Princess Diana's Brother Speaks Out About The Crown: 'A Lot of Conjecture and Invention'

Charles Spencer worries that viewers of The Crown will "forget that it is fiction"

charles spencer, princess diana
Charles Spencer and Princess Diana. Photo: Amanda Edwards/WireImage; Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty

Princess Diana's brother worries that viewers of The Crown will "forget that it is fiction."

Netflix's royal drama introduces Princess Diana in their newly debuted fourth season, but Charles Spencer said on Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh, airing this Sunday, that the show features "a lot of conjecture and a lot of invention."

"You can hang it on fact, but the bits in between are not fact," said the 9th Earl Spencer, a historian and author whose latest book, The White Ship, chronicles one of England's greatest disasters.

Asked by Titchmarsh if there is an unease on his part watching it, Diana's younger brother said: "There is a bit. Actually, The Crown asked if they could film at Althorp [the Spencer family's ancestral home], and I said obviously not. The worry for me is that people see a program like that and they forget that it is fiction. They assume, especially foreigners, I find Americans tell me they have watched The Crown as if they have taken a history lesson. Well, they haven't."

Spencer said he feels "very passionately" that he has an obligation to "honor her memory."

"I feel it is my duty to stand up for her when I can," he said about correcting inaccuracies about her life. "She left me, for instance, as guardian of her sons, so I feel there was a trust passed on. And we grew up together. If you grow up with somebody they are still that person — it doesn’t matter what happens to them later."

Emma Corrin; Princess Diana
Emma Corrin; Princess Diana. Des Willie/Netflix; Reginald Davis/Shutterstock

The cast and creator of The Crown have reiterated that the show imagines happenings within the royal family — with Emma Corrin, who portrays Diana, saying she understands the criticism.

"I understand why people would be upset because this is history. And even with Diana, it's still very much fresh, everything that happens," Corrin, 24, said on the Tamron Hall Show. "So I do really understand if people would be upset."

Spencer recently accused the BBC of sending him a "piecemeal apology" for the use of fake documents that were utilized to help secure Princess Diana's famous BBC interview on Panorama with Martin Bashir 25 years ago.

“[The BBC] have yet to apologize for what truly matters here: the incredibly serious falsification of bank statements suggesting that Diana’s closest confidantes were spying on her for her enemies," Spencer told PEOPLE.

"This was what led me to talk to Diana about such things. This in turn led to the meeting where I introduced Diana to Bashir, on 19 September 1995. This then led to the interview," he continued. "The BBC have so far refused to acknowledge the above. They claim Diana wasn’t misled. They have ignored my inquiry as to whether the apology over their false bank statements extends to the ones that actually persuaded Diana to meet Bashir."

Diana in the Panorama interview
Princess Diana during her Panorama interview. Getty Images

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Earlier this week, the BBC announced that the company hired former British Supreme Court Judge John Dyson, Lord Dyson to lead an independent investigation.

Prince William tentatively welcomed the investigation into his mother's interview, saying: "The independent investigation is a step in the right direction. It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time.”

On Friday, Spencer tweeted that he is dissatisfied with the investigation's parameters.

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