‘The Crown’ producers reveal how Princess Diana’s death will be depicted

Elizabeth Debicki stars as Princess Diana in 'The Crown.'. Courtesy / Netflix

The producers of The Crown have promised they’ve “delicately” depicted the death of Princess Diana in an episode in the show’s upcoming season.

Speaking onstage at the Edinburgh TV Festival, executive producer Suzanne Mackie said the show’s crew have done their best to handle the portrayal in a caring manner.

“The show might be big and noisy, but we’re not,” Mackie told the crowd, as reported by the BBC. “We’re thoughtful people and we’re sensitive people.”

The upcoming season marks the sixth and final for the show, and Variety reports that the late royal’s 1997 death will be depicted in the early episodes of the season.

“There were very careful, long conversations about how we were going to do it,” Mackie said of their approach to the sensitive subject matter.

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She added that actress Elizabeth Debicki, who took over the role as the princess in season 5, “loved Diana.”

Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki in ‘The Crown.’. Courtesy / Netflix

“Elizabeth Debicki is an extraordinary actress and she was so thoughtful and considerate…There’s a huge amount of respect from us all, I hope that’s evident.”

Deadline reports that the scenes were shot over a two-week period last October and that there was “anxiety behind the scenes” about the extremely sensitive nature of the material.

The Crown, especially in recent years, isn’t without its critics. As the dramatized royal story pushes closer and closer to modern times, some have complained the production is too sensationalized.

In an open letter to The Times UK last year, Oscar-winning actor Judi Dench wrote that The Crown presents “an inaccurate and hurtful account of history.”

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Click to play video: '‘The Crown’ follows the early days of Queen Elizabeth’s reign'
‘The Crown’ follows the early days of Queen Elizabeth’s reign

“Indeed, the closer the drama comes to our present times, the more freely it seems willing to blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism,” wrote Dench.

She worried audiences, particularly overseas, may take the show as truth.

At the time, Netflix responded and claimed The Crown “is a fictional dramatization, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the Royal Family – one that has already been scrutinized and well-documented by journalists, biographers and historians.”

Prince Harry, speaking about the show last year in an interview with late night host James Cordon, said he’s generally been ok with how his family has been depicted.

Meg Bellamy and Ed McVey as Kate Middleton and Prince William in the sixth and final season of ‘The Crown.’. Courtesy / Netflix

“It’s fictional. But it’s loosely based on the truth. Of course it’s not strictly accurate, but it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle — the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else — what can come from that.”

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He continued: “I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife or myself, because it’s the difference between fiction— take it how you will — and being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.”

Andy Harries, another executive producer on the show, told the Edinburgh crowd this week that the passing of Queen Elizabeth II has affected the show.

“I think that the passing of Her Majesty undoubtedly impacted on us all and [writer Peter Morgan] in particular,” he responded.

“It didn’t change fundamentally, but it did change in a sense and when you see it I think you’ll know what I mean.”

Season 6 of The Crown will air on Netflix later this year. So far, no release date has been set.

with files from Global News’ Sarah Do Couto


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