Is Elizabeth Debicki’s Portrayal Of Princess Diana Accurate?


“The Crown” played fast and loose with reality this season, but there are elements of the story that are verifiably true. Prince Charles (Dominic West) did throw a 50th birthday party for his now-wife Camilla Parker Bowles (Olivia Williams) and he did hire Mark Bolland (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) to help generate positive press for the couple after their affair was revealed.

Princess Diana’s life and death provoked an intense amount of media coverage, and the show uses costuming to help ground the events and characters, effectively blurring the line between fiction and reality. Diana indeed wore a Tiffany blue one-piece bathing suit while on vacation in the Mediterranean with Dodi Fayed, but the dialogue and the specifics included in their yacht holiday are largely speculative.

Similarly, there is evidence that Dodi and Diana picked out a diamond ring together and that Dodi went to Repossi in Paris and purchased the ring the day before he and Diana died. But there is no proof that he ever actually proposed to her, nor that the two intended to get married.

Season 6 of “The Crown” goes out of its way to paint Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed (Salim Daw), as a social-climbing villain intent on exploiting Diana to increase his own social access and power. But while the show suggests that Al-Fayed starts the paparazzi furor over Diana and Dodi by hiring a photographer to follow them around — thus suggesting that he was culpable for their tragic deaths — the truth is that the British press had been following Diana for two decades before she ever met Dodi.

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