The 2021 film, Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, is one of the most anticipated movies of the year. Rumors have been swirling since the trailer’s release that Stewart’s depiction of the late princess could land her a first Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
Despite the initial positive reviews, Diana’s inner circle is not too thrilled about how Diana is portrayed in Spencer. Here, we break down why those closest to the late princess believe that Diana “would be horrified at the way she’s portrayed now.”
Spencer details four days over the 1991 Christmas season when the royal family spent the holidays at Sandringham Estate. Spencer imagines what might have happened over the span of these four fateful days to make Diana decide that she wanted to divorce Charles and leave the royal family.
One important thing to note is that there is text at the beginning of the film telling the viewer that this is “a fable from a true tragedy.” A “fable” implies that the events of the movie didn’t happen, at least not in the way it was depicted. However, a flaw in many historical movies is that these scenes feel very real to the average viewer, which is a dangerous game to play when there is a theatre filled with people who are not experts or historians of the royal family.
During a recent interview with The Telegraph, the editor of Majesty magazine, Ingrid Seward, argues that Spencer lumps together every negative component of Diana’s past into a very short period of time.
Viewers of Spencer will see Diana battling both bulimia and self-harm. Though this fact is true about Diana, by 1991 she is thought to have mostly conquered those demons with the help of therapy. According to Seward, although Diana was pretty miserable at the 1991 Christmas celebrations, “she wasn’t cutting herself at that stage.”
Seward also emphasized in this interview that Diana would “not want to be remembered as someone who was destructive towards the monarchy. She said to me that the monarchy was her sons’ future, so she would never try to destroy it.”
Seward added that Diana”would be very sad that people think she and Charles never loved each other, that wasn’t true. She’d be horrified at the way she’s portrayed now.”
Of course, we should never forget that despite at one point being the “people’s princess,” Diana was the president of multiple charities and organizations throughout her life. She brought worldwide awareness to AIDS, battled the stigmas surrounding mental health, worked toward the ban of landmines, and sought to provide housing for homeless adolescents.
Knowing all the good that Diana brought to the world, it is fair to wonder whether she deserves to be portrayed in a better light than as someone who was too scared to go down to dinner with her in-laws.
Spencer is set to be released on November 5, 2021.