Caroline Bliss | Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story | ABC | 1982 |
Known for her role as Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond franchise, British-born Caroline Bliss’ first role was actually a royal one.
That’s right, Bliss stepped into the Hollywood scene through her portrayal of Lady Diana in the 1982 TV movie Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story.
As the name suggests, the film focused on Charles and Diana’s picture-perfect romance – you know, before all the cheating – and depicted their famous 1981 wedding.
Nicola Formby | The Women of Windsor | CBS | 1992 |
Ten years after Bliss wrapped-up her breakout role, actress Nicola Formby accepted her crown as she portrayed Di in the 1992 TV Movie The Women of Windsor.
This adaptation focused on the lives of two princesses who married into the royal family. Princess Diana, of course, who married Charles, and also Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson who married the now disgraced Prince Andrew.
Serena Scott Thomas | Diana: Her True Story | NBC | 1993 |
Diana once gave self-recorded tapes to royal biographer Andrew Morton. The author then used these tapes to write the explosive tell-all book titled Diana: Her True Story.
English-born actress Serena Scott Thomas scooped up the role of Di in the film adaptation of that monumental novel.
And, considering the book was helped written by the princess herself, it’s about as close to an accurate depiction of the royal’s life as we may ever get.
Julie Cox | Princess in Love | CBS | 1996 |
Ahh 1996. The year that Pokemon was launched worldwide, Oprah started her bookclub and, oh yeah, it was the year that Diana and Charles finally called it quits and finalised their divorce.
The movie, Princess in Love, told the story of one of the events leading up to the separation - Diana’s affair with British Army officer James Hewitt.
But this wasn’t a revelation, the affair had already been made public in Diana: Her True Story and in the royal’s famous, and controversial, Panorama interview.
English-born Julie Cox was the actress to play Di this time around.
Amy Seccombe | Diana: A Tribute to The People’s Princess | 1998 |
The first Diana adaptation to hit screens after the princess and her partner Dodi Fayed were involved in a fatal car accident aired a year after her death.
Actress Amy Seccombe was the one to portray Diana in this tribute which focused on the final year of the royal’s life – including her romance with Dodi.
Genevieve O’Reilly | Diana: Last Days of a Princess | TLC | 2007 |
As we hit the 2000s, the Diana obsession only grew as more and more movies featuring the People’s Princess continued to hit our screens.
In 2007, the documentary-style Diana: Last Days of a Princess depicted Diana’s final days and included real footage – with a bit of added drama of course.
Irish-Australian – yes, one of our own – actress Genevieve O’Reilly scored this coveted gig.
Lesley Harcourt | William & Catherine: A Royal Romance | Hallmark | 2011 |
While this Hallmark film centred around the romance between Diana’s son William and his wife Kate Middleton, Princess Diana still made an appearance, albeit brief, in the film.
Played by Scottish actress Lesley Harcourt, her version of Diana hit our screens in 2011, right after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got hitched.
Naomi Watts | Diana | 2013 |
Who could forget the iconic Naomi Watts in the 2013 film Diana?
The British-born, but Australian-at-heart, actress portrayed the princess as she navigated her relationships with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, who has just recently come out and slammed Diana’s 1996 BBC interview, as well Dodi Fayed.
Bonnie Soper | Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance | 2018 | Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal | 2019 |
This Kiwi actress appeared in not one but two royal family flicks as Diana. Though, both centred around the ever-controversial Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Romance.
And while different actors took the crown – so to speak – when it came to portraying the rogue royals – Bonnie Soper kept her role as Diana for both films.
Jeanna de Waal | Diana | 2019 |
From the screen to the stage. Diana the Musical had just begun, with Bavarian-born Jeanna de Waal as the leading lady, when the pandemic-that-must-not-be-named hit and ruined everything, as usual.
But fear not, the show is on its way back to broadway AND to Netflix this year! What a royal relief!
Emma Corrin | The Crown | NETFLIX | 2020 |
If you have a Netflix account, chances are you will have seen the words The Crown in the "what’s trending" part of the streaming service at some point last year.
The TV show which focuses on the British royals (since Elizabeth became Queen) has become an absolute hit worldwide.
British-born actress Emma Corrin was casted as Diana in the latest, fourth, season of the TV show and depicted the Lady’s early days when she was just 19 years old.
Elizabeth Debicki | The Crown | NETFLIX | 2022 |
But Emma’s reign as Diana will soon be up as Parisian by birth, and Melburnian-by-heart, actress Elizabeth Debicki is preparing to portray the princess in the final two seasons of The Crown.
Kristen Stewart | Spencer | 2022 |
In the new biopic Spencer based on three pivotal days in Diana's life, actress Kristen Stewart – yes, the star from Twilight – is portraying the People’s Princess.
Spencer focuses on a weekend away at the Royal Family’s Sandringham Estate around 1992 when Princess Diana realises her marriage to Charles is over.
When British Vogue's Instagram released a first look at the actress all dolled up in Diana’s signature hair and clothes, royal fans were absolutely beside themselves at the eerie similarities.
Since the film's premiere at 2021 Venice Film Festival, Kristen has been swimming in positive reviews for her performance.
“I have never been offered a part that was steeped in so much emotion before you even cracked the script,” Kristen recently told Screen Daily, deeming the biopic a "poetic, surreal psychotropic fantasy".
While portraying Diana, Kristen got to better understand the intricacies of the princess, declaring that "she makes you want to be a better person".
“She has such an ability to reach out and, unabashedly and in completely earnest [way], touch people, literally," the actress told the South China Morning Post. "There’s something about her that feels so disarmingly casual and genuinely caring. She was such an empath.”
Will this be the best Diana portrayal so far? It doesn't hit Australian theatres until next January, so we guess we'll have to wait and see.
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