Princess Diana’s Friend Says ‘The Crown’ Doesn’t Handle Her Final Years ‘Respectfully’

Jemima Khan, a friend of the late Princess Diana, is speaking out about her displeasure at the next season of “The Crown.”

Khan, a screenwriter and producer who was very close with the Princess of Wales, told the U.K.’s Sunday Times over the weekend that while she had “never spoken publicly” about her relationship with Diana, she agreed to co-write Season Five of the hit Netflix drama with creator and writer Peter Morgan. (The Sunday Times says the two “were briefly linked romantically” before breaking up earlier this year.)

But after initially signing on to write, Khan says she withdrew from the series and “declined a credit,” saying that some aspects of Diana’s life “would not necessarily be told as respectfully or compassionately as I had hoped.”

“In 2019, Peter Morgan asked me to co-write on the fifth series of The Crown, particularly those episodes which concerned Princess Diana’s last years before she died,” Khan said in a statement to The Sunday Times. “After a great deal of thought, having never spoken publicly about any of this before, I decided to contribute.”

Diana, the Princess of Wales, is welcomed to Lahore, Pakistan, by Imran (right) and Jemima Khan (center) in April 1996.

Anwar Hussein via Getty Images

“We worked together on the outline and scripts from September 2020 until February 2021,” Khan said. “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 representative for “The Crown” told the Times that Khan “has been a friend, fan and a vocal public supporter of The Crown since season one.”

“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 — providing context for the drama that is The Crown,” the spokesperson said. “She has never been contracted as a writer on the series.”

Representatives for Morgan and “The Crown” did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s queries.

Diana speaks to Jemima Khan during a visit to Shaukat Khanum Hospital on Feb. 22, 1996.
Diana speaks to Jemima Khan during a visit to Shaukat Khanum Hospital on Feb. 22, 1996.

Anwar Hussein via Getty Images

“The Crown” is a divisive topic among friends and family members of the late princess, who died in 1997. The show even drew a response from Buckingham Palace in 2019.

Donal McCabe, the queen’s communications secretary, issued a letter to The Guardian at the time to clarify that the royal household was “not complicit in interpretations made by the program.”

“The royal household has never agreed to vet or approve content, has not asked to know what topics will be included and would never express a view as to the program’s accuracy,” McCabe’s letter said.

The show’s fourth season also caused outcry among various British public figures, who argued that the streaming giant needs to put a statement before the program to remind viewers the show is historical fiction.

Netflix told The Associated Press last year that it had “no plans ― and see no need ― to add a disclaimer.”

“We have always presented ‘The Crown’ as a drama — and we have every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction that’s broadly based on historical events,” the company said.

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