Home The Princess

The Princess (12A)

Genre: Documentary
Author(s): Ed Perkins
Director: Ed Perkins
Release Date: 30/06/2022 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 108mins
Country: UK/Ger
Year: 2022

Twenty-five years after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, this documentary reflects on the life of the "people's princess" over the period between her 1981 engagement to Charles, Prince of Wales and her televised funeral. A mosaic of archive footage, interviews and home videos relives these tumultuous 16 years including excerpts from her controversial 1995 interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC series Panorama.


LondonNet Film Review

The Princess (12A) Film Review from LondonNet

Twenty-five years after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, director Ed Perkins reflects on the life of the “people’s princess” in a feature-length documentary, which spans the period between her 1981 engagement to Charles, Prince of Wales and her televised funeral. A mosaic of archive footage, interviews and home videos relives the tumultuous 16 years in chronological order. The Princess opens with footage from outside The Ritz in Paris, where paparazzi have gathered to compete for valuable images of Diana and Dodi Fayed together…

Blurred images of impending tragedy cut to a fresh-faced Diana emerging from her flat in South Kensington to polite yet persistent questions from female reporters about when an engagement to Prince Charles might be announced. She meets these intrusions with nervous smiles, a far cry from polished performances in front of cameras in later years, including excerpts from a controversial 1995 BBC Panorama interview with Martin Bashir in which she famously remarks: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

Before the acrimony is splashed across the front pages of the tabloids, Perkins juxtaposes scenes of social unrest with the jubilation of the 1981 royal wedding, accompanied by words from the sermon of Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, who describes the union as “the stuff of which fairy tales are made”. His hopeful prediction, that Charles and Diana will live “happily ever after”, elicits a very different emotional response with the benefit of hindsight.

Composer Martin Phipps noticeably introduces discordant notes to accompany a first glimpse of Camilla Parker Bowles at a polo match to identify her as the villain in this modern-day fairy tale. Pointedly, footage of Charles and Camilla riding together during hunting season culminates in deeply distressing footage of a hare being mauled by the hounds. The visual metaphor is clear.

The media frenzy that surrounded Diana is a recurring theme and the young princes are shown running a gauntlet of prying lenses during one holiday. This fractious relationship between Diana and the press is illustrated with tense exchanges on ski slopes and candid audio from one photographer complaining that the princess courts publicity one day and shuns it the next.

The Princess is a fascinating time capsule that reminds us of the enduring fascination of the royal family and our own culpability in the voracious media circus that swallowed them whole during the 1980s and 1990s. It is impeccably edited but ultimately traipses over the same ground as countless other films about one of the most famous women on the planet, viewed adoringly from a distance rather than behind closed doors.

– Sarah Lee


Popular on LondonNet


London Cinemas Showing The Princess


From: Friday 24th June
To: Thursday 30th June

Peckhamplex

Thu 20:30

Picturehouse Central

Thu 15:55 20:40

From: Friday 1st July
To: Thursday 7th July

ArtHouse Crouch End

Fri/Tue/Thu 13:00 (Fri/Thu) 18:15; Sat/Mon 13:00 15:45; Sun 12:00 20:15; Wed 12:00 17:30

Barbican Centre

Fri/Mon/Wed 17:50

Barbican Cinemas 2 & 3

Sat 13:45 18:20; Sun 17:50

Cine Lumiere

Fri/Wed 18:20; Sat 15:50 18:10; Sun 17:20; Mon 18:15; Thu 20:30

Curzon Bloomsbury

Fri/Mon/Tue 13:30 18:20 (Mon); Sat 15:40; Sun 20:20; Wed 20:45; Thu 15:45

Peckhamplex

Sat/Sun 15:45

Riverside Studios

Fri 17:35; Sat 18:10; Sun 20:50; Mon 17:00; Tue 20:30; Wed/Thu 17:40

The Chiswick Cinema

Fri 13:45; Sat 19:00; Sun 17:50; Mon 11:40 12:50; Tue 11:45 15:50; Wed 12:25; Thu 13:25

UK and Irish Cinemas Showing The Princess


From: Friday 1st July
To: Thursday 7th July

Bromley Picturehouse

Fri 12:15 17:30; Sat 11:30 17:15; Sun 10:30 16:15; Mon 12:15 17:15; Tue 11:00 18:15; Wed 10:30 20:30; Thu 10:30 15:00

Watermans

Fri 14:00; Sun/Wed 14:30; Mon 19:30; Thu 16:00