The Crown: Netflix to release first part of the final season on Thursday

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Australian actress Debicki, who plays Princes Diana, has also appeared in Tenet, The Great Gatsby and Guardians of the Galaxy
By Yasmin Rufo
Entertainment Reporter

The final series of Netflix’s The Crown launches on Thursday, with the first four episodes set to be released.

Season six of the royal drama will depict the events of the late 1990s, including Princess Diana’s relationship with Dodi Fayed.

The new episodes will also show the events leading up to Diana’s death in 1997, and the aftermath.

However, the show’s release has been met with criticism over historical inaccuracies.

Kelly Swaby, a royal historian, told the BBC: “As a historian it sometimes makes me want to cry.

“Viewers often expect a certain degree of accuracy with the show because the production quality is so high, but we don’t always get that.”

Netflix previously said the show “has always been presented as a drama based on historical events”.

The new season is split into two parts. The first four episodes launch on Netflix at 0800 GMT on Thursday. The remaining six episodes will follow on 14 December.

The latest series has been once again written by Peter Morgan, who created the hugely popular show which has been running since 2016.

At the end of season five, viewers saw Tony Blair become prime minister and Prince Charles go to Hong Kong.

The new season starts with Diana (played by Elizabeth Debicki) and Prince Charles (Dominic West) spending their first summer apart as a divorced couple with their sons Prince William (Rufus Kampa) and Prince Harry (Fflyn Edwards).

Princess Diana began a relationship with Egyptian film producer, Dodi Fayed after her divorce from Prince Charles
The Wire star Dominic West reprises his role as Prince Charles, as he was then, in the show’s sixth season

While Diana holidays on a yacht belonging to Dodi’s father, business tycoon Mohamed Al Fayed (Salim Daw), in the south of France, Prince Charles spends time in Balmoral.

Subsequent episodes cover the media frenzy around Diana and Dodi’s (Khalid Abdalla) relationship, culminating in the paparazzi chase that caused the car they were both in to crash in a tunnel in Paris. Both died on 31 August 1997.

The series is set to portray the immediate events following the fatal car accident, including reactions and responses from the Queen and Al Fayed.

Producers have said Prince William will be seen trying to integrate back into life at Eton following his mother’s death.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival earlier this year, producers said the subject of Diana’s death has been treated “sensitively”.

Imelda Staunton will reprise her role as Queen Elizabeth II for the sixth season. The monarch has previously been played by Olivia Colman and Claire Foy.

Jonathan Pryce will also return as the Duke of Edinburgh.

The second half of the final season, released in December, will cover events including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, Prince Charles and Camilla’s wedding and the courtship of William and Kate – now the Prince and Princess of Wales – at the University of St Andrews.

Imelda Staunton reprises her role as Queen Elizabeth II, who has previously also been played by Claire Foy and Olivia Colman

Ms Swaby said The Crown will have taken “artistic license” on how sensitive events are depicted, not least because “no-one knows what happened in private events” such as how Prince Charles broke the news of Diana’s death to his sons.

She added that the production would have had to “tread very carefully this season as most of the people in it are still alive”.

On Diana’s death, Ms Swaby said careful thought would have gone into its portrayal because “Harry and William are still affected by their mother’s death and that’s being turned into entertainment”.

Actors Ed McVey, Meg Bellamy and Luther Ford will play Prince William, Kate Middleton (now the Prince and Princess of Wales) and Prince Harry

Princes William and Harry will be played by Ed McVey and Luther Ford respectively in the second half of the season. Kate Middleton will be played by Meg Bellamy.

It is the first major role for all three of the young actors.

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