How BBC’s Princess Diana drama will shed new light on her legacy


In 1997, Princess Diana of Wales died in a car crash, sending shockwaves around the world. Beloved by many on both sides of the Atlantic, the princess's death made headlines for months—and sparked a number of conspiracy theories. Twenty years later, the BBC has ordered a 90-minute scripted drama about Princess Diana's death—specifically, how it affected her former subjects.

The project, titled Diana & I, will follow four fictional characters, The Hollywood Reporter says: a mother, a son, a wife, and a boyfriend. Their narratives, which all unfold during the week after Princess Diana's death, will be told "in parallel but at times interlinked." The Fully Monty director Peter Cattaneo will direct, while Jeremy Brock, who penned The Last King of Scotland, will provide the script.

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"I was compelled by the impact that incredible week had on all of us who remember it, whether royalist or not," Brock told T.H.R. "I wanted to explore the lives of four ordinary people and how they internalized their memories of Diana in the aftermath of her death . . . "Diana & I is categorically not a film written in memoriam. It's a celebration of what it's like to be human—good and bad—in the unexpurgated and improvisatory shock of real life."

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Given that we are approaching the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death, it is no surprise that BBC's project is far from the first retrospective film, TV series, or special announced this year. On Monday, Gayle King will anchor a two-hour prime-time special for CBS about the princess's life and legacy, while HBO and ITV, along with ABC, have documentaries on the way. Even Ryan Murphy is getting in on the Princess Diana train this year: FeudSeason 2 will be all about Diana and Prince Charles.

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