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Ever since it was announced that Kristen Stewart would be playing the iconic role of Princess Diana, fans have been eagerly waiting to see what the rest of the Spencer cast looks like compared to the real-life royals they’re portraying. Well, now that the film is finally here, we know exactly who’s who in the Spencer cast—and how they look versus their IRL counterparts.
For those who haven’t yet seen Spencer, here’s what to know about the latest Princess Diana film. Spencer, directed by Pablo Larraín, takes a close look at the late Princess of Wales’ final royal family Christmas with Prince Charles before their divorce. The film takes place across only three days—Christmas Eve, Christmas and Boxing Day—in the early 1990s, roughly around 1992, at the royal family holiday home of Sandringham Estate. During these last few days of the year, the Princess of Wales realizes that her marriage with Charles is unraveling amid his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles (the woman he would go on to marry years after Diana’s death in 1997), and with it, so is her mental state.
While the film does not address Princess Diana’s death itself, it does foreshadow her decision to leave the royal family for good. As Kristen Stewart, who plays the Princess of Wales in the film, told late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel in 2020, “[Spencer] takes place over three days, and it’s this really poetic, internal imagining of what that might have felt like, rather than giving new information.”
Director Pablo Larraín, for his part, described Princess Diana’s journey in Spencer in an interview with Deadline. “We decided to get into a story about identity, and around how a woman decides somehow, not to be the queen. She’s a woman who, in the journey of the movie, decides and realizes that she wants to be the woman she was before she met Charles,” he told the site in 2020. “It’s about finding herself, about understanding that possibly the most important thing for her is to be well, and to be with herself and by herself. That’s why the movie is called Spencer, which is the family name she had before she met Charles. It’s very contained, set over a few days in Sandringham. They spent Christmas there for many years and that’s where we set the movie in the early ‘90s, around 1992, we’re not specific. It’s Christmas Eve, Christmas and Boxing Day, three days, very contained. We get to understand what it is she wants and what she will do.”
So, now that we have an idea of what Spencer is all about, let’s dive into what the Spencer cast looks like versus their real-life counterparts. Keep on reading below for photos of the Spencer cast vs. the royals they’re playing.
Actor: Kristen Stewart
The Princess of Wales is played by none other than Twilight alum Kristen Stewart in director Pablo Larraín’s Spencer. In the film, Princess Diana is around 31 years old and already a mother to her sons, Prince Harry and Prince William. It was also during this time that the people’s princess struggled with her eating disorder.
Actor: Jack Farthing
Poldark actor Jack Farthing plays Prince Charles in Spencer. At the time that the film takes place, the Prince of Wales would have been 44 years old—a whopping 13 years older than his then-wife, Princess Diana. Prince Charles was also in the midst of a secret (yet not-so-subtle) affair with his former girlfriend, Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he went on to marry in 2005.
Camilla Parker Bowles
Actor: Emma Darwall-Smith
The future Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles, is played by actress Emma Darwall-Smith in 2021’s Spencer. At the time that the film takes place, the public would have already known about Camilla’s affair with Charles after a series of explicit messages between them were leaked to the press.
Queen Elizabeth II
Actor: Stella Gonet
In Spencer, Queen Elizabeth II is played by actress Stella Gonet. As for Her Majesty herself, viewers should know that the monarch was around 66 years old when the events of Spencer take place. The Queen married her husband, the late Prince Philip, a whopping 45 years prior to the film’s royal family holiday get together at Sandringham Estate.
Actor: Jack Nielen
Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ eldest son, Prince William, is played by young actor Jack Nielen in Spencer. Given that the film takes place in the early ’90s, the Duke of Cambridge would have been around 10 years old at the time. It was around this time that the future king began taking up some formal royal duties of his own, including becoming a patron of the homelessness charity, The Passage, after visiting the center in 1992 alongside his mother, Diana.
Actor: Freddie Spry
The youngest member of Spencer is Prince Harry, played by actor Freddie Spry. During the events of the film, the young Duke of Sussex would have only been around 6 years old.
For more about Princess Diana, read Andrew Morton’s biography, Diana: Her True Story — In Her Words. The New York Times bestseller, which was first published in 1992, is the only authorized biography about Princess Diana. The book, which Diana collaborated on, includes raw and unfiltered quotes from the Princess of Wales about her unhappy marriage to Prince Charles, her relationship with Queen Elizabeth II, her life in the House of Windsor, and her hopes, dreams and fears for her children, Prince William and Prince Harry, before her death in 1997. The biography, which has been described as the “closest we will ever come” to a Princess Diana autobiography, was republished with new material in 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the People’s Princess’ death.
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