‘She wasn't a wounded animal’: Princess Diana’s butler states 'The Crown' depicts her as too tragic a figure
'They have made her into a very tragic figure, which of course she was but not all the time. We did have some fun,' said Paul Burrell, Princess Di's butler
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: The princess is incorrectly depicted in The Crown as a "wounded animal," according to her former butler, who called the show's portrayal of Diana "upsetting." Paul Burrell, Diana's butler, shared his thoughts on what he had seen thus far, less than 24 hours after it had been broadcast.
On Wednesday, November 9, the contentious new season of the Netflix series premiered. This season concentrates of the tumultous period in the lives of the Royal Family during the 1990s. Burrell, who spent 21 years working for the royal family, acknowledged it was unsettling and painful to watch the princess being portrayed in such a manner. He was spotted groaning as he described on TalkTV how actress Elizabeth Debicki had nearly perfected Diana's voice. On November 10, Paul said the following on Jeremy Kyle Live: “It’s my time. I was there. I’m finding it very upsetting. She has a very good portrayal of the Princess and that’s unnerving. At times, for me, it’s unnerving at times to hear her voice. She’s obviously studied her voice very well.” He was annoyed by the show, though. Paul claimed that Diana had been depicted as a victim when she had not been one. “What I don’t like, I don’t like to see the Princess constantly portrayed as a wounded animal, constantly crying, constantly alone. They have made her into a very tragic figure, which of course she was but not all the time. We did have some fun."
Paul commented in reference to how King Charles wasn't being presented in the best light: “It’s very timely coming at this time just before Harry’s book and just before the Coronation. It’s going to paint a very different picture. The danger is that the public will believe everything they see. I wish I could sit on the couch with everybody in the United Kingdom and say, ‘That’s not true, that didn't happen’."
The Crown's fifth season covers a controversial period, marred by several royal scandals and negative publicity. The '90s saw the divorces of Princess Anne and Prince Andrew and also, most famously, the split between Prince Charles and Diana. Although the former Prince and Princess of Wales' divorce wasn't finalized until 1996, the declaration of separation in 1992 set off a series of events that included the discovery of taped phone conversations between Charles and Camilla, explicitly disclosing their affair. There were also a number of open interviews documenting their tumultuous relationship on both sides, including the now infamous Diana interview with Martin Bashir in which she allegedly said there were "three people in her marriage."