The stars and producers of “The Crown” are said to be “on edge” as they prepare to recreate the final moments before Princess Diana’s death.
The beloved British royal passed away in 1997 from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash. She was 36. At the time of the accident, her vehicle was being hounded by paparazzi. Her boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed and driver Henri Paul were killed instantly. Diana was alive when freed from the wreckage but died four hours later. Trevor Rees-Jones, a security consultant for Al-Fayed’s father, businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed, was the only survivor.
Peter Morgan, creator of the hit Netflix series, previously told Deadline that the crash itself will not be filmed. On Wednesday, sources from the streaming giant told the outlet that there are no plans to recreate the crash. According to the outlet, a majority of the scenes will be shot in two weeks with Elizabeth Debicki, who is portraying the late Princess of Wales.
“We’ve been dreading getting to this point,” a source on production told the outlet. “The countdown is two weeks and while we’re calmly carrying on it’s fair to acknowledge that there’s a certain anxiety; a palpable sense of being slightly on edge. I mean, there’s bombshell sensitivity surrounding this one.”
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The episode, which is being filmed for Season 6, will reportedly show then-Prince Charles (Dominic West) arriving on a royal flight to collect Diana’s body and accompany it home to London. It will also depict Mohamed (Salim Daw) and the “casual racism” he endured from French authorities after he took possession of the casket containing his son.
While an air date for Season 6 hasn’t been announced yet, it’s believed that it will premiere in Nov. 2023. Filming is taking place in Paris, London and Spain.
The outlet noted that Prince William has reportedly expressed concern over Season 5, which premieres on Nov. 9. It will reportedly depict how BBC’s Martin Bashir managed to secure his infamous Panorama interview with Diana. In that televised tell-all, the princess famously said, “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” She was referring to Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, who is now Queen Consort.
Charles and Camilla married in 2005. He became king on Sept. 8 following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. She was 96.
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A spokesperson for Netflix didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter previously called “The Crown” a “hatchet job” on Charles and Diana. Arbiter also accused the series of “stretching dramatic license to the extreme.” Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, also said the show should carry a notice that “this isn’t true, but it is based around some real events.”
“I worry people do think that this is gospel and that’s unfair,” he told broadcaster ITV.
True Royalty TV co-founder Nick Bullen, who has worked with Charles for nearly a decade, told Fox News Digital “The Crown” is “a travesty” based on inaccuracies.
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“I really think it’s somewhat of a travesty in my honest opinion,” he said in 2020. “The fabrication is quite unbelievable. Look, clearly it’s based on real people and some of those events happened, but the gaps in between aren’t based on fact. I think that’s why so many people were shocked by it and even Britain’s culture minister was asking for a disclaimer. I think people need to understand that this is drama. Much of what you saw probably never happened.”
Bullen said several sources who work in the royal household have told him that they were “really appalled” at how Charles was depicted. He pointed out that the palace had to restrict comments on its Twitter account after numerous users began posting abusive comments.
In 2020, Netflix rejected calls from British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to add a disclaimer to the series that states it is a work of fiction. The streaming giant said the show is presented in enough context.
“We have always presented ‘The Crown’ as a drama — and we have every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction that’s broadly based on historical events,” according to a statement released by Netflix.
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“As a result, we have no plans — and see no need — to add a disclaimer,” it added.
Morgan defended his work, saying it is thoroughly researched and true in spirit. In a 2017 discussion, Morgan said, “You sometimes have to forsake accuracy, but you must never forsake truth.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.