Diana poster removed from scene of her car crash

Naomi Watts as Princess Diana in the 2013 movie 'Diana'.
Naomi Watts as Princess Diana in the 2013 movie 'Diana'.

A promotional poster for the Diana movie biopic has been removed from the site of the Princess of Wales' fatal car crash in Paris, after its advertising location sparked outrage in the British press.

The print ad, depicting Australian actress Naomi Watts as the late royal, was posted at Place de l'Alma, near the entrance to the tunnel where she died in 1997, and just a few feet away from the Flame of Liberty statue, which has become an unofficial memorial to Diana.

Its location prompted outrage in the UK media and online, with Rosa Monckton, a friend of the princess, expressing her disgust at the movie and the location of the poster in a rant to The Daily Mail.

"I really don't have any words to describe how I feel about this cynical and shameless attempt to publicise a film that should never have been made. To have made a film so speculative as this is disgusting enough, but to then advertise it on the spot at which she died is despicable," Monckton said.

"I cannot imagine that any company could stoop so low. It is a terrible intrusion into her memory, not to mention the lives of her sons, whose feelings are often forgotten in these stories. I would expect them to take it down right away."

The controversy has prompted bosses at JCDecaux, the advertising agency which placed the posters, to remove the ads at the request of executives at the film's French distributor, Le Pacte, on Monday.

It's the latest blow for producers behind Diana - the royal biopic was met with a mixed reaction from critics when it previewed in early September and it bombed at the UK box office, taking just US$934,500 (A$1.01 million) in its opening weekend and barely scraping into the top five.

Diana will be released in Australian cinemas on October 10.

- WENN

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