Playing with fire: The Crown's new season will highlight Diana's bombshell interview

Los Gatos, California – The upcoming fifth season of the Emmy-winning Netflix drama The Crown will dramatize the headline-making 1995 Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, according to reports.

Princess Diana was played by Emma Corrin in season four of Netflix's The Crown, but will not continue on for the show's fifth season.
Princess Diana was played by Emma Corrin in season four of Netflix's The Crown, but will not continue on for the show's fifth season.  © imago/ZUMA Press

That interview, conducted by then-BBC journalist Martin Bashir, made global headlines as the princess spoke openly about her marriage to Prince Charles, famously telling Bashir "there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

Earlier this year, a report by Lord Dyson concluded that the BBC covered up "deceitful behavior" used by Bashir to secure the bombshell interview and led to a call from the Duke of Cambridge for it never to be aired again.

Other royals, including Diana's sons, have also slammed the interview – which could prove to be a problem for Netflix.

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According to The Sun, an insider said: "The Crown's creators see the interview as the keystone moment in series five.

"To the writers, the stormy marriage between Charles and Di led up to her outpouring on Panorama, and the aftermath of that decision defined her final months.

"They are making a huge investment in that. The Crown has a track record of delving into areas of the Royal Family's history they'd rather be left alone."

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

The royals are not fans of the controversial interview

The BBC has been heavily criticized and accused of deceit over Martin Bashir's 1995 interview with Princess Diana.
The BBC has been heavily criticized and accused of deceit over Martin Bashir's 1995 interview with Princess Diana.  © IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Lord Dyson's report concluded that Bashir was in "serious breach" of the BBC's producer guidelines when he faked bank statements and showed them to Diana's brother Earl Spencer to gain access to the princess for the interview in 1995.

Following the report, Prince William and Prince Harry both issued statements condemning the BBC's actions, with the Duke of Cambridge saying: "It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC's failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia, and isolation that I remember from those final years with her."

The BBC wrote to the royal family to apologize for the circumstances surrounding the interview and Bashir also issued an apology, saying faking the documents was "a stupid thing do to do," and "an action I deeply regret," but maintained it had "no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview."

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The fifth series of the lavish TV drama, due to air in November 2022, will see Dominic West star as the Prince of Wales and Elizabeth Debicki as Diana. The Wire star West takes over the role of Charles from Josh O'Connor, while The Night Manager actor Debicki will replace Emma Corrin.

The real-life royals are reportedly also coming to the streaming service. It remains to be seen if the show's depiction of the controversial interview might affect the network's working relationship with Harry and his wife Meghan Markle.

In 2020, it was reported that Harry and Meghan signed a deal with Netflix reportedly worth $100 million dollars to produce a range of films and shows for the service. There has also been talk that William's wife, Kate Middleton, could even collaborate on some projects.

Netflix has said it is not commenting.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire & ZUMA Press

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