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‘The Crown’ Actors Playing Diana and Dodi Reveal What To Expect in the Final Season

'The Crown' actress Elizabeth Debicki promises “joy” and “lightness” before Diana's paparazzi-fueled tragedy

The final season of The Crown has arrived, and it’s coming in two installments. The first four episodes of The Crown Season 6 pick up right where we left off, and quickly dives into Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed’s infamous relationship. On the heels of Charles and Diana’s divorce, The Crown takes viewers into a luxurious romance in the South of France, a Royal battle to control the story and the paparazzi fever that led to Diana and Dodi’s fatal car accident.

The Crown’s Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki — also known for her role as high priestess in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise — previews what we can expect from Diana’s final days and what it was like to play this tragic love story. Plus, find out when will the second half of The Crown Season 6 premiere?

The Crown final season starts with Diana’s yacht life

If anyone needs a vacation after the isolation and heartbreak of The Crown Season 5, it’s Princess Diana — and with her divorce from Prince Charles official, that’s just what she gets as Season 6 begins.

Related: Princess Diana’s Black Sheep Sweater Tells Us Everything We Need To Know About Her Marriage

While Charles plans a grand 50th birthday celebration for Camilla Parker Bowles, Diana and her boys are whisked off to Saint-Tropez by Mohamed Al-Fayed – who is hoping the princess will fall for his son, Dodi Fayed, and give him the Royal credibility he desperately craves.

For William and Harry, who’ve survived a season of their parents’ bad press and their mother’s disastrous interviews, the escape is a fabulous introduction to luxury yachts, video games and movie nights.

Diana with William and Harry in the final season of The Crown, 2023
Elizabeth Debicki as Diana with Rufus Kampa as William and Fflyn Edwards as Harry in The Crown, 2023Daniel Escale/Netflix

For Diana and Dodi, it is exactly what Mohamed hopes for — even though Dodi is not on the market when he arrives. Having won an Oscar for Chariots of Fire and bought a mansion in Malibu, the Egyptian producer has a brand-new fiancé in tow.

Despite this hurdle, Diana and Dodi find what Debicki calls a “delightful and unexpected” love.

“In terms of an overarching journey through Season 6, one of the things that felt so important — because we know where the story is going — is to make sure that there was real joy and happiness and lightness and genuine fun on the screen,” shares Debicki, the actress who plays Diana. “So much of the story is actually a lovely time.”

Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in the final season of The Crown, 2023
Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana, 2023Daniel Escale/Netflix

Finding Diana’s light for The Crown Season 6 wasn’t hard for Debicki. Not only was she ready for some happiness and companionship after Diana’s disheartening Season 5, but she and her costars were also in the South of France, frolicking on a gorgeous yacht.

“It was enormous and kind of outrageous and exactly what the story needed,” Debicki says of the Jonikal. “That was pretty extraordinary, to be on a big boat like that. And we never really took that for granted, at all.”

Unfortunately, the tide turns quickly for her character, who only spent six weeks with Dodi before their infamous car accident.

“It’s a painfully swift but I hope beautiful romance in the South of France,” previews The Crown’s Executive Producer, Suzanne Mackie.

The Crown S6 takes aim at Diana and Dodi

On Diana’s next trip with Dodi, she believes she’s again found an escape from the cameras and the Royal mayhem. Unfortunately, the paparazzi is watching.

When an intimate image of Diana and Dodi becomes a global sensation, the Royal press takes aim by sharing a contrasting shot of a wholesome Prince Charles with their sons — which only increases the whirlwind around the budding romance.

Diana and Dodi in the final season of The Crown, 2023
Debicki as Diana and Khalid Abdalla as Dodi in The Crown, 2023Daniel Escale/Netflix

As the familiar story plays out, The Crown recreates some of the iconic paparazzi images that led to speculate about Diana and Dodi.

“You look at the images of that time, and one of the crucial things that you see between them is a physical ease and a physical tenderness,” says Khalid Abdalla (Dodi), who loved, “exploring the tensions between this world that is hounding them and this nascent love affair.”

Ultimately, their romance begins to flail under their own histories and responsibilities, as well as what Mackey calls, “the crazy press attention and the insatiable appetite for everything she did at that time.”

“It was such an interrogation of something that should have been private and allowed to flourish — or not flourish — in its own time,” Debicki adds. “The media attention and the world attention on it just… I don’t really know any humans who could endure that!”

Diana and Dodi’s crashing end of The Crown final season

As Part 1 of The Crown Season 6 progresses, the paparazzi’s attention doesn’t just threaten Diana and Dodi’s romance. It takes their lives — and the days leading up to the pivotal paparazzi chase and car crash were challenging to recreate.

Diana and Dodi in a car, 2023
Debicki as Diana and Khalid Abdalla as Dodi in The Crown, 2023Daniel Escale/Netflix

“It was heavy and very manic, and incredibly invasive,” shares Debicki. “No one should ever be having to experience what it feels like to try and get the scenes in the daytime in Paris, trying to get from one place to another and to have this swarm around you. You feel very trapped. It’s a really unpleasant experience.”

Thankfully, she had Abdalla — who viewers may recognize from The Kite Runner — by her side.

“I adore Khalid,” Debicki raves of her Season 6 leading man. “He’s an amazing actor and he’s the most wonderful person. I’m so grateful for him. I couldn’t imagine doing it with anybody else, and I think we really supported each other through making this season.”

Related: How Old Would Princess Diana Be Today? 15 Intimate Photos Of Her Life and Legacy

Final season of The Crown also tells Dodi’s story

While everyone knows how Diana and Dodi’s fateful tale ends, few know much about the man who won the princess’s heart.   

Khalid Abdalla as Dodi, 2023
Khalid Abdalla as Dodi, 2023Daniel Escale/Netflix

“They only heard this word ‘playboy’ and that he was with Diana, and pretty much nothing else,” says Abdalla, who’s enjoyed getting to know his character over the course of two seasons.

While The Crown is about the Royals, it welcomed the Al-Fayeds into the story in Season 5 with an entire episode devoted to the family’s rise. The season gave viewers a glimpse into Dodi’s background, not to mention his passion for Hollywood.

In Season 6, The Crown brings Dodi out of his father’s shadow, and the lost, spoiled billionaire becomes a more complex and likeable character. 

Still of Diana and Dodi in The Crown, 2023
Debicki and Abdalla as Diana and Dodi, The Crown, 2023Daniel Escale/Netflix

“It’s like someone knowing you with your parents, and then someone knowing you with your friends,” Abdalla says. “In Season 6, you get to know the Dodi more with his friends, and in his friendship and love affair with Diana.”

The actor hopes that in sharing his character with the world, he can help lay to rest the real Dodi. “Dodi was never really known… and so he was never really mourned,” Abdalla explains. “In a way, culturally, something feels wrong; we never attended his funeral. Hopefully, in this portrayal over these two seasons, you get to that place where you do.”

The Crown mourns Diana and Dodi

Diana and Queen Elizabeth in The Crown, 2023
Debicki as Diana and Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown, 2023Daniel Escale/Netflix

The final piece of Diana and Dodi’s story plays out after their deaths. As Charles and Fayed fly into action, the queen is caught off-guard by the outpouring of public grief for Diana and then the anger that turns on her.

While Diane and Dodi’s romance and deaths were immediately sensationalized, The Crown Season 2 Part 1 promises to lean more heavily into their love story and how their death affected the families.

With Diana laid to rest, Part 2 of The Crown Season 6 will see the Royals continue to mourn her and grapple with their own relevancy, before lifting viewers back up for Prince Charles and Camilla’s wedding.

Part 1 of final season of The Crown premieres on Netflix on November 16 and will include four episodes. The final six episodes of The Crown will premiere on December 14.

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