The Crown exclusive: Elizabeth Debicki films Princess Diana’s cruise with Dodi Al Fayed


The Crown’s Elizabeth Debicki slipped into a swimsuit as she filmed scenes of Princess Diana’s Mediterranean cruise with Dodi Al Fayed in 1997, which came just weeks before her tragic death.

The Australian actress, 32, looked stunning in a backless animal print halter-neck swimsuit as she filmed scenes for the sixth season of the Netflix drama on a replica of yacht Jonikal, owned by Dodi’s father Mohamed Al Fayed.

She embodied the late Princess of Wales she recreated one of Diana’s very recognisable holiday looks from when she holidayed in St Tropez with Dodi back in July 1997.

The Crown are recreating the holiday when sailed from the South of France to Sardinia with her two sons and Dodi just weeks before she was killed in a car crash in Paris.

Real life: Princess Diana is pictured in France in July 1997

In character: The Crown’s Elizabeth Debicki (left) slipped into a swimsuit as she filmed scenes of Princess Diana’s Mediterranean cruise with Dodi Al Fayed in 1997, which came just weeks before her tragic death 

Beachwear: The Australian actress, 32, looked stunning in a backless animal print halter-neck swimsuit as she filmed scenes for the sixth season of the Netflix drama on a replica of yacht Jonikal, owned by Dodi's father Mohamed Al Fayed

Beachwear: The Australian actress, 32, looked stunning in a backless animal print halter-neck swimsuit as she filmed scenes for the sixth season of the Netflix drama on a replica of yacht Jonikal, owned by Dodi’s father Mohamed Al Fayed

Elizabeth is set to make her debut as Princess Diana in the upcoming fifth season of The Crown, which is set for release on November 9, and the programme has already courted controversy with producers slammed over its which will include Diana’s now-infamous 1995 interview on Panorama.

In the latest filming pictures, taken on October 19, Elizabeth was a dead ringer for the royal as she sported the animal print swimsuit while lounging on the luxurious yacht with Khalid Abdalla, who plays Diana’s lover Dodi.

She shielded her eyes with a pair of oval sunglasses as she was joined by the crew on a smaller boat as they travelled out to a replica of Fayed’s famous lavish liner.

Her co-stars Rufus Kampa, who is playing a young Prince William, and Will Powell who stars as Prince Harry, did not appear to be present during the scenes.

Spitting image: She embodied the late Princess of Wales she recreated one of Diana's very recognisable holiday looks from when she sailed from the South of France to Sardinia with her two sons and Dodi weeks before she was killed in Paris

Looking back: Princess Diana is pictured in St Tropez, France, in 1997

Spitting image: She embodied the late Princess of Wales she recreated one of Diana’s very recognisable holiday looks from when she sailed from the South of France to Sardinia with her two sons and Dodi weeks before she was killed in Paris

Yacht Titania is set to act as a stand-in for Fayed’s yacht Jonikal during both the fifth and sixth seasons of The Crown.

In May 2020, Omar’s father’s yacht – which had hosted the royals and Dodi – was sold for £171,000, with some observers telling The Sunday Express that the bid was surprisingly low, sparking fears that the memory of Diana was ‘fading’.

Royal author Margaret Holder, who penned Diana: The Caring Princess, a look at the Princess of Wales’ life published in 1999, said she felt it was: ‘a shame that this historic boat didn’t attract a higher bid as a remarkable souvenir of the last days of Diana’s life.’

The boat was used by Dodi as the venue for lavish parties in the South of France, mainly in St Tropez.

Recognisable look: In the latest filming pictures, taken on October 19, Elizabeth was a dead ringer for the royal as she sported the animal print swimsuit while lounging on the luxurious yacht

Royal: Princess Diana is pictured in St Tropez in 1997

Recognisable look: In the latest filming pictures, taken on October 19, Elizabeth was a dead ringer for the royal as she sported the animal print swimsuit while lounging on the luxurious yacht

Star: Elizabeth is set to make her debut as Princess Diana in the upcoming fifth season of The Crown, which is set for release on November 9

Star: Elizabeth is set to make her debut as Princess Diana in the upcoming fifth season of The Crown, which is set for release on November 9

Shooting: She was joined by the crew on a smaller boat as they travelled out to a replica of Fayed's famous lavish liner

Relaxing: Elizabeth shielded her eyes with a pair of oval sunglasses

Relaxing: Elizabeth shielded her eyes with a pair of oval sunglasses as she was joined by the crew on a smaller boat as they travelled out to a replica of Fayed’s famous lavish liner

Fashion: At one point, Elizabeth was seen with a bright blue sarong around her waist as she was joined by the crew on a boat

Fashion: At one point, Elizabeth was seen with a bright blue sarong around her waist as she was joined by the crew on a boat 

While he is not believed to feature in The Crown, Dodi’s half-brother Omar Fayed previously spoke about his memories of holidaying with the Diana, her sons and Dodi. 

Although he was just nine years old at the time of the trip, he recalled that spending time with Diana and her sons was ‘delightful’ and the period surrounding their relationship had ‘lovely family vibes’.

In an interview with Tatler last year, Omar said: ‘I met Princess Diana a few times and Princes William and Harry. They came to my dad’s house, too, and were super delightful.

‘There were so many stories that came out of that period, but for the people who were in it, it was lovely family vibes.’

Solo: Her co-stars Khalid Abdalla, who plays Diana's lover Dodi, Rufus Kampa, who is playing a young Prince William, and Will Powell who stars as Prince Harry, did not appear to be present during the scenes

Solo: Her co-stars Khalid Abdalla, who plays Diana’s lover Dodi, Rufus Kampa, who is playing a young Prince William, and Will Powell who stars as Prince Harry, did not appear to be present during the scenes

All aboard: Elizabeth was seen climbing in between two boats

Preparations: She was seen getting ready for filming the holiday scenes with the crew

All aboard: Elizabeth was seen climbing in between two boats as she was seen getting ready for filming the holiday scenes with the crew 

Helping hand: Elizabeth was assisted with climbing from one yacht to another boat as they shot the famous St Tropez scenes

Helping hand: Elizabeth was assisted with climbing from one yacht to another boat as they shot the famous St Tropez scenes 

Netflix, which spends £11.5 million per episode on the show, which is one of its biggest global hits, is about to launch series five on November 9.

It will cover the years from 1991 to 1997, and will include details of Diana’s Panorama interview in 1995.

King Charles, played by Dominic West, is the dominant figure in the drama. He is shown lobbying Prime Minister John Major in a bizarre attempt to force his mother’s abdication.

It also depicts Charles bitterly arguing with Diana as their divorce looms, and romancing Camilla, now Queen Consort, including a dramatisation of the notorious ‘tampongate’ phone call. 

All smiles: Elizabeth placed a hand on her co-star's shoulder as they docked on a smaller boat, which they used to travel out to the yacht

All smiles: Elizabeth placed a hand on her co-star’s shoulder as they docked on a smaller boat, which they used to travel out to the yacht 

Snapping away: Elizabeth was seen embodying Diana as she sat on a small boat, which was followed by a boat filled with photographers

Snapping away: Elizabeth was seen embodying Diana as she sat on a small boat, which was followed by a boat filled with photographers 

The fifth series of The Crown, which will cover the years leading up to Princess Diana’s 1995 Panorama interview, has already sparked anger before its release.

A production source said that media outrage over inaccuracies – and the lack of sensitivity in airing the series so close to the death of the Queen – is ‘spooking’ the broadcaster.

The source said: ‘The show has never been about sensationalism but it has also always been a drama. For the first years it seemed that everyone was happy to tolerate it.’

But the source said writer Peter Morgan had become increasingly ‘uncomfortable’ as the series of The Crown edged closer to the present day.

Big scenes: Elizabeth was accompanied by a vast crew as they filmed the yacht scenes, which came weeks before Princess Diana's death in Paris

Big scenes: Elizabeth was accompanied by a vast crew as they filmed the yacht scenes, which came weeks before Princess Diana’s death in Paris 

Posing: Elizabeth appeared to be the spitting image of Diana

Snaps: She waved for photographs while in her beachwear look

Posing: Elizabeth appeared to be the spitting image of Diana as she waved for photographs while in her beachwear look

Leggy display: She showed off her toned pins as she drank a bottle of water in between takes on the scorching day

Leggy display: She showed off her toned pins as she drank a bottle of water in between takes on the scorching day

They said: ‘The truth is that it was easier to write the earlier series because, firstly, there is a wealth of historical documentation, plus a consensus over more of what happened, and you can be more broad brush dramatically and people don’t find it hurtful.

‘Peter is always trying to get to the truth. There is always reams and reams of research.

‘However, people are more loose-lipped about Princess Margaret 50 years ago than John Major in 1991.

‘Peter is very aware of all of it and it is a struggle. He insisted on announcing that series five would be the last, even though Netflix didn’t want to announce it. It didn’t want to kill the golden goose.

Lavish boat: Yacht Titania is set to act as a stand-in for Fayed's yacht Jonikal during both the fifth and sixth seasons of The Crown

Lavish boat: Yacht Titania is set to act as a stand-in for Fayed’s yacht Jonikal during both the fifth and sixth seasons of The Crown

Sunny: Elizabeth soaked up the sun in between takes

Salute: She appeared to be in excellent form as she saluted photographers while filming on a lavish boat

Salute: She appeared to be in excellent form as she saluted photographers while filming on a lavish boat 

Shielding her eyes: Elizabeth shielded her eyes from the sunshine with a chic pair of black sunglasses with gold embellishments

Shielding her eyes: Elizabeth shielded her eyes from the sunshine with a chic pair of black sunglasses with gold embellishments 

‘Then, a few months, later he had changed his mind and he said that he was writing series six. But this will be it. He won’t go any further towards the present day. It’s already uncomfortable enough.’

But Elizabeth defended the series and said it was an ‘interpretation’ of events and ‘we can maybe stop talking’ about the controversy.

She told the Radio Times: ‘I respect people’s points of view and I, being an actor in the show, understand the nature of what the show is.

‘It was always very clear to me that one can never know what happens behind closed doors and that a writer is interpreting what may have happened.

Cheerful: Elizabeth appeared to be in jovial spirits as she reclined on the boat

Cheerful: Elizabeth appeared to be in jovial spirits as she reclined on the boat 

Glamorous: Elizabeth looked sensational in her orange animal print swimsuit, which she styled with silver earrings

Texting: Elizabeth was seen holding her phone as she texted in between takes

Glamorous: Elizabeth looked sensational in her orange animal print swimsuit, which she styled with silver earrings 

Holiday: Elizabeth was seen standing on a boat as she jetted off to the lavish yacht during sun-soaked scenes

Holiday: Elizabeth was seen standing on a boat as she jetted off to the lavish yacht during sun-soaked scenes 

‘Now the disclaimer is up there, we can maybe stop talking about it and move on. If that’s helpful for certain people, so be it, and now the conversation can be returned to the creative endeavour of what the show is.’

She added: ‘There’s a huge amount of room for interpretation and that’s the value and beauty of The Crown as well, that you receive a different message depending on who you are. That’s good drama to me.’

Acting royalty Dame Judi Dench, who is close to King Charles and Camilla, recently accused the programme of being ‘crude and hurtful’.

Dame Judi, 87, who has played Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, told The Times the series risked damaging the monarchy. The Oscar-winning actress blamed it for ‘crude sensationalism’ and blurring fact and fiction.

Precarious: Elizabeth made her way across from one boat to another with the help of the crew during the busy day of filming

Precarious: Elizabeth made her way across from one boat to another with the help of the crew during the busy day of filming 

Comparison: Elizabeth embodied the late Princess of Wales in her backless swimsuit as she posed on a yacht

Throwback: Princess Diana is pictured in 1997

Comparison: Elizabeth embodied the late Princess of Wales in her backless swimsuit as she posed on a yacht

Looking out to sea: Elizabeth was seen leaning over the side of a boat as they approached the yacht during filming

Looking out to sea: Elizabeth was seen leaning over the side of a boat as they approached the yacht during filming 

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major criticised a scene which shows him having a conversation with then Prince Charles about the possibility of the Queen abdicating as ‘malicious nonsense’.

Amid growing controversy about the way The Crown blurs reality and fiction, Netflix recently updated its description of the series to add a disclaimer to its trailer on YouTube which says it is a ‘fictional dramatisation’.

Series six will show moped-riding paparazzi photographers swarming Princess Diana‘s car in the lead-up to the crash that killed her in Paris.

Netflix previously said the ‘exact moment’ of the crash will not feature in the controversial drama as filming for series six is well-underway.

Controversial: The fifth series of The Crown, which will cover the years leading up to Princess Diana's 1995 Panorama interview, has already sparked anger before its release

Controversial: The fifth series of The Crown, which will cover the years leading up to Princess Diana’s 1995 Panorama interview, has already sparked anger before its release 

Defence: But Elizabeth defended the series and said it was an 'interpretation' of events and 'we can maybe stop talking' about the controversy

Bronzed: Elizabeth soaked up the sun as she shot scenes in St Tropez

Defence: But Elizabeth defended the series and said it was an ‘interpretation’ of events and ‘we can maybe stop talking’ about the controversy

'I respect people's points of view': She told the Radio Times: 'It was always very clear to me that one can never know what happens behind closed doors and that a writer is interpreting what may have happened'

‘I respect people’s points of view’: She told the Radio Times: ‘It was always very clear to me that one can never know what happens behind closed doors and that a writer is interpreting what may have happened’

Slammed: Elizabeth's latest scenes for season six come after critics recently slammed the 'insensitivity' of Netflix amid outrage over the show's disregard for historical truth

Under fire: The Crown has come under controversy in recent weeks, ahead of season five's premiere on November 9

Slammed: Elizabeth’s latest scenes for season six come after critics recently slammed the ‘insensitivity’ of Netflix amid outrage over the show’s disregard for historical truth

Historical moments: As well as following Diana's holiday in St Tropez, The Crown will also show photographers chasing her car in Paris moments before her death. The actual crash will not be shown

Historical moments: As well as following Diana’s holiday in St Tropez, The Crown will also show photographers chasing her car in Paris moments before her death. The actual crash will not be shown

The paparazzi infamously pursued the car being driven by drunk driver Henri Paul as it carried Diana and her lover Dodi Al Fayed away from the Ritz hotel in Paris.

Some then took pictures as Diana, Dodi and Paul lay gravely injured in the wrecked Mercedes after the crash.

Critics recently slammed the ‘insensitivity’ of Netflix amid outrage over the show’s disregard for historical truth.

Speaking to MailOnline, royal biographer Andrew Lownie said the depiction of the minutes before Diana’s death is ‘distasteful’, adding that ‘a bit of sensitivity would not go amiss’. He said the show’s makers could face accusations of ‘insensitivity’ over the filming in Paris.

Fashionista: Elizabeth was the spitting image of Diana and opted for pink lipstick to complete her look

Fashionista: Elizabeth was the spitting image of Diana and opted for pink lipstick to complete her look

Splashing around: Elizabeth looked out to sea and soaked up the views as they filmed out on the water for the St Tropez scenes

Jetting off: The small boat travelled at speed as they replicated scenes

Splashing around: Elizabeth looked out to sea and soaked up the views as they filmed out on the water for the St Tropez scenes

Lavish: In May 2020, Omar's father's yacht - which had hosted the royals and Dodi - was sold for £171,000, with some observers telling The Sunday Express that the bid was surprisingly low, sparking fears that the memory of Diana was 'fading'

Lavish: In May 2020, Omar’s father’s yacht – which had hosted the royals and Dodi – was sold for £171,000, with some observers telling The Sunday Express that the bid was surprisingly low, sparking fears that the memory of Diana was ‘fading’ 

Mr Lownie, the author of biographies of King Edward VIII and Lord Mountbatten and his wife, said of filming images in Paris: ‘I agree it is distasteful [to recreate the scenes].

‘It is such an important part of the story and they have got to show it, but a bit of sensitivity would not go amiss.

‘There are lots of ways filmmakers can show something without showing it, shall we say.’

He added: It could all be off screen. It doesn’t need to be so graphic. We have had documentaries even showing pictures of the bodies in the car. In some ways people have gone further.

‘They will say this is drama, documentaries have been more blatant, so what is the fuss.’

His comments come after Debbie Frank, who was Diana’s astrologer, said it would be ‘terrible’ for Princes William and Harry to see a recreation of the moments leading up to their mother’s death.

‘It’s obviously terrible for Diana’s children to have to see that again. It’s insensitive,’ she said.

Grinning: Elizabeth flashed a smile as she climbed from one boat to another during filming

Looking good: She stunned in her swimsuit during the takes

Grinning: Elizabeth flashed a smile as she climbed from one boat to another during filming 

Shielded: Elizabeth was shielded by a large black umbrella as she walked along the dock and towards the lavish boat for filming

Shielded: Elizabeth was shielded by a large black umbrella as she walked along the dock and towards the lavish boat for filming 

Good spirits: Elizabeth appeared in excellent form as she chatted with someone who sat on another boat during the busy day of filming out at sea

Good spirits: Elizabeth appeared in excellent form as she chatted with someone who sat on another boat during the busy day of filming out at sea 

She added: ‘I feel Diana’s death and the crash was the biggest shock of our generation. It had such a huge impact across the national psyche.

‘I guess the makers of The Crown feel they are entitled to show a re-enactment of scenes leading up to her death and that it has dramatic impact. But relatives would think otherwise.’

Miss Frank, who knew Diana from 1989 until her death, also questioned if this was the right time for a dramatization of Diana’s death so soon after the Queen’s death.

Royal biographer Angela Levin said: ‘I think they’re appalling, it’s so callous and particularly for William and Harry.

Wave: Elizabeth held her sarong around her waist and flashed a grin to photographers during the takes

Wave: Elizabeth held her sarong around her waist and flashed a grin to photographers during the takes 

Touch ups: A member of the crew was seen combing Elizabeth's hair and perfecting her look as they stood on a boat

Haircut: The member of the crew helped her to perfect Diana's signature bob

Touch ups: A member of the crew was seen combing Elizabeth’s hair and perfecting her look as they stood on a boat 

Wow: She was the spitting image of Diana

Good spirits: Elizabeth was seen greeting photographers with a wave during filming

Good spirits: Elizabeth was seen greeting photographers with a wave during filming as she was the spitting image of Diana 

Shooting: Members of the crew were seen leaning over from one boat to another to film Elizabeth relaxing as Diana

Shooting: Members of the crew were seen leaning over from one boat to another to film Elizabeth relaxing as Diana 

‘It’s terrible, it’s reliving something that happened a long time ago and is still in people’s minds and making them have all those feelings again.

‘You can do a dramatisation of events, but there is a limit – and I think this is going over the limit. It’s not necessary. I feel very sorry for the Royal Family.

‘It’s very hurtful for them, and everyone who knew Diana. She was adored around the world and it will bring a lot of people a lot of unhappiness.’

The Crown has been a huge hit for Netflix. Each episode now costs around £11.5million. 

There are no depths of bad taste The Crown does not plumb: Netflix series portrays Charles, Philip and The Queen with disdain bordering on mockery while William is seen as slightly dim and sulky and Harry is let off lightly, writes CHRISTOPHER STEVENS 

There are no depths of bad taste that writer Peter Morgan does not plumb in the new ten-part series of The Crown on Netflix.

Divorces, infidelities, the most intimate conversations, the infamous interview with Princess Diana and Martin Bashir, even the death of a five-year-old from cancer – all are exploited for lurid drama.

As the eight-and-a-half hours of new film were made available to journalists last night, under a stringent embargo, the sheer virulence of the storylines became shockingly clear.

Charles, Philip and at times the Queen herself are portrayed with disdain bordering on mockery. A teenage Prince William is also shown in an unflattering light, as slightly dim and sulky, though his younger brother Harry is let off lightly and barely features.

Netflix may well find that, with the international grief and mourning that marked the death of the Queen less than two months ago, viewers’ appetite for royal muck-raking has disappeared.

Insiders at the streaming giant say the mood in the company is already uneasy, with some American executives surprised by the backlash from fans who fear the death of the Princess of Wales will be re-enacted in graphic detail.

Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales from season five of The Crown, which will air next week

Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales from season five of The Crown, which will air next week

Bashir is shown meeting Diana in a dimly lit car park and feeding lies to her, urging her to trust no one

Bashir is shown meeting Diana in a dimly lit car park and feeding lies to her, urging her to trust no one 

Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales, Dominic West as Charles, Teddy Hawley as Prince Harry and Timothee Sambor as Prince William, from season five of The Crown

Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales, Dominic West as Charles, Teddy Hawley as Prince Harry and Timothee Sambor as Prince William, from season five of The Crown

Divorces, infidelities, the most intimate conversations, the infamous interview with Princess Diana and Martin Bashir, even the death of a five-year-old from cancer – all are exploited for lurid drama. Pictured: The recreation from the series

Divorces, infidelities, the most intimate conversations, the infamous interview with Princess Diana and Martin Bashir, even the death of a five-year-old from cancer – all are exploited for lurid drama. Pictured: The recreation from the series

Olivia Williams as Camilla and Dominic West as Charles, from season five of The Crown

Olivia Williams as Camilla and Dominic West as Charles, from season five of The Crown

Diana pictured during her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC in November 1995

Diana pictured during her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC in November 1995

A teenage Prince William is also shown in an unflattering light, as slightly dim and sulky, though his younger brother Harry is let off lightly and barely features

 A teenage Prince William is also shown in an unflattering light, as slightly dim and sulky, though his younger brother Harry is let off lightly and barely features

This series stops short of that moment. It ends with Diana, divorced from Charles, preparing for a Mediterranean holiday with her friend Dodi Fayed.

Full reviews, with assessments of individual performances and an analysis of how far the script strays from historical fact, are embargoed until Saturday morning.

But no spoiler alert is needed when I say that this series of The Crown is unrecognisable in its tone, compared to the original series in 2016.

This show with its almost unlimited budget and all-star cast has become a monstrous perversion of itself.

At the beginning, The Crown charted the affectionate romance of the Princess Elizabeth and her prince, the Duke of Edinburgh, played with touching vulnerability by Claire Foy and Matt Smith.

But it has descended into scandal-mongering, intent on inflicting every possible embarrassment on the Royal Family.

The Crown is now a nakedly republican polemic, using embarrassment as its chief weapon against the monarchy.

Chief victim is the monarch himself. Perhaps Morgan and his Netflix paymasters imagined, like most of us, that the Queen would survive, ruling above reproach, for a number of years to come – and that the former Prince of Wales was fair game.

Certainly, none of the preview episodes (labelled, it ought to be said, as ‘work in progress’) carried an acknowledgment of Her Majesty’s death. Any viewers expecting a respectful caption, saluting her 70 years on the throne, will be disappointed.

But from the outset, the campaign against Charles is lacerating. In scene after scene, he is depicted as devious, impatient, resentful, devoid of self-awareness in his desperation to be king.

How Prince Harry, who professes hatred of any media exploitation of his mother's memory or intrusion into his own life, can continue to be associated with Netflix defies belief

How Prince Harry, who professes hatred of any media exploitation of his mother’s memory or intrusion into his own life, can continue to be associated with Netflix defies belief

When the interview airs, long sections of it are restaged, despite Prince William's insistence that it should never be aired because it harmed his mother so much

When the interview airs, long sections of it are restaged, despite Prince William’s insistence that it should never be aired because it harmed his mother so much

Insiders at the streaming giant say the mood in the company is already uneasy, with some American executives surprised by the backlash

Insiders at the streaming giant say the mood in the company is already uneasy, with some American executives surprised by the backlash 

This prince is a plotter whose mind works constantly, even during holidays with friends, on ways to dislodge his mother and force her aside. His aides talk of little else.

Despite the fact that former Prime Minister John Major has categorically dismissed this picture as nonsense, Charles is seen making a pathetic fool of himself as he tries to recruit the Tory PM into his treacherous schemes.

Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles – now the King and Queen Consort, a fact shamefully ignored by Netflix – suffer greater indignity still, with the replay of that excruciating phonecall.

Dominic West as Charles and Olivia Williams as Camilla, then his married mistress, re-enact every word of it… including that awful extended metaphor about being reincarnated as a tampon.

It is performed without mercy, and to emphasise the humiliation we see the reaction of other royals when the transcript is published. Princess Margaret reads it in bed. Diana holds her head in her hands.

But even this is overshadowed by Netflix’s relish for the way the Princess of Wales was tricked into a damaging TV interview by Martin Bashir of the BBC.

The affair is spread across two episodes, as Bashir is shown meeting Diana in a dimly lit car park and feeding lies to her, urging her to trust no one, at a time when her mental health was at its most fragile.

When the interview airs, long sections of it are restaged, despite Prince William’s insistence that it should never be aired because it harmed his mother so much.

We hear Elizabeth Debicki, as Diana, discussing her post-natal depression after William was born, her conviction that allegations that she was ‘crazy’ were used to discredit her, her fears for her children and her belief that Charles would never be king.

Some of these lines are spoken as we watch other members of the Royal Family – either glued to their TV sets or pointedly ignoring the broadcast. Charles reacts with rage, shouting: ‘What the hell is she doing?’

Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales appearing in the fifth season of the streaming website's show, The Crown

Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales appearing in the fifth season of the streaming website’s show, The Crown

The infamous interview is spread across two episodes, as Bashir (pictured) is shown meeting Diana in a dimly lit car park and feeding lies to her

 The infamous interview is spread across two episodes, as Bashir (pictured) is shown meeting Diana in a dimly lit car park and feeding lies to her

Prince William (played by Senan West, Dominic’s son) is seen at Eton: a teacher asks if he is all right, and the boy, then 13, says, ‘Yes, I’m fine,’ before getting up and walking away.

But the camera is trained on Diana’s face as she murmurs the most famous line from the interview: ‘Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.’

Equally callous is the decision by Morgan to include the death of Leonora Knatchbull, granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten, who was just five when she died from kidney cancer in 1991.

We see her in the first ten minutes of episode one, as Charles and the girl’s father, his friend Norton, admire the child’s curly hair and discuss her treatment.

In the second episode, Prince Philip (Jonathan Pryce) visits Leonora’s grave with her mother, Penny. Both Norton and Penny are still alive, and friends say they are distressed at the thought of their child’s death being presented on screen.

Their feelings, and those of all the Royal Family, are ignored. Netflix and Peter Morgan treat them with cold-blooded contempt. Rarely has a drama been more cruel.

How Prince Harry – who professes hatred of any media exploitation of his mother’s memory or intrusion into his own life – can continue to be associated with Netflix defies belief.

His own media company, Archewell Productions, has signed a deal with Netflix worth a rumoured $100 million (£86.7million). That will have to be a matter between Harry and his conscience.

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