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Priest present on night of Diana’s death criticizes Netflix series


Shutterstock | mark reinstein

Francisco Veneto - published on 11/16/22

The priest who gave Princess Diana last rites criticized the series 'The Crown' for exploiting the night of her death.

The priest who accompanied Princess Diana on the night of her death, and even gave her last rites, has criticized the series The Crown for exploiting for commercial purposes the tragic events of the early morning of August 31, 1997. The popular Netflix production reconstructs Lady Di’s fatal accident in episodes of its sixth season, due to be released in 2023.

Fr. Yves-Marie Clochard-Bossuet told The Daily Mail on October 30, ahead of the November 9 release of the fifth season of the series, that the use of Princess Diana’s accident in The Crown “is crass, and it’s certainly not necessary.” He believes it disrespects the memory and family of the princess, as well as unnecessarily reviving the trauma of her children and close relatives. The priest says that the producers are “simply interested in attracting as many viewers as possible.”

“There is no need to recreate the events of that night. This is because Diana has children, she has a brother and sisters, and it affects the feelings of her entire family,” he told the Daily Mail. “They will all be hurt by the reconstruction of this accident.”

On the fatal night, Diana was in a car driven by chauffeur Henri Paul, accompanied by her boyfriend Dodi Fayed and bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones. Only the bodyguard survived. Fr. Yves-Marie, who is French and accompanied the princess’ body for more than 10 hours that tragic night, spoke out on the occasion of filming done in Paris the previous week to reproduce the accident in the same tunnel where it happened in real life. The Daily Mail qualified the filming of scenes of her death and funeral as “ghoulish” and “macabre.”

From a note at the end of the UK publication’s article, it appears that Netflix may be taking the criticisms seriously. Reporters Peter Allen and Michael Powell write that “Netflix said last night: ‘The Crown Season 6 will cover the lead-up and aftermath, but the crash will not be featured.’”

For more about how Fr. Yves-Marie Clochard-Boussuet was involved on the night of the tragedy, you can read this article published previously by Aleteia.

Although the series describes historical events, there have been many calls since the series’ first season aired in 2016 for it to include a disclaimer to the effect that it is a fictionalized dramatization, not a strictly historical reenactment or documentary. Now, the BBC reports that “Netflix has added a disclaimer to its marketing for The Crown, saying the show is a ‘fictional dramatization,’ ‘inspired by real-life events.’” However, individual episodes of season 5 still do not have such a disclaimer, according to BuzzFeed News.

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