Princess Diana's Butler Insists that The Crown Is "Pretty Close to the Truth"
The royals can't catch a break when it comes to The Crown. Days after the U.K. Culture Secretary mentioned that he'd be writing a letter to Netflix about clarifying that the series is fictional, Princess Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, said that the show is "pretty close to the truth." In an interview with The Sun, Burrell mentioned that Josh O'Connor's depiction of Prince Charles as a "rather uncaring, cold" person is accurate and that the fictional Charles's attitude towards his wife is spot-on, too.
"Josh O'Connor plays Prince Charles as a rather uncaring, cold person. And I'm afraid that's what I saw behind closed doors," Burrell said. "He was married to probably the most beautiful woman in the world. But he didn't look after her, and that's what comes across in The Crown."
Burrell worked for Diana for over a decade and has spoken up about her in the past. He mentioned that part of Charles's attitude could have come from the fact that he didn't like how popular Diana was becoming — and how she was outshining him.
"You're seeing an unknown young girl rise while Charles's star doesn't and her popularity becomes greater than his," said Burrell. "And that's the whole problem."
He also mentioned Diana's side of the ordeal, saying that she expected more from the relationship.
"Diana said to me, 'I thought when I got married that my husband would be there for me, to care for me, to support me, to encourage me, but he isn't," Burrell said. "People that jump up and say, 'Well, that's not factual,' well, that's pretty close to the truth."
Burrell's interview comes after other members of Diana's orbit mentioned the show. Her brother, Earl Spencer, said he wanted Netflix to show a disclaimer stating that the show is fictional. There were also headlines about the royal family turning down the chance to fact-check the series. When Netflix asked if anyone at the palace wanted to fact-check, only to receive a "firm no."
"I always wondered why there wasn't more collaboration between the two," royal correspondent Omid Scobie said, according to The Sun. "Those working on the show did reach out the palace to see if there was an opportunity for fact-checking, but the answer was a firm no. But, now we've reached these key years, I wonder if any royals are kicking themselves for not taking advantage of that opportunity, because this narrative is being shaped for many around the world."