The Crown Season Six: What do Persona Non Grata and Dis-Moi Oui mean?

Elizabeth Debicki uses the term persona non grata in Season Six, episode one. Here she is as the ghost of Princess Diana with Imelda Staunton's Queen Elizabeth in The Crown's final season. Photograph by Daniel Escale/Netflix

Elizabeth Debicki uses the term persona non grata in Season Six, episode one. Here she is as the ghost of Princess Diana with Imelda Staunton's Queen Elizabeth in The Crown's final season. Photograph by Daniel Escale/Netflix
Elizabeth Debicki uses the term persona non grata in Season Six, episode one. Here she is as the ghost of Princess Diana with Imelda Staunton's Queen Elizabeth in The Crown's final season. Photograph by Daniel Escale/Netflix | Daniel Escale/Netflix
Episode One of The Crown Season Six is entitled Persona Non Grata and Episode Three is Dis-Moi Oui, what do they mean?

Those of you who are settling down to watch The Crown Season Six after a long day at work may be left wondering what the first episode entitled Persona Non Grata’ and the third episode Dis-Moi Oui mean.  In the episode, Elizabeth Debicki who stars as Princess Diana uses persona non grata when asked if she is going to visit Prince William and Prince Harry at Balmoral. She says to Dodi Fayed (played by Khalid Abdalla) that “I am not welcome there any more, very much a non grata.”

According to the Collins English Dictionary, “if someone becomes or is declared persona non grata, they become unwelcome or unacceptable because of something they have said or done.” The example the dictionary gives for the latin phrase ‘persona non grata’ to  be used in a sentence is “The government has declared the French ambassador persona non grata and ordered him to leave the country.”

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The third episode of The Crown Season Six is entitled ‘Dis-Moi Oui,’ which is the French for ‘Tell me yes.’  In the episode Dod Fayed goes on one knee to propose to Diana in their hotel suite and says “I have a question I want to ask you, to which I hope you will indeed tell me yes.” Diana says in reply “No, no! Stop, I can’t bear it. This is madness. Please get up.”

Is Diana the only 'persona non grata' in episode one of Season Six?

Although it is Diana who utters the words ‘persona non grata’ in the first episode of Season Six, it is both Camilla and herself who are both ‘persona non grata’ to the royal family, Diana of course because she is ‘ostracised’ from them and Camilla because she is not accepted at the time by them. In the episode, 

King Charles, then Prince Charles asks his mother, Queen Elizabeth 11 if she will attend Camilla’s 50th birthday party. “Are you coming?” he asks her. She replies:”Can’t I’m afraid going to be in Derbyshire for the Rolls Royce factory.” He then says: “You are visiting the factory in the evening?” and the Queen replies by saying “I don’t know, it's possible the factory is on Saturday morning and I need to make an early start.” The conversation continues, but the Queen makes her feelings knows that she will not be in attendance.

Later on in the episode, Prince Charles gives a speech at Camilla’s 50th birthday and though he doesn’t use the word ‘persona non grata’ he says “I am struck by something else, your heroism. Over the years there have been many people out there who know nothing about you, who have been staggeringly unkind and unfair. The easy thing for you to do, the understandable thing would be to walk away but you haven’t. You have stuck with it and you have stuck with me and for that I am eternally grateful.”

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Although for some members of the public, Queen Camilla may  still be ‘‘persona non grata,’ she has won over the hearts of many, and King Charles was of course adamant that she would be referred to as the Queen and not the ‘Queen Consort’ when he became King. Perhaps the phrase ‘persona non grata’ has weighed down not only on Camilla for many years, but King Charles too?

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