The fifth season of The Crown shows biographer Andrew Morton secretly collaborating with Princess Diana to tell her story. Since he was a consultant for the season, he verified that the show is rather authentic. But he also said real life was sometimes ”even spookier” than the Netflix hit conveyed.
Princess Diana secretly worked with a biographer to tell her painful story
In 1992, Morton released a book titled Diana: Her True Story using tapes the princess recorded. He worked with her longtime friend, James Colthurst, as an intermediary between them so she could help with the creation. Throughout the process, she detailed her painful private painful life as the wife and mother of future kings.
Notably, Morton consulted with The Crown for the fifth season. But he told Entertainment Tonight the process of acquiring the tapes was much more ”laborious” than the show depicted. He explained, “It wasn’t like that at all, in the sense that there are lots of gaps between interview sessions.”
What really happened, according to Morton, was Colthurst “would go to Kensington Palace with a list of [Morton’s] questions … and he would mic Diana up like this and then she would answer the questions and then they go have lunch.”
“Then it was my job to type it all up and ask follow-ups,” Morton added. “So it was a far more laborious process than the compressed scenes you see in The Crown.”
Royal biographer said keeping secrets with Princess Diana was ’even spookier’ than shown on ’The Crown’
Morton told Vanity Fair the reality of keeping Diana’s secrets felt more dangerous in real life. “Looking back,” he noted, “I think we had every right to be paranoid given what happened with [the leaked royal phone calls] Squidgygate and Camillagate.”
According to Morton, things were occasionally “even spookier” than The Crown captured. “It was a time where you didn’t know if you were being followed, where you didn’t know if you were being watched. Diana was worried about her phones being tapped.”
“It was like the royal version of All the President’s Men,” he added, “where danger lurked in shadows.”
Morton also shared that recollection with ET, noting he “was looking for danger in the shadows.”
“I was looking for people following me,” he shared. “It was like a different world and I remember vividly going back home on the subway and standing well way back from the platform edge because I thought I could be followed and someone was trying to assassinate me.”
He also revealed, “My office was broken into. James was knocked off his bicycle. It was a genuinely unnerving time and when Diana had her room swept for bugs, she was totally justified in doing that.”
Andrew Morton said his famous Princess Diana tapes are in a safe place
When Morton was working with Diana, they went to great lengths to keep her involvement a secret. She even used a codename for him to avoid detection. And he kept her contribution confidential until after she died.
Currently, the tapes they made are in a safe and not accessible to the public, Morton told ET. “They are now a real historic record of her life and her time and that time in her life,” he shared. “And now that the BBC is has decided against ever showing Panorama again, we were left with the tapes and those memories that really illustrate the late Princess of Wales.”
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