How to Watch “The Princess” Documentary About Princess Diana's Life and Legacy

·3 min read
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

If you love learning about the royal family and its storied past (and present), the past few years have been good to you. There’s The Crown’s decade-by-decade breakdown of Queen Elizabeth II and her descendants, for starters—and while the Netflix series clarified to Entertainment Weekly that “it’s a work of fiction that's broadly based on historical events,” it manages to capture said events in harrowing (Emmy-winning) detail.

Or perhaps you enjoyed the moody, surrealist approach employed on Spencer, Pablo Larraín’s “fable” of a biopic that documented a pivotal weekend in Princess Diana’s life and marriage to Prince Charles.

Of course, for many viewers, there’s nothing quite like a royal documentary exploring historic events from a fresh point of view—and if that’s you, there’s a new Princess Diana documentary waiting for you to stream: HBO’s The Princess is premiering this weekend, arriving just days before the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death.

Here’s everything you need to know about the documentary, which had its premiere at Sundance Film Festival in January—described by Variety at the time as “perfectly timed” and “compulsively watchable.”

What Is The Princess Documentary About?

One key difference between The Princess and other documentaries about the late royal? It’s told “solely from contemporaneous archival audio and video footage,” according to the network’s official synopsis—which means you’ll be watching news coverage of Princess Diana as if it were happening in real time, right in front of you. For those who weren’t keeping up with the royals back in the ’80s and ’90s (or perhaps weren’t born yet), it’s a chance to better understand “the overwhelming adoration [and] intense scrutiny of Diana’s every move and the constant judgment of her character,” HBO adds.

If you’ve already seen a Princess Diana documentary (or two, or three), filmmaker Ed Perkins wants you to know that this one will be a little different. “I’m very aware that it’s been told many, many times before,” he explained at Sundance in January, “but I hope that with our approach, we can not only…tell the story of Diana, but hopefully point the camera back at all of us to ask some bigger questions about ourselves, about our relationship to monarchy and our relationship to celebrities.”

How Can You Watch & Stream The Princess?

The Princess premieres August 13 at 8 p.m. ET on HBO—but if you miss the live premiere, you can also stream it on HBO Max, Deadline confirms. Non-HBO Max originals (think Succession or Euphoria) appear on the streaming app simultaneously with their cable premiere—that means you can stream The Princess as soon as you’d like after its debut.

Is There A Princess Documentary Trailer?

Yes! For a glimpse of what to expect from The Princess, there is a trailer for the new documentary.

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