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Princess Diana: A guide to all the TV specials celebrating her life 20 years after her death

Princess Diana on her wedding day to Prince Charles.

Times files

Princess Diana on her wedding day to Prince Charles.



Aug. 31 marks 20 years since the death of Princess Diana, a tragedy that gripped the world for months. Naturally, the world commemorates the anniversary by looking back through numerous TV specials chronicling her life and legacy two decades later.

Put these specials on your watch lists to remember the "People's Princess."

Times files (1989)

Princess Diana and her sons Princes Harry and William.

Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy

Possibly the most intimate documentary commemorating the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death, HBO's Diana, Our Mother begins with her two sons, Princes William and Harry, poring over old photographs of the three of them. The film takes viewers through Diana's life not just as the "People's Princess" but also through the eyes of those closest to her - her sons. It provides a heartbreaking, yet insightful glimpse at who Diana was when she wasn't a beloved princess. Watch on HBO Go or HBO Now.

Princess Diana: Tragedy or Treason

This three-hour special explores Diana's life through exclusive footage and interviews from Andrew Morton's biography. Like other documentaries, it covers Diana's challenging life in the spotlight and behind the royal curtain with Prince Charles. But it also delves into new conspiracy theories surrounding her tragic death. The special already premiered, but it airs again at 8 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Aug. 26. Also available on TLC Go.

Diana: 7 Days That Shook the World

This BBC documentary is available to stream on Netflix and takes a close look at the aftermath of Diana's death. The project hones in on the week preceding her funeral and how the royal family almost vanished from the public eye during this time. Also included are interviews with Diana's staff, Downing Street advisors and journalists who covered the story. Available on Netflix.

The Story of Diana

The two-part documentary airs Wednesday and Thursday on ABC and was made in collaboration with People. The project includes archival footage and interviews with the people closes to Diana, including her brother, Charles Spencer. 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday on ABC.

Diana: In Her Own Words

NatGeo's new documentary film hopes to shed light on a specific point in Princess Diana's life by telling it through her own words and voice. In 1991, Diana sat for a series of secret interviews with close friend and journalist Andrew Morton, who was writing a book about her. The documentary boasts a fresh perspective on Diana's journey from quiet childhood to her relationship with the Prince of Wales and the royal family. Like other documentaries commemorating the 20th anniversary of her death, this one aims to show how little prepared she was for such a public life and the expectations of being a royal. Airs 9 p.m. Aug. 14 on NatGeo.

Diana - Her Story

This one was made for the U.K.'s Channel 4 and is possibly the most controversial. The footage includes a recorded session that Diana had with her speech coach, which has never been broadcast. It contains personal exchanges in which Diana talks about her rocky marriage to Charles. At one point she says their wedding day was "the worst day of my life." 8 p.m. Aug. 22 on PBS.

Diana and the Paparazzi and Diana: The Day We Said Goodbye

Not to be outdone, the Smithsonian Channel airs two back-to-back docs on Aug. 27. The first, Diana and the Paparazzi, focuses on her intense relationship with the media. It even touches on how the paparazzi's relentlessness factored into the car crash that killed her. The second doc is narrated by Kate Winslet and explores how the world responded to Diana's death. 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Aug. 27 on Smithsonian.

Feud: Charles and Diana

One of the few not airing until sometime next year, and one that probably won't gloss over the unflattering parts of royal life. Watch if you loved Ryan Murphy and his vibrant storytelling. Coming to FX in 2018.



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Watch this week


SEASON FINALE: The Bachelorette, 8 p.m., ABC: Rachel makes her final decision during the end of the 13th season.

Siesta Key, 10 p.m., MTV: The Florida reality series continues this week with even more drama outside of the show than on it. Find everything you need to know about Siesta Key at


SEASON PREMIERE: Difficult People, midnight, Hulu: The sassy sitcom is back for a third season, with more nasty humor from two struggling, difficult comics.

Manhunt: Unabomber, 10 p.m., Discovery: Linguist Natalie Rogers helps Fitz find clues about the Unabomber's identity in the Manifesto. In 1997, Ted claims he can invalidate all of the evidence against him.


MasterChef, 8 p.m., Fox: Reigning champion Shaun O'Neale returns and chooses ingredients for the mystery box challenge. Local chef Jeff Philbin remains in the running for the title of MasterChef.


SERIES PREMIERE: Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update, 9 p.m., NBC: Michael Che and Colin Jost spinoff the wildly popular parody news segment from SNL.

Annabelle, 8:30 p.m., Syfy: The prequel movie premieres this weekend, so catch up on the horror of the creepy, possessed doll. In Annabelle, a mother's vintage doll becomes possessed after a satanic cult invades her home.

Contact Chelsea Tatham at [email protected] Follow @chelseatatham.


[Last modified: Monday, August 7, 2017 1:40pm]


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