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A historical photo of princess diana walking with her friend jemima khan. khan is carring a young child in her arms

A contributor on Netflix’s hit series The Crown has asked that her input into the series be removed over a disagreement about the portrayal of Princess Diana.

Jemima Khan, a friend of the late Princess of Wales, agreed to assist in finessing the storyline for the fifth season of the award-winning drama back in 2019.

But a year out from the expected release of season five, she’s stepped back and declined credit for the writing of the show.

Here’s what we know about how the situation unfolded.

Who is Jemima Khan and how is she linked to Diana?

Jemima Khan (nee Goldsmith) was formerly a journalist, and married Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan in 1995.

She’s also a screenwriter and producer, and founded content company Instinct Productions.

princess diana in a car with two other women. they are smiling and it looks like theyre chatting. photo taken through window

princess diana in a car with two other women. they are smiling and it looks like theyre chatting. photo taken through window
Diana and Jemima spent time together in Pakistan throughout the 1990s. (Reuters: Russell Boyce)

Jemima and Diana, Princess of Wales were friends, and a former partner of Diana’s, surgeon Hasnat Khan, is a cousin of her ex-husband, Imran (who became the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2018).

Diana travelled to Pakistan multiple times throughout the 1990s to spend time with the Khans.

How did Khan get involved with The Crown and why is she leaving?

Khan said in a statement to the Sunday Times that she was approached by writer Peter Morgan in 2019, and asked to co-write the fifth season of the hugely popular drama.

“We worked together on the outline and scripts from September 2020 until February 2021,” her statement read.

However, a spokesperson for The Crown told UK media that Khan was never actually contracted as a writer on the series.

“She has been part of a wide network of well-informed and varied sources who have provided extensive background information to our writers and research team,” the spokesperson said.

Jemima in a black dress and hat is with her then husband, Imran, who is wearing a black suit. He has his hand over his mouth.

Jemima in a black dress and hat is with her then husband, Imran, who is wearing a black suit. He has his hand over his mouth.
Jemima and Imran Khan travelled to the UK together to attend Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. (Reuters)

Khan revealed that she has stepped away from the show because of the way Diana’s storyline was handled.

“When our co-writing agreement was not honoured, and when I realised that particular storyline would not necessarily be told as respectfully or compassionately as I had hoped, I requested that all my contributions be removed from the series and I declined a credit,” she said in a statement.

It’s unclear if Khan is referring to a particular event within the show or if she’s unhappy with Diana’s portrayal throughout the season.

What do we know about The Crown season five?

We know it’s expected to focus on the royal family — particularly the relationship between Prince Charles and Diana — through the 1990s, up until her death in 1997.

Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki stars as Princess Diana, with Dominic West to play Prince Charles.

An official release date hasn’t been confirmed yet, but actress Imelda Staunton, who will play Queen Elizabeth II, confirmed in a preview video that season five is expected to hit screens in November 2022.

“I’m delighted to be here, inheriting the role of Queen Elizabeth from two outstanding actresses, most recently the wonderful Olivia Coleman, and who could forget the actress who originated the part, Claire Foy,” she said.

“I will do my utmost to maintain the very high standard they set.”

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