First look at Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in new photograph

Watch: Kristen Stewart transforms into Princess Diana for new biopic 'Spencer'

The first image of Kristen Stewart as the late Diana, Princess of Wales, has been released.

Twilight actor Stewart is to play the royal in a new film called Spencer, which will focus on one weekend in the princess’s life as she considers leaving Prince Charles.

The film, directed by Pablo Larrain, is expected to launch in the autumn and may benefit from increased interest in Diana following the latest series of The Crown.

Stewart, 30, said: “Spencer is a dive inside an emotional imagining of who Diana was at a pivotal turning point in her life.

“It is a physical assertion of the sum of her parts, which starts with her given name – Spencer.

“It is a harrowing effort for her to return to herself, as Diana strives to hold on to what the name Spencer means to her.”

Undated handout photo issued by NEON and Topic Studios of Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in the film Spencer. The movie will focuses on one weekend in the life of Princess Diana, as she spends the Christmas holiday with the royal family at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, and decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles. Issue date: Wednesday January 27, 2021.
Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in the film Spencer. (NEON/Topic)

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In the image, Stewart wears a red coat and black dress, with a black fascinator partly covering her face.

She is the latest actor to take on the role of Diana, many of whom have not found critical favour after trying to portray the royal.

Emma Corrin did win good reviews as she became Diana in season four of Netflix’s The Crown, and those who preceded her included Naomi Watts, who was the title role in 2013’s Diana.

The Crown S4. Picture shows: Diana Princess of Wales (EMMA CORRIN). Filming Location: Military Hostel Front, Malaga
Emma Corrin as Diana in The Crown. (Netflix)

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Spencer is written by Steven Knight, creator of Peaky Blinders, and directed by Pablo Larrain.

It’s not yet been announced who will play Prince Charles, but other actors confirmed for the film include Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins and Sean Harris.

The latest series of The Crown was criticised for its portrayal of the relationship between Charles and Diana, with Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, calling for a disclaimer to be put on the show to warn people it was a fictionalised account.

Netflix declined to add one.

Watch: On This Day (28 January 1999 - Prince Charles and Camilla)