The Crown: Susanna discusses Princess Diana crash scene
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Prince Harry’s relationship with Netflix could be in tatters after it has been revealed The Crown is set to recreate Princess Diana’s car crash in 1997. Pictures have emerged showing a replica of the mangled Mercedes which had carried Harry’s mother, Princess Diana – on set at Elstree Studios. While audiences would have expected the hit Netflix show to touch on the car crash, this might be a bridge too far for Prince Harry, warned one celebrity PR expert.
“The recent images that have emerged of Netflix’s recreation of Princess Diana’s crashed Mercedes have sent shockwaves across the world, and while we all expected the show to touch on and depict the event, this level of detail borders on the macabre, and may signal a death knell to the media giant’s close relationship with Prince Harry,” suggested Jordan James, Head of Key holders at Unlockd PR.
He continued: “While the Sussexes will have known about The Crown, and its propensity to not sugarcoat any of the rumoured Royal drama, when they signed up for their now infamous series on the service, I believe this could prove to be one step too far from Netflix.”
The celebrity guru suggested the move is out of step with the Sussexes’ desire to tell their side of the story.
“Given that the premise of Harry and Meghan is to share their complex relationship with the Royal Family and the media, Netflix is playing a risky game by adding so much detail to Diana’s tragic end – especially given the controversy around the media coverage at the time that showed the Princess little respect even in her final moments,” he said.
Diana and Dodi Fayed died in the early hours of August 31, 1997, after the S-Class they were travelling in crashed at the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris.
Despite the streaming giant previously insisting that the “exact moment” of the crash will not be shown in The Crown, images obtained by the Daily Mail show a recreation of the aftermath of the crash on set at Elstree Studios.
The front wheel of a black Mercedes can be seen buckled with the bonnet crushed and the dashboard hanging out of the smashed front windscreen.
The vehicle was said to be transported in secret under tarpaulin to Paris – one of two cars taken there for filming last year.
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In October The Crown received huge backlash after witnesses saw Netflix crews filming the memorable scenes showing Diana in a black Mercedes just 100 yards from the tunnel.
It has been speculated that the car wreckage was secretly transported to Paris last year, ahead of filming.
While Netflix claimed at the time “the exact moment of the crash impact will not be shown”, a source told The Daily Mail: “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 Crown is no stranger to criticism – the show has repeatedly come under fire for its royal depictions.
The fifth season of the show featured the break-up of three marriages, Princess Diana, Sarah Ferguson and the now-King Charles all having affairs, as well as a fire at Windsor Castle.
Daily Express’ royal correspondent Richard Palmer has previously warned the show could be misinterpreted as a documentary instead of a fictionalised account inspired by real facts.
This could tarnish the image of the Royal Family on the world stage, Palmer has said.
In such an eventuality, the royals might even break their code of silence, he added.
“There’s always a possibility that something annoys them so much that they break that policy,” Mr Palmer told the Royal Round Up.
“I think they’ve traditionally taken the view that they don’t want to interfere with artistic freedom.
“I think what does worry people in the Palace is that they fear that not so much in this country but in the US and Australia or other overseas countries that viewers actually think it’s true – that it is a documentary rather than dramatisation very loosely based on facts.”
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