Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer speaks out about refusing The Crown’s request

Princess Diana’s brother was asked about filming at their family home

Diana, Princess Of Wales, Sitting On The Steps Outside Her Country Home, Highgrove. The Princess Is Casually Dressed In Pink Gingham Trousers With A Matching Pink Jumper
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Earl Spencer, the younger brother of the late Princess Diana was approached by Netflix producers in the run-up to filming The Crown season 4. 

This latest season delves into the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales, with Emma Corrin joining the cast to play Princess Diana.

But whilst viewers continue to debate the show’s historical accuracy, it seems that with season 4 The Crown team sought to add to the realism.

But what exactly did they want from Princess Diana’s brother?

What request did Netflix make of Princess Diana’s brother?

Now Charles, Earl Spencer has revealed that the acclaimed show’s producers asked for permission to film at his family’s ancestral home. The magnificent Althorp House in Northamptonshire has been in the Spencer family for generations. It is also where Charles and Diana Spencer grew up. 

Appearing on ITV’s Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh, Charles was asked about his feelings regarding the hit show. When questioned about whether there is any “unease” on his part when watching, he confirmed there was.

“There is a bit,” the Earl replied, adding, “actually, The Crown asked whether they could film at Althorp”.

The Earl quickly brushed off the suggestion, stating: “I said obviously not.”

Why did Princess Diana’s brother refuse The Crown’s request?

Explaining his reasoning behind his refusal, the Earl spoke of his concern that viewers too easily take the events shown in The Crown as fact.

“The worry for me is that people see a programme like that and they forget that it is fiction,” he said. Charles then added: “I find Americans tell me they have watched The Crown as if they have taken a history lesson. Well, they haven’t."

How accurate is The Crown?

The matter of accuracy is something host Alan Titchmarsh was also keen to touch on. When asked exactly how truthful The Crown is, the Earl replied: “It is very hard, there is a lot of conjecture and a lot of invention, isn’t there?”

He added, “You can hang it on fact but the bits in between are not fact."

And when it comes to The Crown Season 4’s portrayal of his late sister, the Earl is very protective. "I feel it is my duty to stand up for her when I can," he said.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana in Season 4 of The Crown

(Image credit: Des Willie/ Netflix)

Earl Spencer then spoke of how Princess Diana left him as guardian of his nephews, Prince William and Prince Harry. He stated that he feels “there was a trust passed on.”

He went on to talk of how “if you grow up with somebody they are still that person, it doesn’t matter what happens to them later.”

Ultimately, Earl Spencer confirmed: “I feel very passionately that I have a role to honour her memory."

So The Crown may not be the most accurate, but it’s nonetheless got us hooked. True or not, we can see the drama unfold in The Crown Season 4 on Netflix.

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!