Jemima Khan leaves hit Netflix series The Crown over portrayal of Princess Diana's story

Jemima Khan leaves hit Netflix series The Crown over portrayal of Princess Diana's story

The close friend of the late princess provided insight into Diana's last years before her death for the screenplay.
08 Nov, 2021

Jemima Khan recently cut ties with hit Netflix series The Crown over its portrayal of the late Princess Diana. According to Khan, the show was not handling her late friend's story “as respectfully or compassionately” as she had hoped.

According to British newspaper The Sunday Times, Khan, 47, was brought in to help the Netflix series’ creator Peter Morgan write the script. Khan, who was part of Diana’s social circle, was there to provide insight into her close friend's last years before her death in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

She pulled out after Diana's story was not handled "as respectfully or compassionately as I had hoped". Khan told The Sunday Times that “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.”

Khan requested all her contributions to be removed and that she not be given any writing credit once she saw the stories were going in a direction she did not agree with. “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,” she said. “After a great deal of thought, having never spoken publicly about any of this before, I decided to contribute.

“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.”

In a statement to the Sunday Times, a spokesperson for The Crown said: “Jemima 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 tea, providing context for the drama that is The Crown. She has never been contracted as a writer on the series.”

The Netflix series traces the life of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history. It has come to feature the stories of many prominent figures around the queen, including Diana — her son Prince Charles' first wife — in season four.

Season five of The Crown is expected to premiere in November 2022.