PRINCESS Diana has a splashing time with her two young sons in these exclusive shots from the fourth season of Netflix series The Crown.
The joyous scenes see Diana (Emma Corrin) playing with Princes William and Harry (Lucas Barber Grant, nine, and Arran Tinker, six), recreating real images of them larking around in the Eighties.
They are in sharp contrast to the dark drama as the series, which returns on Sunday, delves into her traumatic marriage to Prince Charles and resultant bulimia.
In the original photos, taken at their Gloucestershire family home, Highgrove, Charles is also in the pool, but in The Crown, actor Josh O’Connor, 30, who plays him, watches from the sidelines.
Emma, 24, said: “There were quite a few intense scenes between myself and Josh throughout this season, so to be able to portray Diana as a mother, and the family in happy times, was wonderful.
“It was so much fun filming the scenes with our brilliant William and Harry.
“We see on the Australian tour how dedicated Diana is as a mother when she refuses to leave baby William behind.”
On the couple’s first official tour together to Australia and New Zealand in 1983, she was a shrinking violet.
But by her second visit there in 1988, she’d blossomed into a superstar and revelled in moments such as presenting awards to lifeguards in Sydney.
Joy in with tears
By Ingrid Seward
ONE of the first things I noticed about Diana was her mischievous giggle.
It was something the Prince of Wales had spotted too, as he told a reporter who had cheekily asked what he first liked about Lady Diana.
“Her laughter and her natural sense of style,” he replied at once.
Diana was many things to many people.
Headstrong and impulsive. Compassionate and practical. Happy and sad. Beautiful and glamorous and funny.
She was certainly not an intellectual, but she was very quick witted, with a sense of fun.
Diana developed from a gauche kindergarten teacher to a stylish princess beloved for her fight against adversity.
She took her work seriously because it was important to her, but she had the courage never to take herself too seriously, despite her insecurity.
The princess was exuberant about everything she did, and that extended to her friendships.
She didn’t so much walk into a room as explode, scattering smiles and jokes and good humour in a way that embraced everyone.
When she saw someone she knew, her face would light up, her arms would fly out in welcome and more often than not she would wrap them in a warm hug, while her new acquaintances were made to feel like old friends.
Diana was refreshingly open and interested in everybody and everything around her. She loved to hear the detail and minutiae of people’s lives.
Diana used her fame and celebrity to bring her causes to the attention of the world in an entirely different way. Helping others was her calling in life right until the end.
I am delighted that The Crown shows both sides of Diana. Not only her unhappy times, or her trouble with her in-laws, but the happiness she derived from her boys, as she called them.
She admitted they were her life when it became obvious Prince Charles could never be.
But she never stopped loving him and intertwined with their sadness and disappointment in their marriage, were some very happy times together.
- Ingrid Seward is editor in chief of Majesty magazine and author of Prince Philip Revealed (Simon & Schuster) £20.
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