A quarter of a century since her death, Princess Diana will be in the spotlight again, with a roster of new documentaries set to air to mark the anniversary.
The Princess is one such example, a feature-length Sky documentary which covers the last 17 years of Diana’s life.
It is the second major work from Ed Perkins, director of the 2019 Netflix documentary Tell Me Where I Am, which follows a man who suffers memory loss after an accident and relies on his twin brother to help him recover.
The Princess is another stark piece of work, joining ranks of other Diana documentaries, but it is unique in that it focuses less on Diana, and more on the media and public gaze which followed her every move.
What is The Princess about?
The documentary chronicles Diana Spencer’s life from shortly before the announcement of her engagement to Prince Charles in 1981 up to her death in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
The film is composed entirely of archival footage taken across those two decades that Diana was incessantly in the public eye.
It will explore the public’s obsession with the ‘people’s princess’ and the influence that Diana had on millions of people throughout her lifetime.
The film will also question how the British public’s attitude towards the monarchy has changed over time, and specifically how it was affected by Diana’s death.
The Princess uses news reports and paparazzi images to question the extent to which a toxic media climate could be blamed for the tragic events in Paris.
Additionally, footage from the controversial 1995 Panorama interview between Diana and Martin Bashir is included in the documentary.
In July this year BBC director-general Tim Davie said that the interview would never again be aired by the company following an investigation that found the interview had been arranged through deceitful tactics.
The Princess doesn’t feature any dramatic new revelations or bombshell accusations, it instead uses contemporary footage to ask new questions.
Perkins told Indiewire: “I’m very aware that this story has been told very widely before. I think it’s fair to say this is one of the most widely-told stories across the storytelling genres ever.
“I felt very strongly that the perspective that hadn’t really been explored before wasn’t necessarily trying to get inside Diana’s head. I wanted to try to do something different.
“The question that really interested me was, what does this story tell us about ourselves? What is our relationship to not just monarchy but celebrity? What was our role and perhaps our complicity in this tragic tale?”
Is there a trailer?
Yes there is, and you can watch it right here:
How can you watch The Princess in the UK?
The Princess premiered in the UK on 11 June at Sundance Film Festival London and had a wide cinematic release from 30 June.
The documentary, which is 109 minutes long, will air on Sky Documentaries on Sunday 14 August at 9pm. It will also be available to watch on NOW.