Who is James Colthurst? Inside his life and relationship with Princess Diana

He was one of the only people who truly knew what was going on in Diana’s life

A lot of names of people are thrown around in The Crown. Obviously, we are very much aware of most of them, but there are some more minor people who you might not have heard of, or you might be aware of but not fully sure how they fit into the general Royal Family picture. One quite prominent name in episode two of season five of The Crown is James Colthurst, who is shown as being very close to Princess Diana.

In the show, we see him say he feels Diana is like a sister to him, and he works as a middle-man between the Princess and biographer, Andrew Morton. So, here’s everything we know about James Colthurst in real life, and what his relationship with Diana was really like.

The Crown, Netflix

via Netflix

James Colthurst met Princess Diana in 1979

James Colthurst was born in Cork, Ireland in 1957, and comes from a very privileged background. His parents are Sir Richard la Touche Colthurst, 9th Baronet and Janet Wilson-Wright. His brother is Sir Charles St John Colthurst, Baronet, the owner of Blarney Castle. James went to Eton, before studying medicine in London, and becoming a radiologist.

As shown in The Crown, Princess Diana lived a fairly isolated life, and didn’t have that many people who she really trusted. She met James Colthurst in 1979, two years before she married Charles, and they grew closer, and he was a confidante for her. The pair met on a ski holiday in Val Claret, when Diana was working as a nanny.

It was his medical training which brought him to meet Diana, and James Colthurst has spoken about their meeting, and said: “She knew several of the friends I was with, and they brought her back to our apartment when she twisted her ankle, telling her I would look at it.”

He described her as “good fun, bright and mischievous” and said “it was hard not to hit it off with Diana straight away”. They are said to have had a fairly playful relationship, and would often play pranks on one another.

James Colthurst in season five of The Crown on Netflix

via Netflix

James Colthurst introduced Diana to Andrew Morton

It was James who introduced Diana to biographer, Andrew Morton. According to Vanity Fair, James and Andrew knew each other well, and James invited Diana to event, alongside other members of the press, which Andrew was also at.

It is true that James would deliver the tapes that shaped Andrew Morton’s book from Diana to the writer. “She was enormously enthusiastic to have her story out there, she knew exactly what she was doing,” he said in an interview. In 1992, Morton published Diana: Her True Story—In Her Own Words.

Where is James Colthurst now?

James Colthurst

The real Dr James Colthurst, via NBC/YouTube

James Colthurst has been married since 1990, and has two daughters, called Cicely and Leah. He is 65 now, and is believed to live in Berkshire. According to The Sun, he is now the director of a medical research firm.

The Crown season five is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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