Director for HBO Princess documentary explains the 'reason' behind exploring Diana's story

The documentary shows archival audio and video footage of the late Princess

Princess Diana
(Image credit: John Shelley Collection/Avalon / Contributor / Getty Images)

The director for The Princess, a HBO documentary about the late Princess Diana, has explained why he wanted to explore her story.

As many royal fans tune into the new Princess Diana documentary, and this is how to watch it, which shows archived footage of the late princess, the director and producer of the show have revealed why they made it.

Talking to Hello magazine they revealed that they wanted to explore in the documentary, where Princess Diana reflects on 'pretty amazing' Prince Charles in archived footage, why we "dissected everything she did" and our "relationship with the monarchy." 

Director of The Princess, Ed Perkins told Hello magazine, "The starting point for me was, 'Can we try to make a film that explores why was it that tens of millions of people cheered her on when she got married? Why was it that we all dissected everything she did, everything she wore, everything she said? And then why after she died, was there this unprecedented outpouring of grief?'"

Ed, also said about the documentary, which is a sombre reminder of why Prince Harry was so concerned about 'history repeating itself' with Meghan Markle, "So while it's a film about Diana, it's also a film about all of us and our relationship with the monarchy and celebrity and our complicity in this story."

Producer Simon Chinn added, "The film tracks the changing attitudes towards the monarchy over that period, precisely through the story of Diana because she was such a lightning rod and because she helped the nation access, its feelings about the monarchy, in a way that no one ever had before."

Princess Diana and Charles

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

In the trailer, which dropped a couple of weeks ago, a shy Princess Diana, looks visibly smitten with her fiancé Charles as he reveals his first impressions of her as a 16-year-old, and she then goes on to compliment him - calling him 'pretty amazing'.

Throughout the documentary, fans will see and hear Diana struggling with various elements of her public life. Beginning with her 1981 engagement to Prince Charles, it shows her so-called fairy-tale courtship, their scandal-wrought marriage, the birth of William and Harry, their bitter divorce, and her untimely death in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

There will be those who look for similarities in the discourse around Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back from the Royal Family amid scrutiny from the media and rumors of family riffs.

Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance journalist - writing about the royals and celebrities for Woman & Home, fitness and beauty for the Evening Standard and how the world of work has changed due to the pandemic for the BBC. 


She also covers a variety of other subjects and loves interviewing leaders and innovators in the beauty, travel and wellness worlds for numerous UK and overseas publications. 


As a journalist, she has written thousands of profile pieces - interviewing CEOs, real-life case studies and celebrities - interviewing everyone from Emma Bunton to the founder of Headspace.