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The Crown Season 5 Loses Princess Diana Advisor Over Storyline Handling

The Crown season 5 advisor Jemima Khan has left the series over its planned depictions of Princess Diana's final years. The Crown follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and depicts many of the historical events that have shaped Britain over the past several decades. The show has received widespread critical acclaim, with season 4 becoming the first television season to win all seven major dramatic Primetime Emmy awards.

However, The Crown has been leveled with accusations of misrepresenting history since the beginning, with season 4, in particular, coming under scrutiny by advocates for the royal family for villainizing the monarchy. The series has been accused of tweaking history in favor of making a larger point in its commentary of the royals, taking advantage of artistic license. Prince Charles' depiction specifically has been cited as particularly demonizing regarding his relationship with the late Princess Diana.

Related: The Crown: All 4 Queen Elizabeth Actresses Explained

Khan, a personal friend of Diana's, has been a vocal public supporter of The Crown. Khan tells The Sunday Times she was brought on in 2019 by creator Peter Morgan to assist with the writing of season 5, "particularly those episodes which concerned Princess Diana’s last years before she died." However, Khan says she has now departed the show over its handling of Princess Diana's story:

We worked together on the outline and scripts from September 2020 until February 2021. 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.

A spokesperson for The Crown denies part of Khan's statement, telling The Sunday Times she "has never been contracted as a writer on the series.” According to the spokesperson, Khan has instead "been part of a wide network of well-informed and varied sources who have provided extensive background information to our writers and research team."

The Crown is not the only current project depicting the life of the princess, with Pablo Larraín's film Spencer now in theaters and Diana, a musical interpretation of her reign, released on Netflix on October 1. All three projects have come under fire for misrepresenting the princess in different ways, which shows how complicated depicting a public figure's legacy can be. Even with The Crown's problems with historical accuracy, its depiction of Diana has been met with much acclaim, with Emma Corrin receiving an Emmy nomination for their performance.

The Crown finds itself in the unique position of reenacting history that has the benefit of hindsight but is still recent enough to be remembered by much of the public. With Elizabeth Debicki taking over the role of Princess Diana for The Crown season 5, her interpretation of the character will surely leave an impression on those who do and don't remember the history the show is based on. Although the argument for the artistic license is valid, it's important to keep in mind that for many viewers the show is the only interpretation of the story they will ever see. With this in mind, it makes sense Khan is focused on the respect and kindness required to show the later years of her friend's life. Hopefully, The Crown season 5 still ends up doing Princess Diana the justice she deserves.

Next: The Crown: Imelda Staunton Casting Response Reflects The Real-Life Queen

Source: The Sunday Times

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