The Crown season 6 review: A wistful, restrained send-off to Princess Diana

The second episode of The Crown’s latest season opens with a glimpse into the life of Italian paparazzo Mario Brenna and the controlled world of photographer Duncan Muir. As Brenna plans to capture Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed on a private yacht, Muir quietly photographs Queen Elizabeth at a ceremony. The season delves into Diana’s post-divorce life and her relationship with Dodi, juxtaposed with the royal family’s reservations and Prince Charles’s efforts to integrate Camilla Parker Bowles into public acceptance.

The show navigates Diana’s final days and her tragic death with sensitivity, avoiding graphic portrayals and focusing on the emotional aftermath. It portrays Diana as complex, hunted, and restless, driven by impulse and a need for approval. Her relationship with Dodi is depicted as a warm friendship, offering refuge from their demanding lives. However, the portrayal of Mohamed Al-Fayed as a manipulative villain is unsettling. The season’s misstep comes in episode 4, “Aftermath,” with a surreal depiction of Diana’s spirit visiting Charles and Elizabeth, which feels out of place in the otherwise grounded series. The emotional climax is found in Diana and Dodi’s final dinner, a moment of serene peace amidst media frenzy, providing the closure Diana deserved.

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