The author acted as a consultant on season 5 of the royal family drama.
Morton wrote Diana: Her True Story in collaboration with the Princess. Published in July 1992, the book revealed Diana’s unhappiness with her marriage to the unfaithful Prince Charles, her battle with bulimia, and her feelings of loneliness and depression.
While Morton denied at the time that Diana had helped him write the book, Diana: Her True Story became a publishing sensation, was translated into 29 languages, and reportedly sold five million copies around the world. His work effectively signaled the end of the royal marriage, and in December 1992, Prime Minister John Major announced that the couple had separated. Morton and Diana’s collaboration on the book is detailed in the new season of the hit Netflix series.
The Crown – Production Still Image Season 5, Episode 8 Elizabeth Debicki; BARCELONA, SPAIN – APRIL 23: Writer Andrew Morton poses during Sant Jordi day celebrations on April 23, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. Sant Jordi is a Catalan holiday and is similiar to Valentines day, but during the day roses and books are exchanged between loved ones and collegues. (Photo by Robert Marquardt/Getty Images)
Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in ‘The Crown’; Princess Diana biographer Andrew Morton
| Credit: Netflix; Robert Marquardt/Getty
To write Diana: Her True Story, Morton sent questions to the princess via her friend Dr. James Colthurst. Diana then recorded answers to the author’s queries.
Speaking on GMA, Morton said he was unaware of Diana’s desperate state of mind when he began the project. “What I didn’t realize at the time was her sense of isolation, her sense of despair inside the royal system,” he said.
In October 1997, just months after the princess’ death in a Paris car crash, Morton published a new edition of the book titled Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words. This time, the author made clear that Diana had been the principal source for the original book and included edited transcripts of her recorded responses to his questions.
Morton acted as a consultant on season 5 of The Crown and is played on the series by Andrew Steele (Outlander).
“The scriptwriters had asked me all kinds of questions like, what was the color of the wallpaper in my daughter’s bedroom, because that’s where I had an office for a time,” he said on GMA.
Morton had previously praised Emma Corrin’s portrayal of Diana on season 4 of The Crown, which he described to Vanity Fair as the most realistic he had seen to date.
“I found the buildup to the wedding very affecting, as there was a slowly unfolding realization on both sides that they were heading toward an unwanted and unhappy outcome, namely the royal wedding,” Morton said. “It reminded me of what a close friend of Diana’s said about the whole wretched mess when I was researching Diana: Her True Story: ‘I am sorry for the tragedy of it all. My heart bleeds for the whole misunderstanding, but it bleeds most for Diana.'”
Season 5 of The Crown is streaming now on Netflix.