How Paparazzo Mario Brenna’s Image from The Crown Compares to History

The first four episodes of The Crown’s highly anticipated final season premiered on November 16. The season begins with the 1997 automobile disaster that resulted in Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) and Dodi Fayed (Khalid Abdalla) being tragically followed by photographers in Paris, and it mostly explores the historic consequences of that event. The drama delves further into the royal family’s turbulent relationship with the media, specifically focusing on the intrusive tactics of paparazzi at a pivotal moment in British tabloid culture, as the tale rewinds eight weeks before the tragedy. It also illustrates how photos are purposefully used to sway public opinion in general.

Mario Brenna, an Italian photographer who gained notoriety for his work with upscale fashion firms and images of Mediterranean high society, is one such paparazzo who is shown in the program. But in the summer of 1997, Brenna’s breakthrough came when he took the first pictures of Diana and Dodi cuddling on a yacht off the coast of Sardinia.

In episode 2, Enzo Cilenti’s character Brenna is first presented to the audience during a sit-down interview on his line of work. “Everyone is eager to see celebrity photos. images featuring well-known people. Like us, they are not different. In a long monologue, the character adds, “Making mistakes just like us.” “For the perfect photo, people spend one or two hundred thousand dollars. Acquiring the perfect photo is challenging. You must emulate hunters. Murderers.

Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal historian, tells TIME that Diana had a symbiotic relationship with the press. “The royals want specific imagery to convey their ideas… But the game is extremely risky.

Brenna was one of the most paid paparazzi, even if he wasn’t the only one to seek Diana’s picture throughout the years. Discover more about his involvement in Diana’s last weeks and the royal family’s broader connection to photography.

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