The Duchess of York has been forced to deny claims that she ‘made repeated contact’ with The Crown producers.
Sources at Left Bank Pictures say that Sarah Ferguson, 63, sought to partner with them on a TV adaptation of her romance novel, Her Heart For A Compass.
During discussions with boss Andy Harries, it’s said the topic of her depiction in The Crown came up.
Fergie offered to help out with information on her character in the show and the inner workings of the Royal Family.
A source said: ‘She made repeated contact via emails and on the phone. She offered advice and background information and said that she had an inside view which would make her invaluable to the show as a consultant.’
Fergie is understood to have pointed out her own experience in the film industry, having been a producer on the 2009 film The Young Victoria.
The Duchess of York has become embroiled in an extraordinary row over her dealings with the makers of The Crown
Sources at Left Bank Pictures say that Sarah Ferguson, 63, sought to partner with them on a TV adaptation of her romance novel, Her Heart For A Compass. Pictured: Emma Laird Craig as Fergie in The Crown Series 4
During discussions with boss Andy Harries, it’s said the topic of her depiction in The Crown came up
She referred to the discussions in an aside in a magazine interview this summer, revealing she had complained about her lack of screen time in the show.
She said she wrote to Harries to say: ‘Hello! Where is Fergie?!’ She added: ‘I said to him: “Why can’t I help my character?!”‘
A few weeks later she told another magazine that she had indeed spoken with Harries about The Crown.
She said: ‘I have watched The Crown and I thought it was filmed beautifully. The cinematography was excellently done. I loved the way they included my wedding.
‘I did write to Andy Harries, who produced The Crown, but it was more about the idea of getting Her Heart For A Compass turned into a film or a TV series than it was about my portrayal.’
However, with controversy raging over the series and a growing feeling that the Royal Family is starting to actively reject a show they once grudgingly tolerated, she now seems to feel the need to distance herself from The Crown.
Fergie offered to help out with information on her character in the show and the inner workings of the Royal Family
She referred to the discussions in an aside in a magazine interview this summer, revealing she had complained about her lack of screen time in the show. Pictured: Imelda Staunton plays Elizabeth II in the fifth series
Contacted about the story, a source close to the Duchess initially said she ‘was thinking she might simply offer some insight into her character and there was certainly no discussion of any fee’.
A few hours later, the source said that there was ‘categorically’ no offer made by the Duchess to consult on The Crown; and claimed her on-the-record comments confirming discussions with Left Bank in interviews had been misinterpreted.
Later still, a spokesperson for Ferguson said: ‘The Duchess was in contact with Andy Harries, who produces The Crown, last year and they had a discussion about adapting her novel, Her Heart For A Compass, into a TV series.
‘They did not discuss The Crown, or any idea of her helping with the series in any way. Such a suggestion was made separately at one point by a mutual friend, but was not progressed by either side.’
It comes after Princess Diana’s friends slammed the ‘insensitivity’ of Netflix after crews from The Crown were spotted filming the moments leading up to her fatal car crash – just 100 yards from the Paris tunnel where she died 25 years ago.
Exclusive MailOnline photographs showed filming of a Mercedes in Paris near the site of the car crash that claimed her and Dodi Al Fayed’s lives.
Netflix crews film just moments before Princess Diana’s car crashed in Paris for The Crown
Onlookers said Netflix crews were seen filming between 2am and 3am on Wednesday around 100 yards from the Alma tunnel, where the crash happened in the early hours of August 31, 1997.
The pictures show a black Mercedes like the one the couple were traveling in on that tragic day being filmed in another nearby tunnel on the same road.
Netflix has insisted the ‘exact moment’ of the crash will not feature in the controversial drama, which has recently come under fire for sensationalism and inaccuracy.
A friend of Diana’s said the show’s makers could face accusations of ‘insensitivity’ over the filming in Paris.
Debbie Frank, who was Diana’s astrologer, said it would be ‘terrible’ for Princes William and Harry to see a recreation of the moments leading up to their mother’s death.
‘It’s obviously terrible for Diana’s children to have to see that again. It’s insensitive,’ she said.
She added: ‘I feel Diana’s death and the crash was the biggest shock of our generation. It had such a huge impact across the national psyche.
‘I guess the makers of The Crown feel they are entitled to show a re-enactment of scenes leading up to her death and that it has dramatic impact. But relatives would think otherwise.’
Series five of the Netflix show will stream from November 9.