Princess Diana’s bulimia scenes in The Crown slammed as ‘too graphic’ by royal experts

ROYAL experts have slammed Princess Diana’s bulimia scenes in The Crown as being “too graphic”. 

In one distressing scene, actress Emma Corrin, who plays Diana, can be seen putting her fingers down her throat to be sick after an argument with Prince Charles. 

Another sequence shows the character excessively eating desserts, before again forcing herself to be sick in a palace toilet. 

The Crown viewers took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the “heartbreaking” moments. 

One said: “Seeing Diana struggle with bulimia is so sad.”

Another added: “That bulimia scene was so hard to watch.”


Viewers were given an on-screen warning by Netflix at the beginning of the three episodes where her eating disorder was depicted, due to them being so graphic in nature. 

It says: “The following episode includes scenes of an eating disorder which some viewers may find troubling. Viewers discretion is required."

Some royal experts have since weighed in on the portrayal and asked if the show’s creators made them too stark. 

Royal editor Ingrid Seward told the Daily Mail: “It was a significant thing in her young life, so I think it needed to be depicted in some way. 

“It would have been absolutely fine having her bending over the loo, but I don’t think you need quite such detail. I think it perhaps was a bit over embellished.”

Meanwhile, the Queen’s ex-press secretary Dickie Arbiter said Diana’s bulimia couldn’t be ignored. 

However, he added: “The script is fiction, the words are fiction and some of the actions are fiction”.



Princess Diana herself told biographer Andrew Morton in 1991: “The bulimia started the week after we got engaged.

“My husband put his hand on my waistline and said something like, ‘Oh, a bit chubby here, aren’t we?’ And that triggered off something in me.

“I remember the first time I made myself sick, I was so thrilled.”

One viewer wrote on Twitter: “The message of the season was made clear in beautifully written scripts.

“And it certainly was an exceptional season. The episodes surrounding Princess Diana's bulimia were particularly very hard to watch.”

Another added: “Emma Corrin did an honest portrait of Diana's bulimia. As someone who suffered from eating disorder in the past, this acknowledgement means a great deal.”

Actress Emma Corrin said the graphic bulimia scenes were kept in the script at her request. 

She told the Radio Times: “I felt that if we were trying to depict bulimia in an honest way, we had to actually show it – otherwise it’s a disservice to anyone who has been through that.”

The 24-year-old plays the Princess of Wales aged 16 to 28 in the fourth season of the ­Netflix hit, streaming now.

Eating disorder charity Beat advised The Crown’s producers…

Beat is the UK's eating disorder charity helped advise producers on how to portray the mental illness sensitively on-screen. Here's what they had to say…

"We were consulted by Netflix and Left Bank Pictures during the production of The Crown Season 4," Rebecca Willgress, Head of Communications, said.

"We were not involved on set, but advised on how to portray eating disorders sensitively, including signposting to appropriate sources of help and providing trigger warnings where needed.

"Eating disorders are often misunderstood mental illnesses and thrive on secrecy. We believe that accurate and non-glamourising portrayals of eating disorders in the media can be a helpful way to educate the wider public about the reality of them, as well as encourage anyone affected to seek help.

"As with every depiction of eating disorders, caution must be taken and we wouldn’t advise anyone currently unwell to watch this or any other programme which centres around eating disorders.

"If someone unwell does choose to watch it, we strongly advise having a support network or source of help such as Beat to turn to if needed."

A Netflix spokesman said: “The Crown producers worked closely with the eating disorder charity BEAT to ensure that their portrayal of Princess Diana’s bulimia was both accurate to the disorder and sensitively handled.

“When viewers watch the series on Netflix they will see warning cards at the beginning of the episodes giving details of how to seek help if required.”

The fourth series of the royal drama was released on Sunday, and it not only depicts Princess Diana's eating disorder but also shows Prince Charles' affair.

The late Diana is seen growing increasingly lonely and miserable after moving into Buckingham Palace before her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, played by Josh O’Connor, 30.

Bulimia: the warning signs

Bulimia nervosa, often shortened to just bulimia, is a mental health condition and eating disorder which affects an estimated 165,000 Brits.

People who have bulimia often become obsessed with controlling their weight and severely restricting their food intake.

Sufferers are prone to binge-eating and then purging the food from their body by using laxatives or making themselves sick.

Bulimia sufferers tend to obsess over food and eating, with an extremely critical attitude to their weight and size.

Depression, anxiety and isolation are psychological symptoms, but there are also physical warning signs.

After eating, sufferers may spend long periods in the bathroom, and return looking flushed with scarred knuckles – from forcing fingers down their throat.

As with all eating disorders, women are more likely to be affected than men, with women aged between 16 and 40 most likely to develop bulimia.

According to NHS choices, the first step is to recognise that you have a problem and visit your GP to talk about it.

We shared how Nicola McLean said she is bulimic like Princess Diana and is glad it was portrayed.

We also shared how the royal family are ‘furious’ over The Crown ‘lies’ as Prince Harry & Meghan Markle face fresh questions over £75m Netflix deal.

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