The Princess Review – Intimate Portrayal of Diana, Princess of Wales

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The Princess, from HBO Documentary Films, presents an intimate portrayal of the late Princess Diana, from the beginning of her relationship with Prince Charles, the demise of her marriage, her untimely death, and many moments in between.

The film begins in Paris, with an unknown film crew riding past the Ritz Carlton, where paparazzi were six deep waiting by the entrance. We now know the tragedy that follows changed the lives of many.


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Presented chronologically, the film returns to the beginning when the world first meets Diana, a shy, young, 19-year-old, caught up in the media, before her engagement. It moves quickly from this time, through the engagement interviews, to the grand wedding and is filled with the historic moments, that many will remember.

Of course, the film is tabloid friendly and presents many of the sensational headlines, some of which, time has come to prove as true others clearly false. As Diana's celebrity status exploded from her wedding day, she was one of the most photographed women in the world and a hint of inside information would boost sales. She was a media commodity.

As the world has an unhealthy obsession with the Royals, hordes of freelance photographers each hoping to get the shot of a lifetime, swarmed her, wherever she went. The film stresses this point early, her celebrity status alienated her husband from the very beginning.


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Whether this was true, his droll humor in addressing media, made it appear that he, in the early days, appeared to be taken aback, shocked, and possibly even embarrassed, by her unassuming demeanor, empathy and her ability to move between both royalty and marginalized worlds, to express compassion and kindness and carry the role of Princess with aplomb.

Archived interviews are used to weave together poignant moments throughout her life as a royal from her engagement where the press so pointedly asked, what did they think they had in common, to the demise of her marriage when the press asked Charles if he had been faithful to his wife, and of course, the Martin Basher interviews.

Both Charles and Diana were excessively exposed, and the idea of infidelity proved to be a cash cow for every royal biographer, tabloid publisher and freelance photographer and unfortunately their marriage dramatically fell apart in full view of the world.


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Additionally, the film reminiscences the height of Royal fame, when Diana, love her or not, drew the most attention. There are also the Andrew Morton books, which detailed insider information of attempted suicides, mental illness, eating disorders, oddly, except for the unproven suicide attempts which left no markings on her often-bared arms and wrists, were issues that needed the exposure the Princess gave them.

The idea of PTSD, postpartum depression and eating disorders needed to be a national, as well as global conversations. And at that time, these were considered "weaknesses" and meant to portray the princess as damaged.

The documentary balances the bright moments of Diana's life by presenting the deeply egregious invasions of her privacy. The Princess pulls togethers the milestones forged by Diana that revolutionized the monarchy or at least attempted. It wouldn't be until her death that one could see she was a forerunner to many changes that have bridged the divide between the monarchy and the people.

The Princess, intimate and heartbreaking, premieres on HBO Saturday, August 13, 2022 and can be seen on HBO MAX. Check local listings. See it.


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Country: UK.

Runtime: 111 minutes.

Release Date: August 13, 2022

Director: Ed Perkins.

Producer: Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn.

Writer: Ed Perkins.

Cast: Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, Tony Blair, Dodi Fayed, Martin Bashir, Hillary Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Sarah Ferguson, John Travolta, John Major, Mother Teresa, Luciano Pavarotti, Prince Harry, Prince William, Henry Kissinger, Nelson Mandela, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Colin Powell, Prince Philip. Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Ronald Reagan, Oprah Winfrey.

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