The team behind The Crown has spoken out about how the award-winning Netflix drama will cover the death of Princess Diana. As we wait patiently for the first four episodes of the final season to drop on 16 November, which supposedly cover the late Princess Diana's death, fans are wondering how the show will tackle it.
In April, filming wrapped on the sixth and final season of the historical drama, which will chart Princess Diana’s life and death in 1997. The first four episodes of The Crown air on 16 November, with the final six episodes following on 14 December.
Ahead it's release, there’s been plenty of discussions both in the media and amongst fans of the show about how Diana’s death will be handled on-screen. Many people have voiced concern over the scenes whilst some have suggested that they should scrap the scene altogether.
Last year, Netflix was forced to shut down reports in Deadline that the crew had been 'on edge' while filming scenes of Diana’s fatal car accident in Paris, with a spokesperson insisting that the 'exact moment of the crash impact will not be shown.'
The conversation about the scene then reignited in March, when the Daily Mail reported that The Crown had recreated the aftermath of the crash, and published photos of a wrecked Mercedes that will supposedly be used in the show’s final season. Following this, there were alsoreports in The Sun saying that Debicki would be lying in an open casket during the funeral scenes - which caused further controversy.
However, show's bosses have now had their final say on how Princess Diana's death will be handled. During a discussion at the Edinburgh TV Festival, The Crown’s executive producer Suzanne Mackie insisted (via Metro), 'The show might be big and noisy, but we’re not. We’re thoughtful people and we’re sensitive people. There were very careful, long conversations about how we were going to do it.'
She continued, 'The audience will judge it in the end, but I think it’s been delicately, thoughtfully recreated. Elizabeth Debicki is an extraordinary actress and she was so thoughtful and considerate. She loved Diana. There’s a huge amount of respect from us all, I hope that’s evident.'
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly last year, Elizabeth admitted she was unaware of the public's 'concerns', adding, 'I’ll say that Peter [Morgan, The Crown’s creator] and the entire crew of this job do their utmost to really handle everything with such sensitivity and truth and complexity, as do actors. The amount of research and care and conversations and dialogue that happen over, from a viewer’s perspective, something probably that you would never ever notice is just immense.'
The actress added, 'From that very first meeting [with] Peter, I knew that I’d entered into this space where this was taken seriously [in] a deeply caring way. So that’s my experience of the show.'
After the tragic incident takes place, the upcoming series will then continue to focus on the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, and the early relationship of Prince William and Kate Middleton. It’s also expected to follow Tony Blair's years in power (1997-2007) and his professional relationship with Queen Elizabeth II.
Other key events in the final series include the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002, which celebrated Her Majesty’s 50 years on the throne. On a more sombre note, the late Queen also faced the deaths of her beloved sister, Princess Margaret, and the Queen's mother, within a few months of each other.
Since its debut, The Crown has been met with criticism from some viewers due to its fictionalised depiction of 20th century history. However, as the events portrayed in The Crown have come closer to the present day, these discussions have become louder, with many calling for a disclaimer to be added to the Netflix show highlighting that it is not always historically accurate.
Netflix eventually added one to the season five trailer, but not the show itself, saying at the time, 'The Crown has always been presented as a drama based on historical events.
'Series five is a fictional dramatisation, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the Royal Family — one that has been scrutinised and well-documented by journalists, biographers and historians.'