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Top Actresses Who Played Princess Diana in the Movies

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In movies, TV and theatre, certain influential public figures have been portrayed by actors numerous times. When a person leads a life of great import, changed history, or, at times, downright inscrutable, such is what tends to happen.

Checking all those boxes is Princess Diana, who would have been 59 today. For only 36 years she lived, yet she’s been portrayed by more than a dozen people. Here are the actresses who took on the formidable role:

Serena Scott Thomas

From Andrew Morton’s biography of the same name, which utilized tapes the princess made talking about the high and low points of her life as a royal, the 1993 NBC movie Diana: Her True Story was adapted. Charles was played by David Threlfall.

Julie Cox

The made-for-TV movie Princess in Love, co-starring Christopher Bowen as the Prince of Wales, came a few months before Diana and Charles’ divorce was finalized in August 1996. The CBS movie was adapted on Anna Pasternak’s 1994 book of the same name, which claimed to be the authority on Diana’s affair with Capt. James Hewitt (which was revealed first in the 1992 biography of Andrew Morton, and which she confessed to during her 1995 Panorama interview).

Genevieve O’Reilly

Promoted as a documentary-style (with artistic license), the 2007 TLC movie Diana: Last Days of a Princess featured the account of Diana’s final days leading up to her death in a car crash in 1997, incorporating real interviews and news footage with scripted dramatic scenes.

Mohamed Al-Fayed, Dodi’s billionaire father, demanded an additional inquest. The said inquest was still on-going and wouldn’t end until 2008, with the finding that they’re killed unlawfully because of “gross negligence” perpetrated by their driver, who was also killed in the crash, and the paparazzi who as soon as they left the Hôtel Ritz in Paris, gave chase to their car.

Naomi Watts

The 2013 film Diana focused on her succeeding association with Dodi Fayed. This wasn’t as serious to Diana as the engagement ring displayed at Harrods as a shrine to the ill-fated pair would have one believe. Along with her subsequent coupling with Fayed, the film also revolved on her complicated relationship with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.

Bonnie Soper

In two Lifetime movies about Prince Harry’s love life, the New Zealander appeared. One was in 2018’s Harry & Meghan: a Royal Romance, which aired just about a week before the royal wedding, and another was in 2019’s Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal, a melo-dramatization of the couple’s first year being married.

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In each movie, different actors played Harry and Meghan Markle, but their Diana was a constant.

Is Kristin Stewart next in line to play Princess Diana? Let’s wait and see.

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