Royal commentators accused the Pablo Larraín-directed psychological drama "Spencer" of putting the late Princess Diana in a bad light as an emotionally weak person.

Kristen Stewart received a five-minute standing ovation for her portrayal of the late Princess of Wales during the film's premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September. But Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, called it a "cruel" portrayal of the late royal. It showed her as an emotionally unstable and broken woman who gets into a hysterical breakdown in front of a young Prince William.

There are scenes that showed the former royal as a self-harming person who fantasises about her own death. She thinks about throwing herself down the stairs or choking herself to death with the pearl necklace Prince Charles gave her. One shower scene was labelled as "degrading" as it showed the troubled princess talking about a solo sex act.

"It is really cruel to portray her like this. It is totally unnecessary," Seward said according to The Sun as she added that Prince William and Harry "will be very angry and hurt about this. They will find it horrible that their mother is being portrayed in such a huge movie this way."

Royal biographer Penny Junor agreed and called the film "unnecessarily gratuitous." She claimed that "Spencer" did not leave Princess Diana a "shred of respect and dignity."

"Poor William is all I can say...I know William was there when she was unhappy but it sounds to me the movie is factually incorrect," she said.

One gut-wrenching scene shows Prince William begging his mother to come out of the bathroom and join them for dinner. She had locked herself in there after several graphic attempts to harm her arm with a wire cutter. She eventually came out with mascara-stained cheeks and asked her son if he saw Camilla Parker-Bowles at church on Christmas morning.

"Spencer" shows Princess Diana at war with the royal family and has graphic self-mutilating scenes. It also shows Prince William's heartache at having to watch his mother in pain amid rumours of a troubled marriage between his parents. Suffice to say, the film, which is set over the three days of Christmas in 1991 at Sandringham, is heartbreaking to watch especially when it shows Prince William and Harry being the sources of light for the princess.

Princess Diana
25 December 1994: Prince Charles, Princess Diana and their two children William and Harry leave the church of St Mary Magdalen near Sandringham after the Christmas Day service Reuters