According to Deadline, The Crown is facing criticism from the Queen’s ex-press secretary due to The Crown allegedly lacking sensitivity toward Princess Diana’s death. In The Crown, Diana dies in season six. According to Dickie Arbiter, who reportedly worked for the Queen during this time period, the show was “dramatic license gone bonkers.”
In particular, Arbiter was critical of the way in which Prince Charles (Dominic West, Chicago) told their sons that Diana (Elizabeth Debicki, The Tale) was dead. He said, “The sequence of Charles telling his sons of their mother’s death was so insensitive, it was so unnecessary,” said Deadline.
Arbiter also disliked other scenes, expressing to Deadline that “The scenes between Charles and his mother, in which he blurted out that she wanted Diana to come back in a Harrods van were absolute nonsense. It just didn’t happen like that. Of course an aircraft was going to be made available [to bring her body home from France]. The Queen was the first one to agree to that.”
Arbiter also expressed that some scenes inaccurately discussed Princess Diana’s funeral when speaking to Deadline. He said that it was Charles Spencer, the brother of Diana, who wanted a public ceremony overseen by Buckingham Palace. This is different from The Crown, which shows The Queen being the one to make this decision. He stated that “Spencer thought that because Diana was a public figure, because she was very popular and people adored her, that it should be something handled by the royal family to make it a public event rather than a private family event.”
While Arbiter dislikes how the show handled Diana and her death, the producers of the show claim to have expected backlash earlier this year, says Deadline. Executive producer Suzanne Mackie (Mad Dogs) claimed that “The show might be big and noisy, but we’re not. We’re thoughtful people and we’re sensitive people. There were very careful, long conversations about how we were going to do it.”