Review: For the past few seasons, The Crown limited its focus to the royal wedding of Diana and Charles. Perhaps, not an unreasonable move as it is one of the most documented marriages and Princess Diana is, arguably, the most photographed woman of our time.
Season 6 is divided into two parts, with Part 1 highlighting Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) Divorce and Life After Her Death, Part 2 focuses on Prince William coping with life after the sudden death of his mother, drawing public attention to his growing up years, Charles (dominic west) and Camila’s (Olivia Williams) relationship and of course, Queen Elizabeth (Imelda Staunton).
As a prelude to impending tragedy, Season 6 begins on a quiet night in Paris, but the sequence ends with the infamous car crash under the bridge, killing Diana and Al Fayed Dodi (Khalid Abdullah). Part 1’s 4 episodes look back at all the events that unfolded in the eight weeks leading up to the accident. It’s been a year since Diana and Charles’ divorce. While Charles’s focus is on planning Camilla’s 50th birthday party, Diana accepts Mohammed Dodi’s (Salim Dr) invitation to join his family in St. Tropez for a brief vacation with his two sons. . For senior Dodi, it’s an opportunity to set up his son, Al Fayed (already engaged to a model, Kelly Fisher), with Diana and a way for him to finally get the attention and acceptance he craves. Wanted by the royal family and the British. Citizenship. As the episode swings between cold, gray London and the sunny, blue waters of St. Tropez, Charles’s desperation to see Camilla receive royal approval is clear. This also includes him visiting his mother and requesting her to attend the party as this will send a positive signal. With public attention and sympathy towards Diana gaining momentum, especially with her charity work demanding a global ban on landmines, as the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, says, “When Diana talks, The world listens”. Even Camilla’s 50th anniversary has been overshadowed by the overzealous press attention to Diana’s holidays with the Dodds. Something that fills the royal corridors with weapons. But as the weeks progressed, secret paparazzi photos of Diana and Al Fayed spending time together (most of which are already in the public domain, including the iconic photo of them in a light blue swimsuit and kissing on a yacht) surfaced. Has started creating a stir. With some of the press labeling Diana as reckless and out of control, the royal publicity team sees this as the perfect opportunity to present Charles as the more grounded and dignified of the two.
Diana takes center stage in all four episodes, in fact in an uncomfortable creative liberty taken by creator Peter Morgan, she appears to have one last conversation with Charles and the Queen after her death. And really, all the other characters fade into the background and there’s nothing left to do. Even the Queen is reduced to delivering reactionary dialogue on Diana’s life, “Everyone wants that girl to rest in peace” she sighs at one point or when scandalous photos of Diana and Dodi are broadcast throughout local and In the international press, he mutters, “If one were not so sensitive one would almost feel sorry for her.” And when the news of Diana’s death is confirmed, she says nostalgically, “those poor boys”, referring to William and Harry. As for Charles, the first episode finds him pleading with his mother to emcee Camilla’s birthday party and criticizing the royal PR team for allowing Diana to steal the show , while in the fourth he is pleading them to allow a state funeral. To Diana and feel what Diana meant to people.
This is totally Elizabeth Debicki’s show and she is so perfect as Diana, no one can take their eyes off her. Like in Season 5, she rules the screen with her dark eyes and infectious smile, which we definitely see more of this season, thanks to her carefree, summer romance with Al Fayed. But it is also overwhelming to see the kind of press scrutiny and harassment he had to endure in the days leading up to his death. She was struggling with what she had become and was talking to her therapist about getting rid of the ‘drama’ she had become so addicted to. Part 1 ends on an emotional and somber note with Diana’s funeral. The series breaks the format, adding actual footage of publicly expressing grief at that time. For someone who was no longer a part of the royal family, Diana was even more present in their lives after her death. As Charles said, it brought Paris, the busiest city on earth, to a standstill.
With much of the events leading up to and after Diana’s death available at the click of a button on the Internet, Season 6 has a sensationalist, tabloid feel that is a far cry from the mystery and intrigue of the first few seasons. While no one can deny that the series has kept the audience engaged over the years, will Part 2 still hold the same interest? Well, only time will tell.
Watch ‘The Crown’ Season 6 Trailer: Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce Starrer ‘The Crown’ Official Trailer
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