Kristen Stewart’s Spencer movie shows Princess Diana and the Royals weighing themselves before and during Christmas. This mirrors a real-life tradition.
Pablo Larrain’s biopic depicts the princess refusing to use an old brass weighing scale when she arrives at Sandringham (the Norfolk royal estate), but being told that she must keep them as per tradition.
This bizarre moment is a reflection of a real royal tradition that dates back to Edward VII’s reign from 1901 to 1910.
Ingrid Seward (author of Prince Philip Revealed) told Grazia that the tradition arose from Prince Philip’s concern that his guests eat well.
It was also suggested that Meghan Markle might be subject to the embarrassing ritual during her second Royal Christmas. However, it was never confirmed.
The tradition is particularly charged in Spencer’s context of Princess Diana’s experience with bulimia.
Stewart depicts Diana bringing back food and refusing to go to dinner. Prince Charles, however, asks Diana to help the chickens who gave her her eggs. He also requests that she not eat the eggs “before the church bells sound.”
Princess Diana experienced bulimia in real-life, and said it was a relief valve from the pressures of her life.
In tape recordings that she smuggled from Kensington Palace, she told Andrew Morton, her secret biographer and confided to her, that Queen Elizabeth II saw her eating disorder as the cause of her marital problems.
Diana: Her True Story: The princess stated that Diana [the queen] had indicated to her that Prince Charles was having a hard time with his bulimia.
“She said that. She put her coat on the hook, so to speak. It made me realize that this was the root cause of my marriage problems, and not the symptoms.
This biography revealed Prince Charles’ affair to Camilla for the very first time. It led to their separation in 1992.
Spencer only has a few scenes with the queen and it is hard to read.
Diana is put under pressure to wear clothes chosen by staff. She then gets into trouble when she picks the wrong outfit.
In a supportive comment, Elizabeth admits that she did not wear the dress she was instructed to wear.
Diana is seen looking a little worried when the queen is shown. She says, “They take lots of pictures of you, don’t they?” Only the PS10 note is important. You will then understand your currency.
Larrain stated in publicity material that they did extensive research on Diana, Royal Christmas traditions and the anecdotes about ghosts at Sandringham House.
“But the Royal family is known for being very discreet. While they may be visible on occasion, at some point the doors will close and you won’t know what’s happening behind them. This is fiction, and that was our work.
We didn’t intend to make a docudrama. Instead, we wanted something that would combine elements of the real with imagination to tell the story of a woman using the tools of cinema. Cinema is so wonderful because there is always room for imagination.