**This article contains discussion of self-harm that some readers may find upsetting.**


The fifth season of The Crown, which is available on Netflix now, notably tackles the now-infamous interview between Martin Bashir and Princess Diana.

However, before that, the show also takes a look at another big exposé surrounding Diana, that being Andrew Morton's biography Diana: Her True Story.

The storyline appears in The Crown season 5 during episode 2, in which Diana is approached by a friend, James Colthurst, who suggests she speak with Andrew regarding her side of the story when it comes to her royal marriage.

But who is Andrew Morton, and who plays him in The Crown season 5? Read on for everything you need to know.

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Who is Andrew Morton?

Andrew Morton
Andrew Morton. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Andrew Morton is a journalist and writer who is known for having written biographies of famous figures including Prince William, Meghan Markle and Tom Cruise.

In 1992, he published a tell-all biography of Princess Diana entitled Diana: Her True Story. The book referred to an unhappy childhood, suggested Diana felt ignored by the royal family, and reported that she had bulimia, had self-harmed and had attempted to commit suicide. It proved hugely controversial.

Morton at first denied working with Diana to write the book, saying he got the information from friends and those who knew her closely. The book was dismissed as a fiction.

However, after her death, Morton said that the biography was in fact written with Diana's close involvement. He then republished it under the title Diana: Her True Story - In Her Own Words.

Morton said that he worked with James Colthurst, a close friend of Diana's who he had met in 1986. Morton told The Mail on Sunday that the process involved "giving my questions to Colthurst, who then conducted six taped interviews with her in her sitting room at Kensington Palace".

Who plays Andrew Morton in The Crown?

Andrew Morton is played in The Crown by actor Andrew Steele, who first appears in episode 1 of season 5. Steele has had recent roles in Bad Sisters, Outlander and Free Rein, while he also appeared in 2018 drama The Royals.

The episode of The Crown season 5 primarily focused on Andrew Morton and his Diana biography is episode 2, which also features a concurrent storyline with Prince Philip and Penny Knatchbull.

The episode sees Morton writing and eventually publishing the book with the help of Diana's confidant Colthurst, played by Oliver Chris.

Who burgled Andrew Morton's house?

Royal journalist Andrew Morton posing after the publication of his book Diana, Her True Story
Royal journalist Andrew Morton after the publication of his book Diana: Her True Story. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

In The Crown season 5 episode 2, while writing his book on Diana, Andrew Morton's house is broken into and his office ransacked. Diana immediately becomes suspicious that it has something to do with the royal household, and has her room swept for listening devices.

She tells James Colthurst: "You don't think the two incidents are related? First you get knocked off your bike, then Andrew's house gets broken into."

He replies: "It's not the first time I've been driven into the gutter by a white van man and break-ins happen in London hundreds of times a day. Besides, nothing was stolen."

In the episode, it is never explained who broke into the house, and that's because we still don't know who committed the burglary in real life. Morton wrote in The Mail on Sunday in 2017: "During the year that Diana was being secretly interviewed, my office was burgled and files rifled through — but nothing of consequence, apart from a camera, was stolen.

"After that, the Princess had her sitting room ‘swept’ for listening devices — none was found — and shredded every piece of paper. She trusted no one inside the royal system."

He also told the 2020 ITV documentary The Diana Interview: Revenge Of a Princess, which focused primarily on the 1995 Martin Bashir interview with Princess Diana, that "she certainly was very concerned about the Secret Services, about MI5, about MI6".

Morton continued: "There were bizarre things going on inside households of the Prince and Princess of Wales. Her bodyguard - Ken Wharf - he felt that he was being followed. Her confidant Richard Kay, the Daily Mail journalist - he was burgled several times and he took to employing a private detective. My own office was broken into. But there was a catalogue of things."

The story about Colthurst being knocked off his bike appears to be largely fictionalised based on a fear of Diana's at the time. Colthurst told the 2020 documentary: "I think I had a great relief each time I handed over a tape. Diana always had a problem knowing this was going on, she was worried I'd be knocked off my bicycle deliberately."

He continued: "They were some pretty anxious moments. Not least when I had one batch of transcripts and I was going through the Houses of Parliament and a bus had moved me over to avoid some traffic I think onto a pothole. I hit it hard and the papers went all over the road right outside the Houses of Parliament so that was an anxious time."

**If you have been affected by the issues raised in this article, you can find help and support at MIND or by calling MIND's confidential Infoline on 0300 123 3393.**

The Crown season 5 will be released on Netflix on November 9th 2022 and you can watch seasons 1-4 right now. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

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