As Kristen Stewart is cast as Princess Diana, look back at who else has played her over the years
From Broadway stars to Naomi Watts's panned 2013 movie, who has played the People's Princess on screen?
Kristen Stewart will play Princess Diana in an upcoming biopic.
It is thought that the movie will be about the breakdown of Princess Diana's marriage to Prince Charles, according to Hollywood trade publication Deadline.
The film, which will be independently made and directed by Chilean Pablo Larrain, is expected to start shooting in 2021. No one has been announced for the role of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, yet.
The movie, titled Spencer, after Diana's maiden name, will take place over three days in the early 1990s when Diana made the bombshell decision to part ways with Charles and remove herself from becoming queen.
"When someone decides not to be the queen, and says, I’d rather go and be myself, it’s a big big decision, a fairy tale upside down," Larrain told Deadline.
"How and why do you decide to do that? It’s a great universal story that can reach millions and millions of people, and that’s what we want to do. We want to make a movie that goes wide, connects with a worldwide audience that is interested in such a fascinating life."
Who has played Princess Diana in the past?
This is not the first time that the late Princess of Wales's life has been depicted on screen.
Emma Corrin in 'The Crown' (2020)
A relative unknown, British actress Emma Corrin has previously starred in Pennyworth as Esme Winikus.
She was announced to be taking on the role of a young Princess Diana in the fourth season of the Netflix hit series The Crown. Corrin will portray the late royal as Lady Diana Spencer, before marrying Prince Charles.
"[I'm] beyond excited and honoured to be joining The Crown for its fourth season. I have been glued to the show since the first episode and to think I’m now joining this incredibly talented acting family is just surreal," Corrin said of being cast in the role.
"Princess Diana was an icon, and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To be given the chance to explore her through Peter Morgan’s writing is the most exceptional opportunity, and I will strive to do her justice!"
Series four of The Crown in expected to be released in November 2020.
Naomi Watts in 'Diana' (2013)
The Australian actress took on the role Princess Diana in the 2013 biopic, Diana, a film that was panned by critics. However, Watts's similarity to the People's Princess is undeniable. The film hones in on her life post-Prince Charles, and her love affairs with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews) and Egyptian film producer, Dodi Fayed.
“I got seduced by the fantastic character,” Watts said in 2014, looking back at the role. “Diana did a lot of things that had positive and negative results. She was multifaceted. [...] But ultimately there were problems [with the film] and it ended up taking a direction that was not the one I was hoping for.”
Genevieve O’Reilly in 'Diana: Last Days Of A Princess' (2007)
Irish actress Genevieve O'Reilly is best known for her role as Mon Mothma in the Star Wars franchise. However, in 2007, she took the starring role in Diana: Last Days of a Princess, TLC's dramatised documentary that reenacted interviews and the days leading up to Diana's 1997 death.
Laurence Burg in 'The Queen' (2006)
The 2006 movie The Queen follows the British royal family, specifically Queen Elizabeth, in the days following Princess Diana's death. The majority of the footage featuring Princess Diana is from real news archives, however French actress, and part-time Diana lookalike, Laurence Burg, stepped in where needed.
Amy Seccombe in 'Diana: A Tribute To The People’s Princess' (1998)
An early tribute to Princess Diana, this movie – available to watch in its entirety on YouTube – was released just a year after her death, and focused on Diana's love affair with Dodi Fayed, and the rumours she was going to accept his marriage proposal.
Jeanna de Waal in 'Diana: A True Musical Story' (2020)
OK, so this isn't technically on screen, Diana: A True Musical Story is a broadway take on her life.
She is played by musical actress Jeanna de Waal, who said of the role: "To bring Diana to life onstage is obviously a huge privilege.
"I feel very daunted by the prospect, but I hope people who didn't know about her and weren't aware of her journey, leave the theatre with an idea of what she did for the world. She made everyone feel special, from the highest person to the lowest-ranking person, and I think we want to celebrate her."
The show has been given mixed reviews. Of it's preview run, the LA Times was damning in its verdict of the show, saying it was “no more British than The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” The Times’s critic Charles McNulty added that the show is "as American as Applebee's [and] has a generic quality that for all its efficient smoothness seems culturally misplaced."
Updated: June 18, 2020 03:01 PM