The latest Netflix drama, featuring four episodes, delves into Princess Diana’s relationship with Dodi Fayed and their tragic demise. The season’s second episode introduces us to a new character, Mario Brenna, an Italian paparazzo played by Enzo Cilenti. Brenna describes the challenges of capturing the perfect celebrity shot, likening it to hunting. Soon, he plans to photograph Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) and Dodi Fayed (Khalid Abdalla) on a supposedly secluded yacht.
In contrast, far north in Scotland, Duncan Muir (Forbes Masson), a professional photographer and loyalist to Queen Elizabeth, is seen discreetly photographing the Queen (Imelda Staunton) at a plaque unveiling. This season of “The Crown” juxtaposes the stifling and chaotic life of Diana with the more tranquil world of the Queen, culminating in the final season that explores the brief but impactful relationship between Diana and Dodi, culminating in their fatal Paris car chase.
Peter Morgan’s historical drama takes a thoughtful and subtle approach to this significant royal family event. Despite her global fame following her divorce from Prince Charles (Dominic West), Diana feels lost without a formal role. The Queen, unswayed by Diana’s plight, remarks on the stark difference between official royal family membership and exclusion. The royal family is also briefed on Diana’s relationship with Dodi, potentially aiding Mohamed Al-Fayed (Salim Daw) in his pursuit of British citizenship, a development the Queen is not keen on.
Prince Charles, meanwhile, faces challenges in gaining acceptance for Camilla Parker Bowles (Olivia Williams), with the Queen notably absent from Camilla’s 50th birthday. The narrative foreshadows the Queen’s future public scrutiny following Diana and Dodi’s deaths.
The showrunners assure viewers of a sensitive portrayal of Diana’s final days. The fatal crash is not shown, and respect is maintained for the living royal family members. The show avoids glorifying Diana, presenting her as a complex character seeking approval. The portrayal of Mohamed Al-Fayed, however, borders on contentious.
The relationship between Diana and Dodi is depicted more as a deep friendship than a grand romance. The actors, Abdalla and Debicki, bring warmth and vulnerability to their roles. A notable deviation in episode 4, “Aftermath,” is the imaginative inclusion of Diana’s spirit offering guidance to Charles and Elizabeth, a departure from the show’s usual realistic approach.
The series reaches an emotional peak when Diana and Dodi confront their insecurities during their last dinner in Paris, offering a moment of peace amidst the media frenzy. The first four episodes of “The Crown” season 6 release on Netflix on November 16, followed by episodes 5-10 on December 14.