The Crown season 6 review | One hopes the slight drop towards the end of Part A means a strong Part B

With the first four episodes of the final season of Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ now out, will casual fans continue on now the aftermath of Diana’s death is complete?

Princess Diana during her visit to Serbia as part of her campaigning against land mines (Credit: Netflix)Princess Diana during her visit to Serbia as part of her campaigning against land mines (Credit: Netflix)
Princess Diana during her visit to Serbia as part of her campaigning against land mines (Credit: Netflix)

With all the discussion about the ‘ghost’ of Princess Diana in the first four episodes released today of ‘The Crown’ season 6, I do have to ask why there isn’t much discussion about the portrayal of Mohammed Al-Fayed in this season. After all, if there was to be a ‘villain’ in the first half of the final season, the writers seem to be fitting Mou Mou into that position.

His role throughout this season is one of forcing Dodi to wed Princess Diana, by whatever means necessary. Be it organising an impromptu on the recently sunk ‘Cujo,’ and the promise to make his son a business partner upon completion of marrying the divorced People’s Princess, Al-Fayed comes across as the Machiavelli of the show - which of course, I have to remind you, is based on historical anecdotes rather than a full-blown, factually accurate historical drama.

But be that as it may, the scenes involving Elizabeth Debicki, in fine form as Diana complete with the doe-esque gazes and softly spoken confidence, as the spooky apparition of the late princess is one that is dominating the headlines - and admittedly, it does feel hyperbolic. Are we now suffering from Royal fatigue after the ongoing dramas with Harry, Meghan and the family much like Marvel fans are suffering Superhero fatigue?

Though the apparition of Diana does appear to both King Charles III on his flight back from Paris after the crash and also to Queen Elizabeth II when she finally realises her presence is required as the nation mourns, these are more the narrative device of the characters (played by Dominic West and Imelda Staunton) visualising Diana as a means of conversing what they are going through in their head. Is it a little heavy-handed? Perhaps. It could have been more heavy-handed though.

The problem with ‘The Crown’ season 6 though is what’s next and will people care? Ardent fans will no doubt see the show through to the end and the acting is still quality considering it being a Netflix title. But we’ve concluded the most sensationalist parts of the Royal life now; Charles and Camilla are now a couple and Diana has died. Will the casual fan want to return to see how the young princes’ handle the growing pains of being a Royal in the public spotlight?

Maybe there will be an interest in how ‘The Crown’ handles the period of time when Prince Harry was a ‘tabloid wild child’ and Prince William’s popularity with younger fans akin to the hype that Leonard DiCaprio found himself forced into after the success of ‘Titanic.’ Admittedly we are only four episodes in, but for the strong first three episodes that have arrived on Netflix, the final episode dealing with the aftermath of the death does feel rushed. 

Peter Morgan has covered how The Queen and the Royal household dealt with the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death in his 2006 film, ‘The Queen,’ so perhaps the writers thought that aspect of the Royal life had been thoroughly covered. Be that as it may, as melancholic as that final episode is, it does feel that there isn’t quite the urgency to wait for the second half of the season to arrive. After all - apart from the death of Queen Elizabeth II, what other sensational moments in the life of the Royals are left that haven’t already been covered before (see: Harry’s memoir: Spare.)

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