The Crown star Elizabeth Debicki has opened up about the difficult task of portraying the final days of Princess Diana's life in season 6 of the Netflix series.


The latest episodes, which are streaming from next week, will explore the tragic fate of the beloved royal, but Debicki revealed that she was keen to find the moments of brightness in such a dark chapter of history.

She explained: "For me, in terms of an overarching journey through season 6, one of the things that felt so important, because we know where the story is going, is to make sure that there was real joy and happiness and lightness and genuine fun on the screen.

"So, that was really the piece I felt that I could control, in a way, and that became a real focus. I also really needed it. I needed to have a good time, and so we did, as much as we could, with the kids and Khalid and Salim. We just really lent into it."

Khalid Abdalla plays Dodi Fayed, who also died in the horrific Paris car crash, while Salim Daw plays his father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, who passed away in August of this year.

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"It felt very important to give the story, because if we can know anything, from photographs, I think at times they had a really lovely time," continued Debicki.

The Crown season 6 is almost certain to court controversy, as people hold polarised opinions on how best to tackle the sensitive subject matter – or indeed, whether it's right to even attempt it.

Debicki acknowledged that the show's depiction is not a factual document, but rather "Peter [Morgan]'s emotional blueprint" and "interpretation" of the events. "Obviously, it's devastating and it's fraught and we can never know," she added.

The star said she felt great sympathy for Diana whilst filming scenes in Paris, during which the Princess is hounded by reporters and photographers, and spoke on her distress of experiencing even a short simulation of that cruel treatment.

Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales holds the face of Khalid Abdalla as Dodi Fayed in The Crown season 6.
Elizabeth Debicki as Diana and Khalid Abdalla as Dodi Fayed in The Crown season 6. Netflix

"It was difficult to recreate. It was heavy and very manic, and incredibly invasive," she explained.

"And it had a kind of pressure to it... being pursued by that many actors playing the press, because there's nowhere you can go – and you only have to be in a situation like that for about a minute, before you realise this is completely unbearable."

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Debicki concluded: "No one should ever be having to experience what it feels like to try and get the scenes in the daytime in Paris, trying to get from one place to another, and to have this swarm around you.

"You feel very trapped. It's a really unpleasant experience."

The Crown season 6 cast also includes Dominic West as Prince Charles, Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles and Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II.

The Crown season 6 part 1 is streaming on Netflix from Thursday 16th November 2023. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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