As fans of The Crown eagerly anticipate its forthcoming sixth season, the show’s producers are speaking out, saying Princess Diana’s death in a car accident in Paris was “delicately, thoughtfully recreated” for the Netflix hit. When we left off at the end of season five, the summer of 1997 was beginning, which ended in Diana’s death at just 36 years old. The crash also killed Diana’s boyfriend, Dodi Al Fayed, and driver Henri Paul; bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was the accident’s only survivor, though he was severely injured.
Per People, executive producers Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie, speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, said “The show might be big and noisy, but we’re not,” Mackie said. “We’re thoughtful people, and we’re sensitive people. There were very careful, long conversations about how we were going to do it. The audience will judge it in the end, but I think it’s been delicately, thoughtfully recreated.” She added that Elizabeth Debicki, who portrays the late princess, “was so thoughtful and considerate. She loved Diana. There’s a huge amount of respect from us all. I hope that’s evident.”
People previously confirmed that the crash’s moment of impact in a Parisian tunnel will be excluded from The Crown.
Police officer David Douglas, who worked on Operation Paget, the investigation into the various conspiracy theories surrounding the late Princess of Wales’ death, spoke about the cause of the accident on ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “It’s my absolute, total belief it was a terrible, tragic accident in which three people lost their lives and one other person had their life turned upside down,” he said. “When you look at most incidents, accidents, you find there’s a chain of events, and if any one of those chain of events had been different, it might not have led to that happening. For example, if they’d been wearing seatbelts, our experts tell us it was probably an 80 percent chance that they would have survived the accident.”
Though season six—the show’s final season—doesn’t reach modern years of the monarchy, Harries said that Her late Majesty’s death last September impacted the series’ finale. “The passing of Her Majesty impacted on us all,” Harries said. “It didn’t change [the story] fundamentally, but it did change it in a sense. When you see it, I think you will know what I mean. It’s a very powerful film and a very respectful episode.”
Mackie added she had “very mixed emotions” about the series coming to an end after six seasons: “It’s a huge part of my career and my life, and I’m deeply proud of it,” she said. “So suddenly it’s ending, and one feels untethered by that.”
Photos from the set of The Crown’s final season have hinted at storylines including the beginning of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s love story at the University of St. Andrews in the early 2000s to Prince Harry’s Nazi costume scandal.