It’s Sad to Say Goodbye, But It’s Time: The Crown Cast at Finale Premiere

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'The Crown' Cast at Finale Premiere Dave Benett - Getty Images

After six series, three casts and millions of viewers across the world, The Crown has celebrated its last hurrah. Cast members past and present walked the red carpet at London’s Festival Hall last night for the finale celebration and a premiere screening of the last ever episode.

Fittingly, the great British weather was also out in force, with the rain stopping just in time for the stars to make their entrances. But for Khalid Abdalla, who played Dodi Al Fayed, it was the perfect setting. “It's incredible to be here and it’s incredible to be in London…now we’re home,” he said.

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Abdalla, center, with Elizabeth Debicki and Emma Corrin, who portrayed Princess Diana.Karwai Tang - Getty Images

Describing recreating Dodi and Diana’s story as “a kind of pilgrimage” which “we had to hold sacred,” Abdalla said he was “both sad and happy” that the show was ending. “I think one of the challenges of making anything is knowing when to finish,” he said. “And it’s best that things don’t continue past when they should. And I think this is the right place and the right time to end it.”

For Marion Bailey, who played the Queen Mother in series three and four, there were also mixed sentiments. “It’s quite sad,” she said. “But I think that’s it’s good that it’s coming to an end because these things can drag on too long. So I guess they’ve been very clever to finish it now.”

“I still love it,” Bailey said of the show. “I can remember watching the very first one when I was asked to do it. They sent me recordings of the first two seasons, I thought I’ll watch a couple and maybe I’ll watch a couple more tomorrow. And I was riveted. I sat in front of the television with a bottle of red wine, my partner and I just sat there and said let’s watch the next one, let’s watch the next one. And we watched the whole of the first season. And I just thought this is lovely.”

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Warren, carrying a crown-shaped purse, walks on the red carpet.Mike Marsland - Getty Images

Marcia Warren, who took over from Bailey as the show’s final Queen Mother, reflected, “To get the best job of your life when you’re 80 is a bit of a shock.” Of being on the final red carpet, she said, “It’s very exciting. It’s very sad and I can’t believe it has all finished because we’ve been doing it for two years now.” Full of praise for the real royals, she said, “I’m just amazed at them all, this thing called duty.”

Also on the red carpet was Claudia Harrison, who plays the show’s final Princess Anne. “We were all quite nervous,” she said. “You are playing a real person and you’ve got the weight of the responsibility of all the seasons up until now.” She has never met Princess Anne, but suggested that the real Princess would likely react to the show with good humor. “I think she’d probably be very amused by the whole thing,” Harrison said.

The final episodes of season six will be released on Netflix on December 14.

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