Princess Diana's brother rejects The Crown's request to film at family estate – and won't even watch Netflix show

EARL Spencer has rejected The Crown's request to film at his family home of Althorp.

The forthcoming fifth series of the royal Netflix drama stars Elizabeth Debicki as his late sister, Diana, Princess of Wales, and will reportedly dramatise her headline-making 1995 Panorama interview with Martin Bashir as well as other key events in her later life.


Earlier this year, a report by Lord Dyson concluded the BBC covered up "deceitful behaviour" used by Bashir to secure the bombshell interview and led to a call from the Duke of Cambridge for it never to be aired again.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast at his family estate in West Northamptonshire, Earl Spencer said he had declined when producers of The Crown asked to film on the site.

He said: "They applied. They wanted to shoot here. But I don't really do that stuff.

"Actually, to be honest, I don't watch The Crown so I just said: 'Thank you but no thank you.'"

In May, Lord Dyson's report into Diana's Panorama interview concluded Bashir was in "serious breach" of the BBC's producer guidelines when he faked bank statements and showed them to Earl Spencer to gain access to the princess for the interview.

Earl Spencer said there remains "a long way to go" with the investigation into the events surrounding the programme and did not rule out legal action.

He said: "Lord Dyson did a very good job. His brief was tiny. It was to look at a very specific area and there is still so much more to look at in the broader terms of who was responsible for what.

"How did it come to this? Did documents get hidden from view? All sorts of really important stuff which is yet to come out.

"So I see the Lord Dyson report as a very welcome development but there is still a long way to go with this."

He said it is clear to him "there are certain people who were in the BBC who have behaved in a way that is truly abysmal and possibly criminal".

Asked how far he would take his investigation, he said: "That is the question and I have got people looking at that, and we will see.

"I am not saying that as some ugly threat"

"It is not going to end now. I am not saying that as some ugly threat. It just can't stop now as there is still more to come out."

Speaking about a potential private legal case, he added: "Everything is possible at this stage. I just wouldn't want to box myself into a corner here."

The fifth series of The Crown, due to air in November 2022, will see Dominic West star as the Prince of Wales opposite Debicki as Diana.

The Wire star West takes over the role of Charles from Josh O'Connor, while The Night Manager actress Debicki will replace Emma Corrin.

Imelda Staunton will take over the role of the Queen from Olivia Colman, while Jonathan Pryce will replace Tobias Menzies as the Duke of Edinburgh and Lesley Manville will take on Princess Margaret, following in the footsteps of Helena Bonham Carter.

The Crown seasons 1-4 are available on Netflix now.

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