Royal expert Dan Wootton, who broke the news of Harry and Meghan’s departure from the Royal Family, calls the former wife of ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, “one of the few credible witnesses to the Princess of Wales’ state of mind in her last 24 months” who “never betrayed her publicly since that tragic Paris car accident”. He cites Ms Khan’s “involvement in helping tell the story of Diana’s final years in the controversial fifth series of The Crown,” the immensely popular Netflix series which will see Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki portray the next phase of the late princess’s life.
Ms Khan’s collaboration “felt like a hugely significant moment,” claimed Mr Wootton, although news broke over the weekend that she had cut ties with Netflix over the series, saying Diana’s story wasn’t handled as “respectfully or compassionately” as she had hoped.
She told the Sunday Times: “It was really important to me that the final years of my friend’s life be portrayed accurately and with compassion, as has not always happened in the past.”
Mr Wootton, in contrast, criticised Harry “and his ambitious Hollywood wife Meghan” for agreeing a “mega-deal worth tens of millions of dollars” with the streaming giant.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have signed a deal worth over £110million with Netflix for producing documentaries.
Mr Wootton claimed Harry should follow the lead of Jemima Khan in cutting off Netflix over their portrayal of his mother “if he has a single shred of respect left for his mother’s legacy.”
The upcoming series of The Crown will feature Diana’s relationships with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, and Dodi Al-Fayed, the son of the billionaire owner of Harrods.
It will also include the infamous BBC Panorama interview with Martin Bashir.
It was in that interview when, speaking about the now Duchess of Cornwall, Diana said: “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
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Ms Khan, having worked on the production for a number of months, now says of the series: “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.”
Mr Wootton praised her decision, saying: “Quitting when she realised The Crown was going to chew up the legacy of Diana and spit her out for the purposes of entertainment shows true morality.”
Of Harry, on the other hand, he said: “Why is it when it comes to the revolting treatment of his beloved mother by Netflix, he is prepared to turn a blind eye?”
Writing in the Mail Online, he said: “As of this morning in the UK, the company continues to offer up a slew of sensationalist crap about Di, from the tawdry Diana: The Musical to salacious documentaries like Princess Diana’s Wicked Stepmother.”
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Diana: The Musical, was made available on the streaming service in October, with Harry blasted at the time for maintaining a silence over the musical rendition of Diana’s life.
Directly addressing the Duke of Sussex, Mr Wootton said: “Wake up, Harry, Netflix is using you. It doesn’t give a damn about your charity projects.”
He said Harry’s deal with Netflix “provides a tacit royal stamp of approval of The Crown,” which other recreations of the Princess of Wales lack.
Last week, the new big-screen biopic honing in on the years when the Princess’s marriage to Prince Charles was crumbling, was released in cinemas.
“Spencer” sees former Twilight actress Kristen Stewart bring to life a fictionalised version of how Christmas at Sandringham in 1991, and was directed by Pablo Larrain.
Mr Wootton said: “Over the weekend I watched Spencer, a revolting new American movie that stars Kristen Stewart as a truly unhinged and entirely inaccurate version of Princess Diana spending Christmas at Sandringham in 1991.
“The film is dark, daft and devoid of any of Di’s positive points.
“But we don’t have to watch such trash and it carries no royal endorsement.”
Harry’s supposed complicity with Netflix, claimed Mr Wootton, is interpreted by him as a sign to “never ever take the pious preaching of Harry about the media seriously again.”
He added: “I have no doubt Princess Diana would be proud of the stand taken by Jemima Khan over The Crown and desperately disappointed by the ignorant stance of her money-hungry son.”
Representatives for the Duke of Sussex have been contacted for comment.
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