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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

The Crown Season 6 Review

I began watching ‘The Crown’ with my great-grandmother, sat in her living room and watching scenes depicting the royal history of the last 70 years. Hearing the events panning out on TV reaffirmed by a woman of the same generation as Queen Eizabeth, who celebrated the coronation on the Mall, grounded the show’s plotline into a lived history – and one that I would probably not have known if it wasn’t for the show. As the seasons went on, the experiences shifted to the memories of my grandparents too, and now finally, in the ultimate Season 6, the memories of my parents. The evolution of this story from a past that lies in the hands of few, to a far more recent history, mired in far more debate and emotion than the one of previous decades. It is the content of the final season of ‘The Crown’, that places its audience in the most compelling of narratives seen so far.

These first four episodes (the rest to be released on December 14th) of Season 6, focus on the most anticipated and arguably significant moment in contemporary royal history – the tragic death of Princess Diana. Watching the final weeks of her life pan out, with the hyena-like press ever encroaching on her safety and freedom, Elizabeth Debicki excels. You can’t watch the show without yourself flinching at the extent of the media’s intrusion, perfectly sculpted to stress the unnatural and brutal invasion of the privacy of such a beloved and cherished public figure. It put a lump in my throat that stayed there. The relationship with her children, the portrayal of the reaction of the royal family, the dismissed nature of her charity efforts, only immortalized perhaps, in her death. It was understated, choosing a few unfocused moments of grief, shying away from perhaps the controversy of depicting the painful anguish following the crash, of the funeral and many more sensitive moments.

Yet the respect the writers showed may have equally muted the pain that so many people remember so clearly that surrounded the aftermath of the tragedy. The ‘stiff upper lip’ of senior Royals, locked away in the distant Balmoral, tinged in grief across every conceivable aspect of lighting, weather and setting, indeed portrayed ‘The Crown’s’ experience of the tragedy, but perhaps diminished the deeply felt emotion of the public – a reaction that was so immense as to sway the staunch decision making of the Queen and bring her back to London. 

I think everyone in my age group who has watched the show, having not lived in an age of Diana, appreciated the dramatisation of a sequence of comparatively recent history, to understand in our minds, what the most key moment for so many of our parents felt like. The only moment of semi-disbelief was the unexpected inclusion of the ghosts of Diana and Dodi. This diminished the power of the moment of loss and shock, but not in a way that removes the heavy sense of tragedy in the heart of the viewer. 

By isolating the depiction of Diana’s final weeks, through the two-part release of Season 6, it lends a weight to the significance of this defining moment of British and Royal history. The next release, on December 14th holds more lighthearted themes, with one being the courtship of William and Kate. Yet I think that this careful and obviously deeply considered filmmaking and script, deserves commendation for its heart. However, most of all, Elizabeth Debicki deserves recognition, for lending the respect and grace, to arguably the most famous woman in the world, who holds a place in the minds of millions even twenty-six years after she was tragically lost. 

Edited by: Molly Stevens

I’m in my first year at the University of Leeds studying International Relations. I am so proud to be a member of Her Campus and to be able to work alongside such fantastic, talented and supportive women. I love theatre and music, running, podcasts and travel, and of course writing!