The People’s Princess is back in the public eye.
Late Princess Diana is at the center of the archival footage documentary “The Princess,” which captures the fandom and media obsession with the royal family in the 1990s. Sans talking heads or narration, “The Princess” relies solely on “turning the camera back on ourselves,” the public who adored — and later mourned — Diana Spencer.
Academy Award-nominated director Ed Perkins helms the documentary, with Oscar-winning “Searching for Sugar Man” producer Simon Chinn serving as producer. The feature documentary debuted at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, making its way to the London arm of the film festival on June 11 before a nationwide theatrical release starting June 30.
“The Princess” charts the public moments of Diana and Prince Charles’ love story and subsequent divorce through news reports, personal videos, and paparazzi footage. Editors Jinx Godfrey and Daniel Lapira couple the videos with nameless voiceovers from fans framing the doc.
“I’m very aware that this story has been told very widely before. I think it’s fair to say this is one of the most widely-told stories across the storytelling genres ever,” Perkins exclusively told IndieWire. “I felt very strongly that the perspective that hadn’t really been explored before wasn’t necessarily trying to get inside Diana’s head. I wanted to try to do something different. The question that really interested me was, what does this story tell us about ourselves? What is our relationship to not just monarch but celebrity? What was our role and perhaps our complicity in this tragic tale?”
Perkins added, “We are trying to allow space in the film for audiences to bring their own hindsights into the story. We really tried with this story to not include the moments that everyone has already seen many, many times over the years.”
Rather, the focus of the “Shakespearian tragedy” is on the paparazzi, the constant commentary, and media blur surrounding Diana, even after her death allegedly in an attempt to get away from a reporter.
“Everyone has an equal stake in talking about Diana, everyone’s voice counts, everyone can say whatever the hell they want,” IndieWire critic Kate Erbland wrote in the review. “Isn’t that the problem? Hasn’t that always been the problem?”
“The Princess” premieres in theaters June 30.
Check out the trailer below.