The Crown Diana brakes

Right, did Diana’s brakes actually fail in her car like the scary scene in The Crown?

On the show she tells her brother she thinks someone tampered with them

We all know The Crown on Netflix bends the truth in its dramatisation of the monarchy’s recent history, but for every fabrication there’s a word for word re-enactment of tampongate right behind it. This has us all questioning which bits are fact and which are fiction. In season five, there’s a tense scene where Diana’s brakes fail in her car, seemingly foreshadowing her future death in a car accident. Diana then tells her brother that she believes her brakes were tampered with. But did Diana actually worry the institution was sabotaging her brakes in the car, or was this just The Crown taking liberties?

‘She told me the brakes were tampered with and she’d decided to change the car’

What we know about Diana’s brakes comes from a statement made by Diana’s lover Dr Hasnat Khan during a 2008 inquest into her death. Khan said that in 1995 he bumped into Diana in her car by the hospital where he worked, and then by the time he saw her again a few months later she’d switched cars.

“I asked her what had happened to the Audi as it was such a lovely car. She told me that the brakes had been tampered with so she decided to change the car.”

“I remember, in the winter of 1996, reading that Camilla Parker Bowles had had an accident and I mentioned this to Diana. She said that this was the second accident that Camilla had had, but that the first accident had not been reported in the press. She went on to say that, as a result, Charles had arranged security for Camilla. Diana then said that one of them had to go, Camilla or her.

“This was a one-off conversation we had and never discussed the matter again.”

The editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine also said in 2019 on a podcast:

“She said, actually, ‘It sounds ridiculous now,’ as we were sitting there in the comfort of her sitting room in Kensington Palace, she said, ‘But I really did believe, genuinely, believe that someone was going to tamper with my car.’

“She said, ‘I really believed that.’ She said, ‘I was too much of a problem. They wanted to get rid of me.’”

The Crown seemingly took various accounts of things Diana had said about the brakes in her car and fictionalised it to show her paranoia and worry about her place in the system following her separation with Charles.

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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