Did Princess Diana Really Eat Pearls?

A biopic about Princess Diana is not necessarily a place that you would expect to lurch towards surreal imagery. Yet, that's exactly what viewers were treated to in "Spencer," the recently released film starring Kristen Stewart. In the film, during a scene believed to have taken place a few days after Christmas, Princess Diana sat at a dinner with a pearl necklace she received from Prince Charles as a present. Obviously bored, she ripped off the necklace and began to bite into the pearls with audible munches and crunches.

Now, as this is indeed supposed to be a biopic, many may want to know if this represented some real eccentricity of Princess Diana. Stewart, however, put the issue to rest in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Princess Diana did not jam jewelry into her mouth for food. "I know it's an interpretation, it's an imagining, it's a poem, it's all of this — and none of this is to excuse anything that we got wrong — but it was genuinely just kind of a meditation on what she inspired," the actress explained. So, rather than an impromptu snack, the pearls were a symbol for what Princess Diana was feeling.

Diana Spencer didn't always fit the mold of a Princess

If eating a pearl necklace during a holiday dinner is meant to symbolize something, the obvious follow up question is what that thing is supposed to be. It's almost certainly supposed to illustrate how Diana Spencer did not wear the title of "Princess" comfortably.

In an interview with People during the buildup to "Spencer" and the CNN docuseries "Diana," Angela Rippon, who interviewed Princess Diana for ITV, recalled how the newly married member of the royal family seemed like she would be different: "There was something more to Diana, something that was not the marshmallow or the Play-Doh that was going to be molded into what they [the royals] wanted." Rippon ultimately described that something as a sense of self.

However, as friends told The Telegraph, Princess Diana did not necessarily see her life as that of not matching expectations placed upon her. In a different interview with People, Sir Max Hastings recalled how she described her marriage to Prince Charles as hellish from day one and that her interest in the marriage was only to have their son William succeed Queen Elizabeth. "The outcome she wanted to see was for Charles to stand aside as heir to the throne and for William to occupy the throne," he stated. This suggests that other tensions may have given her fantasies of eating a pearl necklace.