'The Crown' S5: Clarence House 'concerned' Diana storyline will impact Charles' popularity

Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in the fifth series of The Crown (Netflix)
Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in the fifth series of The Crown. (Netflix)

The impending release of the fifth season of The Crown has the Royal Family concerned, according to a new report.

The next season of Netflix's hit drama — due to be released in November — will cover Prince Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, and the devastating effect it had on Princess Diana.

Writing in his latest column for Yahoo News UK, Royal Executive Editor Omid Scobie says that the show — once "adored" by the royals — was now regarded as the "enemy" after Peter Morgan's series reached the era of Princess Diana in 2020's fourth season.

Read more: What really happened in Charles and Diana's relationship?

That season saw Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor) courting and marrying Diana (Emma Corrin), while harbouring feelings for his old flame Camilla (Emerald Fennell).

Season Five of the hit series — a dramatised recreation of Queen Elizabeth II's time on the throne — will pick up their story in the early 1990s with Elizabeth Debicki playing Diana and Dominic West as Charles.

"To say that staff at Clarence House are concerned about [Season 5's] negative impact on the future king’s popularity is an understatement," Scobie claims.

Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program Panorama. (Photo by © Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program Panorama. (Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Diana's friend Jemima Khan, who worked on the fourth series of the Netflix series as a consultant, quit the show over disagreements about how Diana would be portrayed in 2021.

Khan said in a statement: "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.”

Read more: What have the Royals said about The Crown?

Season five is rumoured to dedicate an entire episode to the BBC's controversial Panorama interview with Diana. That 1995 interview, conducted by then-BBC journalist Martin Bashir, made global headlines as the princess spoke openly about her marriage to the Prince of Wales, famously telling Bashir “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded”.

Prince Charles and his wife Princess Diana (1961 - 1997) attend the Atlantic memorial service at Liverpool Cathedral, May 1993. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Getty Images)
Prince Charles and Princess Diana attend the Atlantic memorial service at Liverpool Cathedral in May 1993. (Getty Images)

In 2021, a report by Lord Dyson concluded that the BBC covered up 'deceitful behaviour' by Bashir to secure the bombshell interview and led to a call from the Duke of Cambridge for it never to be aired again.

A source close to the show told PA: “Season five of The Crown will dramatise events surrounding the Panorama interview, given the pivotal part it played during the time period the new series covers.

“It will reflect what we now know about how the interview was obtained and how Diana was treated.”

The S5 of The Crown Imelda Staunton will take over the role of the Queen from Olivia Colman, while Jonathan Pryce replaces Tobias Menzies as the Duke of Edinburgh and Lesley Manville will be Princess Margaret, following in the footsteps of Helena Bonham Carter.

The Crown was due to end after the fifth series, but the show’s creator and writer Peter Morgan later said it will be extended to include a sixth series.

Watch: 25 years on from the death of Diana