While many people claim to really know Princess Diana, we will likely never know the actual circumstances surrounding her tragic Royal life and untimely death. There have been plenty of documentaries and award-winning portrayals of Diana over the years, and with every cinematic reincarnation, it becomes even more clear that the royals really failed her.
Still, there was one person who got to know Diana, biographer Andrew Morton, who says that the current season of The Crown is accurately portraying the Princess of Wales as he knew her. “I was blown away by how authentic Elizabeth Debicki was in her portrayal of Diana,” Morton told The Daily Beast. “It was unnerving. It was like being with a ghost. It spoke to me very clearly.”
Morton published Diana: Her True Story In Her Own Words in the early 1990s. He said he was often intimated by Britain officials who seemed to be following him. “Writing that book was the royal equivalent of All The President’s Men. You would see danger in the shadows,” he continued. He also confined that a scene of The Crown depicting his office being ransaked was very true. “My office was broken into. It happened just a few days after I had been warned, separately, by [journalists] Arthur Edwards and Richard Kay, that the security forces were looking carefully to find my source.”
The paranoia that Morton felt was translated to screen for The Crown, shown in episode two when Diana grew increasingly paranoid that she was being followed and her phone calls were being surveilled. Morton confirmed that this was all true, according to his experience. “Yes, we had Diana’s rooms swept for bugs. Towards the end, I would use payphones. The Crown shows the sense of un-named and anonymous watchers and it’s absolutely true, there is no need for Peter Morgan to make anything up.”
Still, the series has been quick to claim that the stories are all “inspired” by real events and should not be taken as concrete historical facts. One thing’s for certain: Princess Diana should have had a better ending.
The Crown season five is now streaming on Netflix.