Princess Diana’s former butler claims series six of Netflix’s The Crown ‘has gone too far’ by recreating the final months of the late royal’s life.
Paul Burrell, 65, served as a footman for the late Queen before working for Diana as a butler for 10 years until her death in Paris in 1997.
Speaking to The Mirror, he said the current series is too close to recent history, thus opening old wounds for Diana’s close friends and family, including Prince William, 41, and Prince Harry, 39.
‘It still feels macabre to show the vehicle in which she died, it’s just gone too far,’ Paul said. ‘I find the whole scene of Diana’s death portrayed in a fictional TV show to be grotesque.’
Former butler to Princess Diana (left), Paul Burrell (right) has slammed Netflix’s final series of The Crown. Above, the pair are pictured in London in 1994
Paul- who famously claimed he was Diana’s ‘rock’ following her acrimonious 1996 divorce from King Charles – urged viewers to watch The Crown with caution.
Paul, who believes the series has gone ‘too far’, urged viewers to protect the late princess’ legacy rather than fixate on her last moments.
Talking on ITV’s Lorraine show this morning, Burrell further shared his apprehension about the show, and admitted he is unable to watch the ‘graphic’ series.
He said: ‘I can’t watch that [series six of The Crown] it’s too graphic and too much. It’s going to upset a lot of people. I find this very difficult this series I don’t know if I can watch it.’
Paul added: ‘I can watch the first few series because it’s so long ago, but now it’s too soon.
‘I am going to be critical. I do think the Princess was misunderstood. The Diana I knew was a fighter and she fought for her boys.’
But it wasn’t just Princess Diana that Paul believes has been misrepresented by the show.
‘I knew the Queen very well and I know she would not want to be portrayed like that’, he said.
‘She was warm kind loving gran, and she was the beating heart of our nation. I think she has been misrepresented.’
Paul Burrell holding hands with his sons as they arrive at Westminster Abbey for the funeral of The Princess Of Wales in 1997
In the series, Diana (played by Elizabeth Debicki) and Dodi (played by Khalid Abdalla) are shown getting into a car outside the Ritz Hotel in Paris, which Dodi owned.
Speaking in a corridor ahead of their ill-fated final journey, Dodi asks Henri Paul – the deputy head of security at the Ritz – if the pair are safe to travel.
Speaking in French, Henri explains that two staffers have taken a decoy vehicle, so the coast is clear for Diana and Dodi.
‘No one will see us leave, trust me,’ he tells Dodi.
But as the couple walk out to the Mercedes-Benz W140 they are flanked by paparazzi.
Ominous music then plays as the driver asks Diana if she’s okay, before Dodi tell Henri – driving the vehicle – ‘allez’.
The car then accelerates through the streets of the French capital before entering the tunnel at high speed.
It comes after Netflix stressed throughout production of series six that viewers will not see the crash which killed Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed. But the episode does play an audio of the fatal incident.
The Crown has recreated Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed’s final moments before their fatal car crash in Paris. Elizabeth Debicki as Diana and Khalid Abdalla as Dodi are seen in the daunting scene
Other newly released clips include Charles’ despair over telling William and Harry their mother has died and Diana telling Dodi she’s a ‘persona non-grata’ at Balmoral.
The show will also depict the last time Prince William and Prince Harry spoke to their mother – but it will not be a true reflection of the conversation.
In episode four, Diana is depicted as frustrated while in Paris with Dodi, and desperate to return to the UK to see her sons.
After missing one opportunity to speak with them on the phone, Diana finally manages to have a call with Prince William and Prince Harry, where they ask her if she’s going to marry the son of billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed.
‘I am emphatically not going to marry Dodi. To be honest, I cant wait to come home,’ Diana says in the dramatised version of events.
William then asks his mother if she is ok. She nods and says: ‘I’m ok. Its just a bit mad here. I don’t really understand how I ended up here. Mummy just needs to make some changes to her life, that’s all. But that’s not your problem – that’s mine.’
In a tender moment, she tells her sons she loves them and they reply to say they love her too. She promises to return home the following evening to see them.
However, according to Prince Harry and Prince William’s accounts of the last phone call he ever had with his mother, this version of events does not quite ring true.
Although it is true that Prince William and Prince Harry shared a phone call with their mother on the last day she was alive, her younger son has said he doesn’t really remember what was said.
Meanwhile, William said that he was eager to get off the phone so he could play with his cousins.