Princess Diana's brother reveals The Crown asked to film at his family home - and he said no

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 26:  The 9th Earl Spencer Charles Spencer attends the Whole Child International's inaugural gala at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on October 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Paul Archuleta/WireImage)
The 9th Earl Spencer Charles Spencer who is the brother of the late Princess Diana. (Paul Archuleta/WireImage)

The brother of the late Princess Diana has revealed Netflix asked to use his family home, where she grew up, to film The Crown.

Charles Spencer, who is the current Earl Spencer, said he told the team “obviously not” when they asked to use Althorp House for the latest season of the drama.

Earl Spencer made the revelation as he spoke to Alan Titchmarsh on his Sunday morning ITV show.

Season four of The Crown covers the relationship of Prince Charles and Diana, who was Lady Diana Spencer when they met, including their wedding and how their marriage started to break down.

Asked about whether he felt an unease on his part watching the show he said: “There is a bit. Actually, The Crown asked if they could film at Althorp and I said obviously not.

“The worry for me is that people see a programme 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.”

Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh, Alan sits down with Earl Spencer (ITV)
Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh, Alan sits down with Earl Spencer (ITV)

Read more: The Crown: All the answers to every question you'll ask while watching season four

As they discussed the accuracy of the show, he said: “It is very hard, there is a lot of conjecture and a lot of invention, isn’t there? You can hang it on fact but the bits in between are not fact.”

The latest season has had mixed reviews from royal commentators, with some suggesting the Royal Family would be right to be upset about it.

Season four happened to be released on Netflix as other documentaries were released to mark 25 years since Diana gave her interview to Panorama, in which she said “there were three people in this marriage”.

Earl Spencer has pushed for a new investigation into how the BBC interview came about, specifically on the role of mocked up bank statements given to him by Martin Bashir, who conducted the interview.

He says the statements led him to introduce Bashir to his sister, but the BBC claims Diana told them they had nothing to do with her decision to give the interview.

Watch: Diana’s friend praises William for standing up for his mum

Read more: Did Princess Diana really once live in a flat in Earl's Court?

Talking on Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh about continuing to correct some stories about Diana, Earl Spencer said: “I feel it is my duty to stand up for her when I can.

“She left me for instance as guardian of her sons etc, so I feel there was a trust passed on. And we grew up together, you know if you grow up with somebody they are still that person, it doesn’t matter what happens to them later.

“So yeah, I feel very passionately that I have a role to honour her memory.”

But asked about whether he has a role with the two princes now he said: “Oh no, because they are grown up now but I would always have honoured that incredible entrustment.”

Earl Spencer was at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018 and Prince William indicated his support for the new investigation his uncle insisted on in a rare statement.

Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program Panorama. (Photo by © Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Diana's 1995 interview is to be reinvestigated. (Corbis/Getty Images)

Read more: Prince Charles and Princess Diana: What really happened in their relationship?

Kensington Palace released a statement which said: “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.”

Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh is on 22 November at 10am on ITV.

Watch: What was Princess Diana really like?