Princess Diana drama “Spencer” in theaters Nov. 5

By LISA KLEIN

The lives of Britain’s royal family are constantly documented, scrutinized and gossiped about, perhaps none more intensely that that of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Spencer, in U.K. and U.S. theaters starting Friday, Nov. 5, explores Diana’s deteriorating relationship with Prince Charles, played by Kristen Stewart and Jack Farthing, respectively, during a few winter days in 1991.

Taking place over the royals’ Christmas celebration at the queen’s Sandringham Estate, the film depicts what may have happened while rumors swirled about the prince’s infidelity and Diana’s discontent intensified, as imagined by writer Steven Knight and director Pablo Larraín.

One reviewer called the film a “decadent fairy tale inspired by the public’s ongoing fascination with a woman who never had much time in life to enjoy her days outside of her gilded cage.”

Ms. Stewart’s portrayal of Diana has received praise from critics worldwide since the film debuted at the Venice International Film Festival in September to a lengthy five-minute standing ovation.

“I felt I wanted to protect her,” Ms. Stewart told BBC News. “I had to just not focus on other people’s idea of her, and really focus on my own. I read everything; I wanted every photo … watched all the interviews that I could get my hands on.”

Throughout the year ending in Spencer’s fictional breakdown, author Andrew Morton was learning the truth behind the royal façade while working on his biography of Diana.

Diana herself was creating secret tapes for him, not only telling her life story but revealing her husband’s affair and her deep unhappiness as a member of the royal family.

When it was released in 1992 the book caused an outright uproar, although Diana’s involvement was not known until after her death in 1997.

For more on Andrew Morton and Diana, Princess of Wales, read LPI’s profile of the biographer in the latest issue of Luxury Portfolio magazine.

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