The Best Princess Diana Movies, TV Shows, and Documentaries

Youn the 25 years since the tragic and untimely death of Princess Diana, her legacy has loomed large in the world’s collective imagination. Her brief but highly public time as a royal has provided endless cultural inspiration—and it’s not difficult to see why.

Her personal life was marked on one hand by a complicated and unhappy marriage to Prince Charles—the heir to the British throne—and by the stifling restrictions of royal protocol, and on the other by the glamour, charisma, and compassion that made her a beloved public figure. As the “People’s Princess,” she paved the way for a new era of celebrity. She carefully crafted a public persona that was aspirational but relatable, exemplifying the kind of fame now sought by reality stars and influencers—and her Aug. 31, 1997, death rendered her story a cautionary tale of the cost of overexposure.

Despite a life that was so on display, there’s still so much unknown about the interior life of the passionate and complex Princess of Wales. This may explain why Diana is still a fascination a quarter century later. Her story inspired many artistic projects such as documentaries, films and TV shows.

From Pablo Larraín’s experimental biopic Spencer The dramatic fourth season of The CrownHere are some of the most important documentaries, films, and television shows that focus on the life of Diana Princess of Wales.

The Queen (2006)

In Stephen Frears’ feature about the royal family in the tumultuous aftermath of Diana’s tragic death, Helen Mirren, who won an Oscar for her role, plays ultimate matriarch Queen Elizabeth, who must navigate public and private pressures in the midst of grief. While Diana is not depicted on screen, the film shows just how deeply she influenced the family and the British public—and how her death shaped the way the monarchy is viewed today.

You should be watching: HBO Max

Learn More: The New Era of Celebrity: How Princess Diana Made It Possible

Diana, In Her Own Words (2017)

This candid documentary is based upon the recordings of Andrew Morton’s interviews for his book “Bombshell” Diana, In Her Own Words is an arresting and intimate look into the princess’ life. The film uses interviews with Diana and other audio material from Diana’s past to provide Diana the only voiceover track. It aims to allow Diana to share her story in her own words.

You should be watching: Disney+

Diana, Our Mother: Her Life & Legacy (2017)

Prince William (the father) and Prince Harry (the sons), speak for the first times publicly about Princess Diana as their mother in this poignant and touching documentary. The film, a tribute to their mother’s memory and her humanitarian work, is also a space for both sons to revisit their relationships with their beloved mother and open up about the ongoing process of grieving her loss.

You should be watching: HBO Max

The CrownSeason 4 (2020).

Few performances have so evocatively portrayed the evolution of Diana from shy bride-to-be to dynamic modern celebrity as Emma Corrin’s turn as Princess Diana in the fourth season of Crown. Corrin’s performance is by turn enchanting, exhilarating, and heartbreaking, as she falls in love with an aloof Prince Charles, realizes he’s having an affair with his former girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles, becomes an internationally beloved part of the Firm, enters motherhood, and discovers her passion for philanthropy. While Netflix’s creative liberties about the real-life events depicted in The Crown are well-known, the high-octane drama in this retelling of the love triangle between Charles, Diana, and Camilla (whom Charles married in 2005) was so great that Charles and Camilla’s official Twitter account was forced to turn off comments after the season premiered.

You should be watching: Netflix

Learn More: How Princess Diana is so difficult to capture on-screen

Diana, The Musical (2021)

Exuberant, extravagant Diana, The Musical might seem at odds with the narratives often told about the princess’ life, but TIME’s Stephanie Zacharak called it “a work that Diana herself—known to be a fan of spectacles like The Phantom of the Opera—would warm to.” While the musical was set to debut on Broadway in spring 2020, due to the pandemic it delayed its opening until November 2021 and produced a filmed version for Netflix that released ahead of its premiere on the Great White Way. The show, which stars Jeanna De Waal as Princess Di, was widely criticised by the public, but it would still be worth a watch by Diana lovers.

You should be watching: Netflix

Spencer (2021)

Pablo Larraín’s fantastical imagining of a few fateful days in the life of the Princess of Wales is less a biopic than an experimental homage to the tragedies and triumphs of Diana’s public and personal lives. Although the movie is based on real events, some elements are surreal such as Anne Boleyn’s visit and hallucinations. The film hints at this element with its opening epigraph that warns viewers that the film is “a fable from a true tragedy.”

What to Watch: Hulu

The Princess (2022)

The intense and unrelenting public scrutiny that Diana faced is the central tension in Ed Perkins’ documentary The Princess. The film is entirely composed of audio and archival footage, starting from the time that Diana was engaged to Prince Charles and ending with her death in 1997 in a car accident in Paris. It’s a silent but powerful indictment about the media attention on Diana and the role it played in her passing.

What to WatchHBO

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