Can Prince Harry’s Netflix Deal Survive Ghoulish Recreation of Diana’s Death on ‘The Crown’?

·3-min read
REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Prince Harry is likely to face fresh criticism over his work for Netflix after producers on its tentpole show, The Crown, mocked up a ghoulish, post-crash replica of the car his mother, Princess Diana, was traveling in when she was killed.

Pictures of the recreation of the wrecked vehicle emerged in the Daily Mail Monday. They were sneakily snapped on set, at London’s Elstree Studios, the paper said.

The images show a crushed and disfigured car with its roof cut open and a wheel hanging off at an angle, which was taken to Paris and used for filming sequences in which investigators examine the wreckage of the crash.

Netflix has previously been criticized after recreating the run-up to the crash in a Paris underpass.

Netflix had vowed that the “exact moment of the crash” would not be shown; however, a source told the Mail of the new prop, “I think a lot of people will find it quite sick that they went into such detail to recreate how the car was smashed up. I think it’s going to cause a lot of upset with the Royal Family. If it was any other family, I’m not sure they’d do it.”

The prospect of such a forensic level of detail around Diana’s death will fuel those who have accused Harry of hypocrisy for taking a reputed $100 million from Netflix while complaining about the media invading the privacy of his family. Some have accused the show of turning his family’s darkest moments into entertainment.

The crash will come in the sixth and final episode of the series, which is due out later this year. It features Elizabeth Debicki playing Diana in her final hours.

Netflix has consistently refused to append a statement to the show saying it is fictional.

Prince Harry defended the show to the chat show host James Corden, saying, “It’s fictional. But it’s loosely based on the truth. Of course, it’s not strictly accurate.”

He said it gave a “rough idea” of the pressures of “putting duty and service above family and everything else.”

He added, “I am way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing stories written about my family or my wife. It is obviously fiction, take it how you will. But [his life] is being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.”

While many critics have accused the show of being hostile to the royal family, Charles’ charity, the Prince’s Trust, was the subject of a glowing episode in season five. Dominic West, who plays Charles, is, oddly enough, an ambassador for the Trust. He offered to quit the charitable gig due to his role on the show, but his offer was refused by the Trust, suggesting Charles is less bothered by The Crown than some others are on his behalf.

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