HBO's Princess Diana documentary gets an August release date

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Diana, Princess Of Wales
Diana, Princess Of Wales

Cue the Kristen-Stewart-stumbling-through-the-hallway-in-Spencer GIF: a new Princess Diana documentary directed by Academy Award-winner Ed Perkins is coming to HBO next month. The documentary will air on August 13—the 25th anniversary of Diana’s untimely death.

Titled The Princess, the documentary saw its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in January. The film relies on archival audio and video footage from Diana’s endlessly-publicized life to tell the story of her turbulent marriage to (and subsequent divorce from) Prince Charles, the births of Princes William and Harry, and her death in a Paris tunnel at 36 years old. Per a press release, The Princess’ plot will unfold as if occurring in the present, “allowing viewers to experience the overwhelming adoration, but also intense scrutiny of Diana’s every move and the constant judgment of her character.”

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This is far from the first time Diana’s life has been eulogized onscreen; in fact, the young princess’ life is some of the most-tread territory in cinema. However, Diana’s story has grown hallowed for good reason: not only does her tragic life and death reflect the disturbing violations inherent in tabloid journalism it exists at the crossroads between the royal family of the past and the royal family of the future.

What made Diana the People’s Princess were her honest and heartfelt interactions with the public: grasping the hands of individuals with AIDS when many doctors still refused to do so, speaking candidly about depression and anxiety in an unforgettable television interview, and spending her final years unabashedly living her best divorcee life regardless of the paparazzi’s mounting lechery. Hopefully, Perkins’ use of archival footage will honor Diana’s life and work without relying on the public’s voyeuristic perception of her nearly two decades after her death.