) many women would probably been left in the dark. I do think Cams was resentful her husband cheated on her and it was known and so she focused on Charles. Not a bad person to have in your pocket for use when needed. But I also have read that cheating is a given in their circles so I could be completely wrong.

      • lanne says:

        I havent seen the Crown yet–waiting to watch it with my mom–but if I’m correct, Diana herself told the story of confronting Camilla–maybe it was on the speech class tapes? I know I’ve seen her on camera talking about confronting Camilla

  13. bettyrose says:

    Interesting about her having an ally in Prince Philip. His speech in the Crown about Diana becoming more confident and beautiful was fascinating in the sense of him offering his sexist, entitled male opinion that Diana was going to be fabulous (a wise observation) and Charles would someday be more enthralled by her than any other woman. It was a gross misunderstanding of Charles who wanted to be nurtured not dazzled, but such a poignant statement about the role of women in his world.

    • Seraphina says:

      Interesting Bettyrose, that Charles needed to be nurtured. Maybe this need stems from his mother’s lack of mothering him and being cold and distant??? Thus he had no idea how to nurture Diana as she tried to grow and mature in the BRF.

    • sunny says:

      Bettyrose, I think your comment is very interesting and smart. I think Charles wanted sympathy, nurturing etc. I also think given the lack of attention he received in his own family there is no way he would ever want a partner who outshone him. Too insecure.

    • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

      @BettyRose, I think you have hit upon what exactly is missing from this family and why it’s all falling apart. I do think that The Crown may be right in suspecting Elizabeth’s lack of ability to nurture is a consequence that will not be realized until Britain ceases to have a monarchy or everyone is long dead. But if I think of successful monarchies, they were able to nurture their princes.

      • Anne Call says:

        Let’s not blame everything on the mom. His father was and is a nightmare. The resentment he showed towards Charles after Mountbatten died was pathetic and he clearly was a terrible parent to him growing up. Very hard to be a parent when you have terrible role models. Sadly, that kind of parenting was very much the norm in those days.

  14. RoyalBlue says:

    very true portrayal of their life. Queen Victoria has been dead forever and I bet we still can’t sit in her chair.

    number 1 ibble dibble with 3 dibble ibbles. (rolling eyes) The idle rich dress up for tea, gather in the living room, sit around playing parlor games and then hang the heads of their prey as a trophy in their dining rooms. why do the tax payers allow this.

    • Aang says:

      That scene where Princess Margaret dresses down Thatcher for sitting in the chair is gold. As much as the royals are awful Thatcher is the real villain this season. She was a vile, evil woman who helped usher in this neocon nightmare in which we are trapped. The royals are kittens compared to her.

    • Suz says:

      Yes. And I was wondering how come nobody plays the bagpipes as I sit down to dinner.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      Aang there are no heroes in this story.

      • Becks1 says:

        There aren’t. I loved the scene at the end of 48 – 1 (the apartheid episode) where Thatcher comments that her son is now doing business in South Africa and the Queen’s look is just, “ah. that explains it.”

        I am seeing lots of comments on here and Twitter about Thatcher being awful – first I don’t dispute that AT ALL – but I think people are confusing the praise for Anderson as Thatcher as praise for Thatcher herself. Gillian Anderson is killing it. And in my opinion that means Thatcher is not someone to be praised, bc I think GA is doing such a good job showing how callous and cold-hearted she was.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        That’s how I saw it too, that Anderson did a damn good job portraying the Iron Lady. but then again, maybe people feel the need to discuss Thatcher’s legacy and I’d say that’s a good thing, particularly for the younger ones who weren’t around at the time. Politics is not an easy business to be in. I certainly can’t do it, to work on a daily basis in this constant state of cutthroat and knives all out, would set off my anxiety.

        I haven’t reached the Apartheid episode as yet. I saw the one where she told the Queen her son had gone misssing and wiped her tears away so I am looking out for what happened. This season is pretty good I think I will go back and complete the previous season. I stopped on episode 1 when Wilson became Prime Minister. lol

  15. Suz says:

    The part where Diana is sequestered in an apartment at BP before her marriage is still bothering me. With no calls from her fiancee for a month and a half? No one would talk to her? It felt so icky and I can’t shake it. Like they collected a doll and put her away in their cold museum and forgot about her. I know The Crown is historical fiction and I don’t know enough about Diana to know if this actually was done to her. However, I read some of Fergie’s autobiography that she released not long after her divorce, and she goes into detail about this same thing being done to her before and during the early days of her marriage to Andrew.

    • Nire says:

      It wouldn’t surprise me if it was true. Almost every depiction of the RF portrays them as having a complete lack of empathy and totally unable to relate to others on an emotional level. They did not see her as a human, they saw her as an aristocratic womb worthing of carrying the heir to the throne…. And that’s unfortunately how many women are seen all over the world. We are there to serve, breed and STFU.

    • Redgrl says:

      Just had an awful thought- was that done to ensure she wasn’t/didn’t get pregnant with someone else? 1981 was well before DNA could sort those things out and historically the royals did some pretty vile things to incoming brides to ensure the heir was the heir…ugh..

      • Suz says:

        In the show, they portray it as hiding her away because she was already getting hounded by the press and because she needed to focus on her “princess training” with Granny. I do think one of the reasons she was chosen though was because she was so young and innocent, she just had to be a virgin, right? ETA: I guess I can correct myself in that at least her grandmother was spending time with her.

      • sunny says:

        Ummm, nothing there. I mean, typically in those circles, couple remain faithful until and heir and a spare are born. That is why for a few years Charles wasn’t sleeping with Camilla- he floated between her and Lady Tryon as each lady focused on giving her husband heirs.

        In the case of Diana, part of her appeal to the family was her youth and inexperience. No previous lovers to get in the way. I’m assuming after heirs were born, people were just careful with birth control as they took lovers.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      That’s when the loneliness set in. I guess she passed that test too. the you are on your own test.

      you get invited to Balmoral, and no one advises you to bring outside shoes. No one tells you what to wear, no one tells you the order of greeting the senior royals. You just have to have a go at it, and fail. you will be tested. And then looked down with disdain. Charming crew, the Windsors.

      • lanne says:

        maybe that’s why no one told Meghan to wear a hat when she did the train trip with the Queen??

      • RoyalBlue says:

        yup lanne, I believe that was intentional. because there is no rule book, they mess with your mind and tell you everything you do is wrong. bare legs, nailpolish, small curtsey, off the shoulder dress, outshining your superiors, etc.

  16. Enny says:

    Ooh Paul, you in danger, girl

  17. betsyh says:

    I thought the episodes covering Diana’s bulimia were particularly moving. And they made me think about Kate. I am not suggesting that she has bulimia, but she is so thin she is practically disappearing. Part of being in the royal family appears to be giving up most of your control over your life and also obsession with your public image. I think this makes you focus on what you can control–your weight being one thing–and I do think Diana and Kate share this obsession.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think that’s another parallel the royal family does not want drawn and is part of why they are so up in arms over this season .

  18. foile says:

    The royal family is not supposed to be relatable, they are not supposed to be people with emotions. They are symbols, a family chosen by god to rule over Great Britain and the common wealth. They behave and create their public image accordingly. Also as self-preservation, on a gossip site it cannot be news that the media can love someone one minute and hate them the next, the Crown removes itself from this by intentionally not playing for emotions of any kind.

    Diana broke the rules of an outdated institution by showing some human emotions, yes, but throwing her stepmom down the stairs, adultery etc. doesn’t make her a saint either. I don’t see how any of them come off well as people, Diana included.

    • Maria says:

      “They behave and create their public image accordingly.”
      And they’ve done a piss poor job of it by speaking out sometimes and staying silent in others, releasing nonsense like Prince Philip’s home movies, talking to the press when it suits them.

      “the Crown removes itself from this by intentionally not playing for emotions of any kind.”
      …is this statement serious? This could not be further from the truth of what they do.

      “Diana broke the rules of an outdated institution by showing some human emotions, yes, but throwing her stepmom down the stairs, adultery etc. doesn’t make her a saint either.”
      I wish I could find the posts where people ARE saying she’s a saint. I have not seen those anywhere. Was she a sensitive person and a damaged child who was trafficked as a teenager to a 30 year old man for the sake of an institution that hated whenever she tried to do decent initiatives on her own? Yes. Nobody said that makes her a saint.

    • betsyh says:

      This may be a stretch but I’ve wondered if Diana was encouraged to have her own affairs. For aristocrats, who often unite because of their families or incomes, it was not uncommon for a wife to have affairs once they produced an heir and a spare. Everyone could see that Diana was unhappy with Charles, and they also saw her as unstable. They did not want her to declare her unhappiness to the public, and they especially did not want her to divorce Charles. Perhaps someone whispered in her ear to try to find her own happiness with someone who could love her.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      ” they are not supposed to be people with emotions.” FALSE and
      “the Crown removes itself from this by intentionally not playing for emotions of any kind.” FALSE

      You are referring to the monarchy of 100 years ago. Now with the expansion of the various forms of media, in 2020 it’s all a puppet show. look closely and observe how they are always smiling and laughing in public so as to appear relatable, at ease, sweet and kind to their adoring public. They need the public to love them and they crave this adoration. They love the popularity polls and the Cambridges push this, “we are raising our children to have ordinary lives, baking cookies for strangers etc.” spiel that the public eats up. I would go so far as to say, it’s SINCE Diana they have opened up more and tried to show the human side. SINCE Meghan they have realized the monarchy now more than ever needs a sense of purpose and connection with the public.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      Diana was little more than a child when they got a hold of her it seems. Knowing all that we know from Psychology today, we understand that what happened to her was abuse and yes, the royals in some ways are themselves victims of the system, but they never learn, they never change, they never seek help and that chosen by God business is just a ruse to keep them in their privilege. These are not sympathetic figures, excepting Diana and other married ins and the fact that they even now are repeating the same behaviors even while they complain about their portrayals just shows that they need to be abolished.

  19. Lana says:

    I’m really glad the show brought to light the facts about the Queen’s ignored mentally disabled cousins (Nerissa and Katherine Bowes Lyon) who were registered as dead when they were very much living. It’s tragic that Nerissa’s grave was only marked with plastic tags until all the media revelation which caused the RF to add a proper gravestone. Despicable and shows the true nature of RF. The monarchy is useless and needs to go. They cry they receive so much $$$ that helps the tourism economy but when Versailles became a museum it received EVEN more money. The truth is, without the monarchy and post Covid, tourists will flock even more. This has been proved every time a monarchy fell. Don’t let them fool you with their costumes and vain, futile “traditions”.

    • Aidevee says:

      I’ve often thought this too but what would you replace them with? The RF is the centre of our unwritten constitution and a check on governmenta’ abilities to wield absolute power. If you got rid of them , how could you be sure that everything wouldn’t disintegrate!?

      I do think at the very least they should be scaled down. Who on earth is the Duke of Gloucester and why do I pay for him?

      • Maria says:

        Personally I fail to see the point of an institution that purports to be “a check on the governmental abilities to wield absolute power” when they never ever choose to exercise that right because the security of their position (unquestioned by the public) is more important to them than checking any negative moves by the government.
        Whenever that comes into question, then come the flood of comments excusing inaction with “Oh, it’s constitutionally wrong that the royals should interfere!”, even in cases when this is patently untrue and they could if they wished.

      • Thirtynine says:

        The monarchy is doing absolutely nothing as the country slides ever deeper into cronyism and authoritarianism. Covid and Brexit together are going to be a nightmare. Parliament refuses to feed starving children. Went along with proroguing Parliament when she was perfectly entitled to question that, and has nothing to say about a proposal which will see her signing off on a decision t o break international law. She is useless where she could reasonably be expected to show concern, and meddles where she shouldn’t- 1975, Australia? Other countries do perfectly well with the leader as head of state. They just don’t want us to realise we’d get on perfectly well without them.

  20. Mignionette says:

    Okay so I’ve just watched 2 of Paul Burrell’s TV interviews on YT and based on something he said in one of them decided to look at some old news reports and a lot is making sense now…..

    PB still appears to be in possession of a lot of Diana’s personal effects – like thousands of items (including letters, diaries, note books tapes etc etc), The very same effects the RF tried to get back by accusing him of theft and dragging him through court only to remember at the 11th hour that he may have had permission to keep the goods. He was also there on Diana’s first weekend at Balmoral when she passed the ”Balmoral test’ with flying colours and ‘allegedly’ spent some time with her chatting and trying to ease her nerves.

    Up until the court case above PB did not leak and was portrayed by the media as a hero and close confidante of Diana (notice all those in Diana’s close circle have all since been demonized or ex-communicated by the Windsor’s, which explains why they’ve later decided to spill to the media – not excusable but understandable).

    So anyway flash forward and I’m watching these interviews and it suddenly occurred to me how the writers of the Crown would have had knowledge and/ or access to the tidbits of information, which they clearly embellished for entertainment value. Some of the details were so eery that you really felt they knew what went down to the T regardless of any artistic licence they would have injected. This explains why the Windsor’s have gone into meltdown, bc just like their attention to detail with casting, costumes, location ect I am gonna bet some of those scenes are almost verbatim ripped from the past or the very least Diana’s recounting of those events to a third party i.e. Paul Burrell.

    Of course the Crown will NEVER admit that, but that is my guess, Also Paul has at least 1 book that I am aware of published with a lot of details and even excerpts of Diana’s letters …..

    So I’m gonna punt here and say that a lot of the media outlets know this hence why he’s getting airtime. Without a doubt he is shady and greasy, but if I were a researcher on the Crown looking for a repository of information that would give me an ‘in’ into Diana’s psyche or state of mind at the time Chuck was torturing her, the first point of call would be Paul Burrell. Diana was also very well known for writing letters and just generally recording things so I am gonna bet there was a nice trail of evidence for her to crucify Chuck from beyond the grave.

    Anyway this is my take on why the BRF does protest too much. I’d also guess some of those scenes are pretty accurate and took Chuck and the rest of the family by surprise in their near accuracy. Add the imagery of the Stag so clearly meant to represent Diana and they would have had a fit at how they were exposed.

    • betsyh says:

      You may be onto something here.

    • Darla says:

      Yes, some of those conversations were verbatim, I believe you are right. And since Charles was oafish enough to state “whatever in love means” right ON CAMERA, of course he was much worse off camera.

  21. Tim Peterson says:

    Hi. You mean ‘It cannot be overstated’ i.e. you cannot say it too much. You have twice written ‘it cannot be understated’ which means ‘to be subtle’

  22. Darla says:

    I started watching it last night, I watched 3 episodes. They closed out the 3rd one with Stevie Nicks singing White Winged Dove which was a gut-punch moment. This actress has Diana so down that I can’t imagine either of Diana’s sons can watch this. It would be crushing I would imagine. I am a bit younger than Diana, and remember everything, and it was chilling for me to watch.

  23. Talia says:

    What I find very interesting is that it shows Diana being spied on by her police bodyguards on behalf of Charles. As that’s why she got rid of them and there was no one to protect her from the press or check the qualifications of the driver who crashed the car and killed her, I’m surprised this hasn’t been made more of, particularly as her belief on the point was dismissed as “more of Diana’s paranoia” at the time. It’s not paranoia if they are out to get you.

  24. Godwina says:

    As someone who never “got” the Diana interest back in the day (I lived through the whole thing, dino that I am), it’s weirdly pleasant to watch a much more beautiful and compelling version of it all. The bowlcut does wonders for mimicry, plus the actor’s calculated slouching/crap posture, but the two women don’t look *that* alike otherwise. Emma C has all the glow and charisma that the orig never had for me. (I was always utterly baffled by that narrative.) Megan’s allure, I 100% get. Diana’s?: nothingburger. The actor definitely elevates things.