Ed Perkins’ doc takes us back four decades when the stuff of fairy tales became real, and the Prince of Wales wed the young and beautiful Diana Spencer. It seemed like an ideal match but was built on the shakiest of foundations- an arranged marriage based more on suitability than true love. Another problem: the stunning Diana’s magnetism quickly overshadowed the rather dull future King of England. Even with the birth of their two sons, the union could not hold, and the couple finally divorced in 1996. It would end tragically the following year, when Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris.
We think we know the whole story, but director Perkins skillfully employs archival footage to make us better understand the factors and conditions that doomed this most closely examined of marriages. This blunt, clear-eyed examination makes no one look terribly noble. Was Diana herself just an innocent victim? Perkins suggests a more nuanced scenario, noting that even under continual harassment by the paparazzi, Diana still sought to maintain her highly public profile. Don’t miss this riveting, revealing film about a dark juncture in the British monarchy, and a charismatic, troubled figure we lost too soon.