Princess Diana’s former bodyguard Ken Wharfe doesn’t constantly chime in about the gossip stories of the day. He picks and chooses his moments, and he’s been consistently critical of Prince William in particular. It’s kind of fascinating. Anyway, People Magazine got Wharfe to speak to them about the film Spencer and whether it’s a realistic look at what Diana’s visits to Sandringham were really like. Wharfe kind of approves of the film and approves of Kristen Stewart!
Ken Wharfe, who was Princess Diana’s bodyguard in the late 1980s and early 1990s, joined the royal family for the Christmas holiday celebrations at Sandringham that provide the backdrop for Pablo Larraín’s Spencer.
“It was purgatory for her,” Wharfe tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. According to Wharfe, the Princess of Wales “confined herself to spending time in the kitchen with the chef or with people like me, in the hope that time would while away, and she could get back to London.”
Royal biographer Ingrid Seward, a journalist with whom Princess Diana was friendly, confirms that Diana hid her struggles during royal family gatherings.
“She would have put on a good front for the Queen and the family,” said Seward. “She was a properly brought-up girl and would have considered it rude to make a scene or a spectacle of herself.”
Spencer does exercise some dramatic license, though, including one surprising scene featuring a heart-to-heart between Princess Diana and her dresser, played in the film by Sally Hawkins.
“From my experience, Diana never once confided in her dressers,” recalled Wharfe.
Wharfe praised Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of the late royal: “Out of all the people who have played Diana over the past 10 years, she’s the closest to her,” he said. “She managed to perfect her mannerisms.”
Other people have noted this before, but Diana did prefer to confide in men, especially when she was a younger woman. She would talk to her bodyguards, the footmen, the cooks, etc. She preferred to hang out with “the help” rather than Charles and his friends or the royal family. Despite what Seward says, Diana would often let it be known that she was dreadfully unhappy. It was no secret within the royal family and Diana was always openly miserable. Anyway, just remember this when Dan Wootton writes a screed about how Elegant Bill takes after his elegant mother who never put a foot wrong and Spencer is a terrible movie because of Meghan Markle!
Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red, ‘Spencer’.