WATCH: Remembering Princess Diana, fun mum and Enya fan

Salon talks to the makers of the documentary "Diana, Our Mother" about the princess her sons knew

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published July 25, 2017 6:45PM (EDT)

Drawing upon previously unseen family photos and footage, as well as interviews with those who knew Diana best, the new HBO documentary "Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy" is an intimate look at the private side of one of the 20th century's most famous women. It also marks the first time Princes Williams and Harry have spoken in depth about their relationship with their mother, their grief for her — and the ways they're trying to carry on her work.

"Salon" spoke recently with director Ashley Gething and executive producer Nick Kent on the making of the film and the legacy of the princess.

How did you create such a candid look at the royal family?

Ashley Gething: We went to meet the princes at Kensington Palace thinking maybe we were making a film about [Diana's] work and her legacy in the world. At that point they said to us, "Actually, we are happier to make a film that's more personal. ..." The whole process of this year that our film records is this process of recollection. 

What the interviews record is that first awakening of memories, some of which are very sad and some of which are very joyous.

How is Diana's impact still felt behind palace doors?

Nick Kent: She really tried to give [her sons] as normal an upbringing as she could under the circumstances. And you can see the way that Prince William and Kate are bringing up their own children, that they're very much taking on board the lessons that William learned from his upbringing under Diana.

A big part of this film is about a universal subject — how do you keep alive the memory of someone you've loved and lost?

Watch our conversation on more about Diana's private life. 

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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