‘The Crown’ aims to depict Princess Diana’s final days with dignity

By Rollo Ross and Danielle Broadway

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – For Elizabeth Debicki, portraying Princess Diana on “The Crown” for two seasons created a sense of responsibility to be as authentic as possible for the many people who revere the British royal family.

“There is a profound sense of tragedy that lives in your body when you play that part of the story,” Debicki told Reuters in an interview. “But having watched it, which I recently did, and while the credits are rolling, I thought this was a really serious thing that we put on the screen.”

The two-part sixth, and final, season of “The Crown” explores Princess Diana’s final days before she perishes in a car accident. It premieres on Netflix on Nov. 16.

As a historical drama, the Emmy-winning drama series created by Peter Morgan seeks to tell the story of Queen Elizabeth’s reign against the backdrop of various royal dramas.

Debicki believes it’s a common experience for “The Crown” actors to struggle to “let go” and stop “observing” themselves while filming the show.

The pressure of capturing the British royals is intense, especially when depicting the loss of a princess to whom many people still feel connected, she said.

“Yeah, we left all the pieces of ourselves up there on the screen, because it deserves nothing less than that,” Debicki said.

Similarly, Khalid Abdalla – who portrays Dodi Fayed, Egyptian billionaire Mohamed al-Fayed’s son, who was in a romantic relationship with Princess Diana – viewed his work with Debicki as a huge responsibility.

“The process of doing it together has been everything that you would wish for in collaboration,” he said, referring to working with Debicki.

He went into the final season also thinking about how the loss of Princess Diana is still a “cultural trauma” for “millions of people around the world.”

Abdalla said the sacredness of what “The Crown” cast was recreating was something to which he wanted to give dignity.

(Reporting by Rollo Ross and Danielle Broadway; Editing by Mary Milliken and Jonathan Oatis)