The Crown: Myers discusses possible reaction to new series
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Jemima Khan, 47, asked for her contributions from Netflix’s The Crown to be removed after Princess Diana’s life was not being portrayed as “respectfully or compassionately” as it should.
The former journalist was brought onto the show to advise writer Peter Morgan, 58, on stories including Diana’s relationships with Hasnat Khan and Dodi Fayed.
Mr Morgan approached her in 2019 to invite her to contribute to The Crown.
Her intention when agreeing to help write the drama’s fifth series was to ensure Diana’s story was “portrayed accurately”.
She worked with the show’s team from September 2020 to February 2021 and had a brief romance with Mr Morgan at the beginning of the year.
But now, she wants no association with it and even “declined a credit”.
She told The Sunday Times: “When our co-writing agreement was not honoured, and when I realised that particular storyline would not necessarily be told as respectfully or compassionately as I had hoped, I requested that all my contributions be removed from the series and I declined a credit.”
Describing Ms Khan as “a friend, fan and a vocal public supporter” of the show, a spokesman for The Crown told the same paper: “She has been part of a wide network of well-informed and varied sources who have provided extensive background information to our writers and research team.”
Emphasising that Ms Khan’s role was to provide “context” for the drama, the spokesman added: “She has never been contracted as a writer on the series.”
The show’s fifth series is thought to cover the Royal Family from the Nineties to 2003.
Mr Morgan, whose credits include the films Frost/Nixon and The Damned United and the praised stage play The Audience, was nominated for an Academy Award for his script for the 2006 film The Queen, starring Helen Mirren.
This isn’t the first time the production of The Crown has sparked controversy.
When news that it was dedicating an entire episode to the debated interview of Princess Diana with the BBC’s Martin Bashir, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, 39, was thought to be deeply irritated.
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In his view, the sitdown holds “no legitimacy” and he said in May it should “never be aired again”.
A royal source told The Telegraph the words of Diana’s eldest son “still stand”.
William has been openly critical of the 1995 interview, which infamously saw his mother saying “there were three of us in this marriage”.
He said: “The deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said.”
It “effectively established a false narrative,” William continued, “which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialised by the BBC and others”.
His brother Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, who recently signed a reported £112million deal with Netflix for him and wife Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, also had harsh words for how things played out for his mother.
Denouncing that similar attitudes are still common now, he said: “The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.
“What deeply concerns me is that practices like these — and even worse — are still widespread today.
“Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication.
“Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed.
“By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life.”
But creators “see the interview as the keystone moment in series five”, insiders told The Sun.
“To the writers, the stormy marriage between Charles and Di led up to her outpouring on Panorama, and the aftermath of that decision defined her final months.”
Despite William and Harry’s wishes for the “commercialisation” of their mother’s life to end, the episode will be part of The Crown’s upcoming series.
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