KRISTEN Stewart’s Princess Diana drama is arguably the most explosive royal movie ever made.
The film titled Spencer will rock the Windsor household with a string of shocking scenes, some of which are fictionalised and others that are grounded in the truth.
Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 aged just 36, is portrayed as being in the midst of a psychological breakdown as she desperately attempts to escape the grip of her stifling in-laws.
In the movie, out next Friday November 5, cinemagoers will see the much-loved late princess self-harm with wire cutters, deliberately throw up her food and discuss pleasuring herself.
The movie by Chilean director Pablo Larrain, who also made a Jackie Kennedy biopic, also stars Timothy Spall and Sally Hawkins.
Larrain has described his production as a "fable from a true tragedy" rather than a biopic.
Diana’s biographer Ingrid Seward says Princes William and Harry will be "very angry and hurt” by the way their late mother is depicted in the film.
But much of it is based on historical reports. Here we separate fact from fantasy.
Diana 'feared for her life'
Spencer is set over three days at the Sandringham estate in December 1991 as Diana and Princes Charles’s marriage comes to an end.
It is correct that the couple’s relationship was at breaking point during this period and they announced their separation less than a year later.
Diana asks “will they kill me?” because she has turned up late for the festive get-together, after the Queen.
It's true that it's tradition for the sovereign to be last to arrive at any royal event.
Princes William and Harry will be very angry and hurtIngrid Seward
Did Diana fear she would be killed? The comment appears to be jokily made in the movie, but it has been reported that she had expressed fears that she would be bumped off.
She allegedly once made the remark: "One day I'm going to go up in a helicopter, and it'll just blow up. The MI6 will do away with me."
Weighed on arrival
On arrival Spall’s character - Equerry Major Alistair Gregory - insists Diana is weighed on scales.
While this appears to be a nod to the princess' documented eating disorder, it's actually a bizarre royal Christmas tradition.
It was started by King Edward VII who was concerned guests weren’t enjoying the festivities enough by eating plenty of food.
So, they were weighed at the beginning and end of the stay to see if they had put on sufficient pounds.
Self-harming and OCD
In the movie Diana makes herself sick after eating the lavish dishes and lashings of cake.
A scene which shows her swallowing a string of pearls gifted to her by Charles before later regurgitating them is clearly a fantasy.
It is well known, though, that Diana was in fact suffering from bulimia and the royals were worried about her weight loss.
After sticking her head down the toilet, Charles’s wife scrubs her hands in what appears to be an act of obsessive compulsive disorder.
While biographers, including Penny Junor, have reported that Diana endured depression and severe mood swings, there was no diagnosis of OCD.
Similarly, Larrain turbo charges dramatic effect when he depicts the fragile princess self-harming.
In secret recordings by her biographer Andrew Morton, Diana apparently confessed to cutting herself while staying at Balmoral.
But the director takes that to a horrifying new level by showing Diana attacking her arm with wire cutters.
Royal biographer and expert Penny Junor said the film is "unnecessarily gratuitous", adding: "Let’s leave Diana with a shred of respect and dignity. I know William was there when she was unhappy, but it sounds to me the movie is factually incorrect."
Obsession with Anne Boleyn
Diana keeps seeing visions of King Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn and even transforms into the executed queen at one point.
The film is historically accurate when it says the Spencer family are distantly related to the Boleyns - but Diana's obsession with her is likely to be a work of fiction.
Diana says of Boleyn in the film: "She married the King of England and he chopped off her head because he met another woman and wanted her to be Queen instead."
This appears to be a reference to Camilla Parker Bowles, the mistress of Charles who became his second wife.
There is no historical record of conversations between members of the royal household during Christmas 1991, so they have largely been dreamt up by script writers.
Intentions laid bare
A particularly shocking moment in the film is when Diana tells her dresser: "Now leave me, I wish to masturbate."
Twilight star Stewart does, just about, maintain the late princess’s modesty.
The actress is never shown fully naked, but we do see her in a state of undress a couple of times.
Spall's creepy character later tells her: "One of them saw you dressing and undressing with the curtains open."
While clearly a fictional scene, the masturbation reference could have been loosely inspired by Diana's affair with actor James Gilbey, dubbed "Squidgygate" after he called her Squidgy during a leaked phone call in late 1989.
He allegedly told the princess he would imagine holding her close at night and, on another occasion, discussed masturbation.
Over the three days the princess is increasingly drawn to the dilapidated Spencer family home in Sandringham.
It is right that she was born Diana Spencer at Park House on the Norfolk estate and spent some time there as a child.
But the property was gifted by the Queen to the Leonard Cheshire charity in 1983, well before the events of this movie, and was not left to wrack and ruin.
Additionally, the castle used to depict Sandringham in Spencer looks nothing like the royal household.
I will cut my dress to pieces with a kitchen knifeStewart as Diana
Filmed at a schloss - similar to a château - in Germany, it has a spectacular square moat, which the British house does not.
We also see Diana’s frustration at the rituals, including rules about what clothes to wear and when.
At one point she threatens: "I will cut my dress to pieces with a kitchen knife."
It is true that the royals are expected to change outfits for each Christmas event during the day, and Diana disliked this.
Royal expert Richard Kay said: "It was one of the unbending rituals that both Princess Diana and the Duchess of York found quite hard to adjust to."
The caring princess
Spencer accurately shows Diana as being warm towards servants.
In the film she confides in Darren, portrayed by Mission Impossible actor Sean Harris, on a couple of occasions.
Former royal chef Darren McGrady told how the late princess often visited the kitchen to chat to staff after meals.
He said: "I was always there, so sometimes she’d come in and vent about things she wasn’t happy with. Other times I’d see her just burst into tears and it was like, ‘What do I say? What do I do?’ Other times she told a dirty, risqué joke and you think, ‘I can’t believe Princess Diana just said that!'”
Disapproved of hunting
The drama delves into Diana’s revulsion at blood sports.
Charles wants his sons to enjoy hunting, but she is opposed.
According to royal biographer Robert Jobson, the princess “disapproved violently of the 'manly' pursuits that Charles encouraged his sons to enjoy.”
Perhaps it is the harsh truths in Spencer which will hurt the Royals more than its outrageous fantasy scenes.
There is little doubt that Diana was troubled at that moment in her life and it was not a particularly happy Christmas.