In the highly anticipated final season of Netflix's "The Crown," viewers are confronted with the series' most challenging narrative yet: the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Peter Morgan, the mastermind behind the series and writer of "The Queen," shifts his focus from the British monarchy's response to Diana's death to a more detailed exploration of her life's final chapters.
Elizabeth Debicki takes center stage in this season, portraying Diana with a depth that reveals her struggles with mental health and the overwhelming media scrutiny that plagued her final days. Her portrayal, often alongside Khalid Abdalla's Dodi Fayed, paints a vivid picture of a life increasingly burdened by public and private pressures.
The storyline intensifies with the public frenzy over Diana and Dodi, especially after photos of them on Mohamed Al-Fayed's yacht were leaked. This moment highlights the relentless media interest in Diana's life, which, as the series suggests, contributed to the tragic car accident in Paris that claimed both their lives.
Diana's Story Amplified
Netflix's decision to split the season into two parts may seem financially motivated, but it also serves a narrative purpose. By focusing intensively on Diana, with other royal figures like the Queen and Charles in lesser roles, the series amplifies the magnitude of Diana's life and untimely death.
The portrayal of Diana's death is notably restrained. The series chooses not to depict the actual crash or its immediate aftermath, aligning with ethical storytelling and respecting the dignity of those involved. This decision reflects a sensitivity to the exploitative nature of trauma voyeurism, which the series critiques through its portrayal of the press's role in Diana's final days.
While "The Crown" often blurs the lines between fact and fiction, its treatment of Diana's story is handled with notable care and respect. The series successfully balances dramatic storytelling with a poignant exploration of the human aspects of its characters.
The emotional impact is significant, even for those too young to remember Diana, underscoring the strength of Morgan's storytelling. Season 6 of "The Crown," while certain to draw its share of criticism, stands out for its careful handling of a sensitive subject and its critique of the media's role in shaping public figures' lives.
The season not only entertains but also invites reflection on the ongoing relevance of these themes in today's media landscape.