The actor who played Diana in The Crown says the moments leading up to her death must have been “completely unbearable” after the cast re-enacted the car chase through Paris that led to her death for the final season royal drama that divides.
The sixth season of The Crown deals with the weeks leading up to Diana’s death, as well as the aftermath of a car accident in Paris in August 1997. The first part of the season is released on November 16.
The final moments of Diana, Princess of Wales, are played by Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki, who has described feeling trapped during filming.
“You only have to be in a situation like that for a minute before you realize it’s completely unbearable,” Debicki told the Radio Times. “No one should ever have to experience what it feels like to try to move from one place to another and be surrounded by this swarm. We feel very trapped.
Debicki told the Mirror it was a “unique challenge” to depict Diana’s death, adding that it remained true to writer Peter Morgan’s “emotional blueprint”.
“I think it’s a unique challenge as an actor to portray this era,” she said. “It’s (Morgan’s) interpretation and it had emotional meaning for me, so I held on to that. Because, obviously, it’s devastating and heavy and we can never know.
The show has been accused of blurring the lines between historical accuracy and fiction, and was criticized by actor Dame Judi Dench for not having a disclaimer informing viewers that the show is, in part, fictitious. Netflix has since added a “fictional dramatization” clarification to the trailer for the new series.
Speaking on a panel at the Edinburgh Television Festival, series producer Suzanne Mackie said it was important that the team behind the series were thoughtful and sensitive.
“The show may be big and loud, but we’re not. We are caring and sensitive people,” she said.
“And so there’s been a very, very careful, long, long, long conversation about how we do it – and I hope, you know, that the public will judge it in the end, but I think it has been recreated with delicacy and thought.”
Diana’s death and the events surrounding it overshadow almost everything else in the season, according to the Radio Times. The first four episodes focus on the weeks leading up to Diana’s sudden death and then the national mourning that followed.
The final six episodes, which will be released on December 14, tell the story of the monarchy’s response to the death of “the people’s princess”, and end with William meeting Kate and Charles, played by Dominic West, marrying Camilla, played by Olivia Williams, in 2005.