The Crown has sparked outrage ahead of the release of its final episodes, after details have emergd about a shocking scene involving Princess Diana.
In its sixth season, the late princess is seen on a yacht with her boyfriend, Dodi Al Fayed, where she describes her ill-fated marriage to Prince Charles as like stepping on a landmine.
Diana was known for her extensive work lobbying for an international treaty banning landmines and her support of victims.
Just three weeks before her death in a car crash in 1997, she visited Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet with affected communities.
In the upcoming Crown episode, Diana – played by Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki – tells Dodi (Khalid Abdalla) about the horrors of the explosives and how they are responsible for thousands of deaths.
“A man called Ken Rutherford drew my attention to it. He started the Landmine Survivors Network. After his jeep hit a landmine in Somalia he lost both of his legs,” Diana explains to her boyfriend on-screen.
“He said to me every survivor has a date of the day they stepped on the landmine. He said, ‘Mine was December 16, 1963’. I said, ‘Mine was 29 July, 1981 — my wedding day’.”
In the scene, Dodi laughs in response.
The inclusion of the presumably fictional quote has been criticised by royal biographer and Majesty magazine editor Ingrid Seward, who had a personal relationship with Diana.
“Diana would never have said anything like that. I think it is an unfortunate comparison,” she told The Sun.
“I think the mere fact that The Crown is depicting Diana’s life and her death is exploiting her memory so they can put into her mouth anything that they want to — however distasteful people might find it.”
Seward went on to emphasise the significance of landmine awareness to the late princess.
“It was very important – it was her big thing and it was a great success too. It is something that she will always be remembered for,” she told the publication.
The Ottawa Treaty banning landmines was signed in December 1997, just three months after her death.
The sixth and final season of The Crown will cover events between 1997 and 2005.
It’s split into two parts: the first, featuring episodes one to four, deals mostly with Diana and her tragic death and will premiere on Thursday, November 16 on Netflix.
The second, episodes five through to 10, premieres on December 14 and will see the show refocus on then-Prince Charles and the late Queen Elizabeth II, including Charles’ wedding to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005.
It also covers Prince William and Prince Harry as they struggle to deal with the death of their mother, the burden of royal responsibilities, and life in the public eye as teenagers.