Did the Curtain Moment From ‘Spencer’ Really Happen IRL?? Here's the Truth Behind *That* Princess Diana Scene
5th November 2021

[There are spoilers ahead for the movie Spencer. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you doing in here!?]

If you’ve already seen the movie Spencer, you know about the startling things that happen in this Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) biopic. But the film opens with a title card saying it’s a “fable from a true tragedy,” so there are a lot of valid questions about what is based on fact and what is based on fiction in the film. And there is a LOT to unpack, lemme tell ya.

One of the most troubling moments comes when Princess Diana’s curtains are literally sewn shut, preventing her from looking out her own bedroom window. It’s after a conversation she has with Major Alistair Gregory, who is serving as a kind of butler/handler for the house, where he tells her she needs to be careful about photographers on the property who could snap pictures through her window. But the moment serves as a much bigger symbol than that. Here’s what we know about whether or not it actually happened.

Was Major Alistair Gregory real?

Not… technically. The character, played by Timothy Spall, is supposed to serve as both someone who can keep the press away and also keep an eye on Princess Diana and, let’s be honest, keep her in line. It’s totally possible that there were employees of the royal family who had similar jobs, but there’s no proof that this Alistair Gregory person was real.

The character does some seriouslyyyy crappy stuff during the movie, like weighing Diana and the kids on their arrival for the weekend. He also has his little henchmen spy on her. It’s weird! It’s creepy. He needs to get a life.

Okay, but did that curtain thing really happen?

Maybe the most shocking thing Gregory does is when he instructs someone to sew Diana’s curtains shut after telling her in a super creepy aside that she needs to stop changing in front of her windows because photographers with zoom lenses could take pictures of her. First of all, it’s weird that there are people watching the property to this extent. Second, it’s weird that he would comment on it at all. Third, who the heck sews someones curtains shut!?

The scene is probably supposed to be representative of Diana being locked in this ivory tower of sorts and having so little control over her own life that she can’t even look outside without someone’s permission. She’s so isolated that she can’t even have contact with the outside world. It’s a gut-wrenching moment, but as far as we can tell, it didn’t actually happen to the real Princess Diana.

In all my Googling, there is no proof that Diana ever spoke of this moment. And it seems like, considering how much she opened up about her life as a royal after she left the family, it would have come up, because… it’s egregious. It appears that this is another fabricated moment meant to illustrate just how miserable Diana really was, and man, does it work.

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