This Scene in the New Princess Diana Movie Never Happened, Bodyguard Says
The royal's close friend gives his take on Spencer and star Kristen Stewart's performance.
Twilight actor Kristen Stewart is being praised for her performance as Princess Diana in the new movie Spencer, which is in theaters now. The biopic dramatizes a specific moment in the late royal's life—spending Christmas with her husband Prince Charles and his family at Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham Estate in 1991. But while audiences may feel that they understand Diana better after watching the film, someone who was close with her has singled out one scene as being particularly far-fetched. Read on to find out which scene in Spencer Diana's bodyguard claims never would have happened and why.
Sally Hawkins plays a royal dresser in Spencer.
Sally Hawkins, who you may recognize from The Shape of Water, plays a Sandringham staffer—a dresser named Maggie—in Spencer. It's an important role, as Diana says things to Maggie that she wouldn't to any of her royal in-laws. But Maggie isn't based on a real person—or, at least, she isn't based on one real person.
Steven Knight, who wrote the script for Spencer, told Vulture that he interviewed several real Sandringham staff members to find out what a stay like the one depicted in the film would have been like. And while he used what he learned, he created characters who were amalgamations of more than one staffer.
"I have to tread very carefully when talking about specifics because I got the information from people who were there on the understanding that there was no specific identification of anyone," Knight said of the Maggie character.
Diana's bodyguard finds one scene with Maggie unbelievable.
Ken Wharfe (pictured above) was Diana's bodyguard for several years and was with the princess for the 1991 Sandringham holiday. He spoke to People about what he observed during that time and shared that he takes issue particularly with one Spencer scene in which Diana really opens up to Maggie.
"From my experience, Diana never once confided in her dressers," he said.
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But she did prefer spending time with the staff.
However, Wharfe also told People that Diana often sought out the comfort of being with the staff and away from the royal family.
"[She] confined herself to spending time in the kitchen with the chef or with people like me, in the hope that time would while away, and she could get back to London," he added.
Historian Carolyn Harris told Vulture that this may have had to do with certain fears. "Diana did sometimes speak informally with the staff," she explained. "She became increasingly concerned that her movements were being monitored, for instance, so she liked to be surrounded by people she could trust."
Wharfe says some aspects of Spencer are accurate to the Diana he knew.
The movie depicts the 1991 winter holiday as a real turning point for the Princess. She and Prince Charles would separate in 1992 and divorce four years later.
"It was purgatory for her," Wharfe told People about the Sandringham visit.
The bodyguard also had kind words for Stewart, whose performance impressed him.
"Out of all the people who have played Diana over the past 10 years, she's the closest to her," Wharfe said. "She managed to perfect her mannerisms."