Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning and most popular monarch in British history, generally excelled at knowing exactly what her people wanted from her. But the first days of September 1997 brought a notable exception, when her lack of a response to Princess Diana’s sudden death in a car crash sparked intense backlash from the grieving British public.
This controversy is all familiar territory for The Crown creator Peter Morgan, whose Oscar-winning 2006 movie The Queen chronicles the week following Diana’s death from the perspective of Queen Elizabeth (played by Helen Mirren). Episode 4 of The Crown’s sixth season, titled “Aftermath,” focuses on the Queen and royal family’s uncharacteristic failure to read the public mood, and how they were ultimately forced to relent in the face of overwhelming anger.
How long did The Queen take to respond to Diana’s death?
Did the royal family not want Diana to have a public funeral?
Did Tony Blair really coin the phrase “the people’s Princess”?
Did Philip really tell the boys he’d walk with the casket if they did?
Did the Queen really bow at Diana’s casket?