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‘The Crown’ Shines In Its Final Season


The Crown makes it clear that its sixth and final season will finally depict a seismic moment from the very first scene of the first episode, which features cars speeding down a Paris street just moments before sounds of an off-screen crash are heard.

Specifically, the automobile accident that claimed the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales, Dodi Fayed, and their driver in 1997 as they escaped from paparazzi.

Along the way, the first four episodes of the season skillfully showcase how the show continues to explore the conflict between the royal family’s personal lives and their public responsibilities.

Watchers witness the battle to cope with a crushing loss in a family committed to upholding a stoic public persona, detailing how Diana’s passing forced the British monarchy, particularly Queen Elizabeth, to adopt a more contemporary perspective on how to relate to the people of England.

The Crown, however, flashes back to show her relationship with Dodi Fayed, the son of billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed, develop before delving deeply into the specifics of that fateful day. By the third episode, Diana (Elizabeth Debicki, in a remarkably sensual and alluring role) confesses to having growing doubts about their romance over the phone in what is presumably a private chat with her therapist.

Susie Orbach, the therapist, is seen in the video advising Diana to cut her relationship with Dodi short. According to the therapist, Dodi is stuck in a toxic relationship with her controlling father.

That was not too foreboding. However, this is an illustration of a recurring theme in The Crown: intimate exchanges presented in a way that could mislead viewers as to how much of what they are witnessing is made up or presumed.

In another pivotal scene from the third episode, that problem reappears (warning you in advance that I will be revealing a crucial detail).

The scene in question focuses on Diana’s reaction and whether or not Dodi proposed marriage to her on the day they passed away.

The scene is intriguing and masterfully written, and Debicki and Khalid Abdalla, who plays Dodi, give outstanding performances that support it. Dodi is portrayed by Abdalla as a sensitive man who is driven by his father to wed Diana in order to better their family, but who is also close enough to her, to be honest with her when she asks what’s wrong with her life.

A spokesman for the 94-year-old Mohamed Al-Fayed stated in public that the two were previously engaged. Al-Fayed passed away in August. The spokesperson denied that Al-Fayed forced the couple to get together more recently. However, I sought the opinion of veteran royal filmmaker Nick Bullen of True Royalty TV, a channel that features a ton of documentaries about the British monarchy. He informed me that Diana had been making suggestions to friends about her intention to reevaluate their relationship.

After that, I had a conversation with Town & Country news writer Emily Burack, who has written a great deal about The Crown and the royal family. She claimed that Dodi’s story is expanded upon in the show, portraying him as more than just a wealthy playboy who passed away in a car beside Diana.

It may seem picky to distinguish between fact and fiction in this context. However, their tale might be significant to those who expected an Egyptian man and the future mother of an English king to marry in a potentially historic way.

Bullen and Burack also stated that another private moment depicted in The Crown probably did occur in some capacity: when Dominic West’s character, then-Prince Charles, coerces a reluctant Queen Elizabeth to publicly express her grief over Diana’s passing and arrange a public funeral.

Scenes showing Diana making appearances to speak with Queen Elizabeth and Charles after her death have already drawn some criticism. The scenes seemed to me to be these people processing their emotions by imagining conversations with Diana and Dodi that they were no longer able to have, even though it may have seemed as though her ghost were visiting them (Dodi is also shown having a post-death conversation with his father).

In addition to offering another opportunity to reexamine Diana’s legacy, these first four episodes of the season—the remaining six will air next month, capping the series—also reflect the way that many well-known women of the 1990s, like Tina Turner and Britney Spears, were handled.

I’ve always found it unsettling as a critic that The Crown so deftly moves from incredibly accurate portrayals to made-up scenes. Additionally, former British Prime Minister John Major and actress Dame Judi Dench chastised last season for its in-depth depiction of how Diana and Charles’ marriage broke down.

Nevertheless, these episodes of The Crown are unquestionably very well done, elaborating on a significant event for the family in a unique and compelling way.

As long as viewers keep in mind that they are watching a television drama and not a History channel show.

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