The episode-by-episode guide to The Crown: What to expect from each of the first four shows in series six that recreates the turbulent last months of Princess Diana’s life
- SPOILER ALERT
- Netflix has released the controversial final series of the hit show The Crown
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The Crown’s sixth and final season has been released today – and is likely to shock audiences at home with its dramatic plots and fictionalised storylines.
As the Netflix drama – which has spanned over several decades – reaches recent events that will be fresh in some viewers’ minds, the British Royal Family will be ‘dreading the new series‘, according to royal experts.
This time around, Peter Morgan’s creation shows the lead up to and fall out from the late Princess of Wales‘ death, including Diana and Dodi Fayed’s final moments before their fatal car crash in Paris in 1997.
Netflix has previously said the show will not show the crash itself, but will show events leading up to and the aftermath of Diana’s death.
Here, FEMAIL reveals a full breakdown of each episode…
In episode one, The Crown’s Diana meets Dodi Al-Fayed (pictured) on his father’s yacht while on holiday with her sons
Episode one opens in Paris, with a black car racing through the scene before you hear a crash, which is then followed by motorbikes. Viewers will watch as a passer-by calls emergency services.
The scene then flashes back to eight weeks earlier, with Princess Diana driving through the British countryside alongside her eldest son, Prince William, while listening to music.
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It appears the duo are on their way to then Prime Minister Tony Blair’s country residence, Chequers.
This leads to Blair then meeting The Crown’s Queen Elizabeth II, where she enquires about Diana’s visit to his home.
He tells the monarch he and Diana played five-a-side football, had lunch and went for a walk. Blair says: ‘[Diana] feels strongly that she still has a lot to offer the country as a public servant and a lot of energy.’
He also brings up her recent work on landmines and how 100 countries have now signed a treaty outlawing them. He adds: ‘When Diana talks, the world listens.’
The Queen nods in response and says ‘yes’ followed by a long awkward silence.
Blair continues: ‘She wanted to know if the government could find a way to harness her gifts on a more formal basis and that any official basis they might offer her would be enormously appreciated’.
The monarch replies: ‘I always say it’s hard to be half in anything. You’re either in or out. You yourself would know the difference between being in government or out.
‘While she’s mother of the boys and, in that respect, always welcome at the palace, as a divorced woman and no longer an HRH, Diana is now learning the difference between being officially in the Royal Family – and out.’
The next scenes to follow show Diana heading on holiday with her sons, William and Prince Harry, after admitting she didn’t want to be in the country while Charles (then Prince of Wales) throws a 50th birthday bash for Camilla.
Charles then discusses with an aide whether the Queen has accepted the invitation to the event – but upon hearing that she hasn’t yet, he heads to see his mother at Buckingham Palace himself to discuss the issue.
In the opening scenes of the final series of The Crown, Princess Diana visits Tony Blair in Chequers
In the sixth series of the royal drama, Princess Margaret (pictured The Crown’s Princess Margaret at Camilla’s 50th birthday party) acts as a peacekeeper and a supporter of Charles and Camilla’s relationship
The monarch reveals she can’t make Camilla’s party because she’s got a prior engagement at a Rolls Royce factory, and when asked to change her plans she refuses.
‘Is it really so important that I attend? Its just a birthday party.’ asks the Queen, to which Charles claims Camilla will never be fully accepted by the public without the monarch’s approval.
READ MORE: The Crown risks row with Tony Blair by suggesting he lobbied the late Queen for a more public role for Princess Diana within weeks of being elected Prime Minister
‘But how can I possibly give my approval when I don’t approve? It’s nothing personal. I’m sure she’s very nice. Its a matter of principal. Two perfectly good marriages, two perfectly happy families have been broken up by this,’ replies the Queen.
‘Love mommy? Love?’ is Charles response.
Next viewers watch as Diana is photographed out at sea on Mohamed Al-Fayed’s yacht before his son Dodi Al-Fayed arrives on the vessel.
He asks his father what is going on, to which Mohamed replies: ‘My son, I would have thought you would start with a thank you for putting her on a plate for you.’
After shaking hands with Diana, Dodi tells his father in private that the princess isn’t interested in him and urges his father to remember his upcoming marriage.
Mohamed replies: ‘Then make her interested. Isn’t that what you’ve always been able to do? Make women fall in love with you? This is your chance. Your chance to finally make me proud of you.’
Diana and her sons, alongside Dodi, are then seen enjoying some time together on the yacht.
Soon The Crown’s Charles is filmed making a speech at Camilla’s party, where he thanks Princess Margaret for attending.
Margaret reports back to the Queen that she has never seen Charles looking more relaxed and urges her to show her support, but after discussing it with Prince Philip, he remains against the idea.
After viewers watch Diana and Dodi discuss their upbringings and his nerves about his upcoming wedding, the scene cuts to the princess back at her London apartment, where she receives flowers and a note reading: ‘Paris next week?’.
Viewers watch the famous moment Princess Diana walks through a minefield, while newspapers with photos of her and Dodi kissing are delivered to Balmoral
Elsewhere, during a summit at the Palace in episode two, royal aides gather with the family to discuss their concerns over Diana and Dodi’s relationship
In episode two, viewers watch Diana and Dodi become closer, but the Queen’s aides appear to have issues with the idea of the two being in a relationship.
During a discussion, the Queen’s secretary says: ‘If one were to imagine a friendship between the princess of wales and Dodi Fayed becoming a committed relationship, there’s not just the potential damage to the royal family from a public relations point of view but also a fear that his father might use the association with the princess of Wales as leverage and leave the authorities in an uncomfortable position.’
Princess Anne explains: ‘Because if the Fayed family is seen good enough for the former wife of the next king and the mother of the king after that, how can the government reasonably deny him the British citizenship he is so actively seeking?’
Meanwhile, while Dodi and Diana enjoy champagne and sunbathe on Mohamed’s super yacht, the billionaire calls in a staff member on the yacht to ask how things are going between his son and the royal.
‘Is it a success?’ he asks. When the staff member responds to tell him that the pair appear to be getting along very well, his questions become more probing.
He asks: ‘Are they sleeping together?’ to which the staff member replies he is unsure.
The billionaire then calls the maid to ask if his son and Princess Diana are intimate with one another. She replies: ‘I don’t know – but they sleep in one room with one bed.’
Diana is also filmed with her sons, and when helping them pack for their holiday to Balmoral, William quizzes his mother over where she will be spending her summer.
She says Bosnia and then France for a few days. After she confirms it will be alongside Dodi, William pulls a face and says: ‘He’s weird’.
Viewers next watch the famous moment Princess Diana walks through a minefield, while newspapers with photos of her and Dodi kissing are delivered to Balmoral.
In response, Charles releases his own photograph showing him posing with William and Harry by a highland river.
During a trip to Monte Carlo, Dodi and Diana are seen in a jewellery shop where she jokes she likes the look of a ring
The third episode shows the moments leading up to the car crash in Paris. Pictured, Elizabeth Debicki as Diana
In the third episode, Diana is back on Dodi’s father’s yacht in the south of France, spending time with Dodi.
They eventually travel to Monte Carlo for a day out but are followed by paparazzi and then chased by tourists.
They find a hiding place in a jewellery store before fleeing through the back entrance and escaping to their speedboat.
When in the store, Dodi asks if there’s anything Diana likes and she laughingly points at a big diamond engagement ring called ‘Dis-moi Oui!’ (say yes to me!) and says ‘well that’s quite nice’.
READ MORE: The Crown recreates Diana and Dodi’s drive to their death: Netflix series shows couple getting in car in Paris – swamped by paparazzi – moments before fatal crash
She then says she was just joking and doesn’t want anything from the store.
But later, Dodi and his father discuss the trip and tells him Diana liked the ring. He explains the ring was no longer available in Monte Carlo, but the store had it in stock in its Paris branch.
Al-Fayed tells his son: ‘Take her to Paris and put the ring on her finger. This is the greatest day of my life. I knew you would do it.’
Dodi confirms he can return Diana home to London on his private jet – after she said she needed to return – but that they needed to stop in Paris first.
According to The Crown’s version of events, an engagement ring is the reason Dodi and Diana visited Paris, where they died in a car crash.
But due to traffic when they arrive in Paris, an emotional Princess misses her pre-arranged phone call with her sons.
Eventually she’s able to chat to her sons, with Harry asking when she’s coming home. She says she’ll be back in London tomorrow night.
During the phone call, William asks his mother if she’s going to marry Dodi Fayed, to which Diana says she is not.
He then explains all the newspapers in the UK are reporting that the pair are engaged.
Diana replies: ‘I am emphatically not going to marry Dodi. To be honest, I cant wait to come home.’
William then asks his mother if she is ok. She nods and says: ‘I’m ok. Its just a bit mad here. I don’t really understand how I ended up here. Mummy just needs to make some changes to her life, that’s all. But that’s not your problem – that’s mine.’
In a tender moment, she tells her sons she loves them and they reply to say they love her too. She promises to return home the following evening to see them.
Then viewers watch as Dodi, while in a Ritz suite with Diana, gets down on one knee to propose.
But Diana is quick to say ‘No… stop I can’t bear it. This is madness, please get up.’ She praises their summer together but says she’s nowhere near ready for another marriage.
They end up having an honest conversation about happiness, with Diana saying it’s ‘motherhood that’s made me consistently the happiest.’
Dodi calls his father and says there’s no engagement and him and Diana are instead ‘remaining friends’.
They then decide to return to the apartment they had been staying in. The two are seen holding hands in the back of a car. Viewers are then returned to the opening scene of episode one.
After Diana’s death, Prince Charles tells his sons, who are staying at Balmoral, the terrible news. As Harry is told, William stands at the foot of his bed
Following Diana’s death, the royal family discusses her funeral and the Queen and Prince Philip suggest the affair is a matter for the Spencer family
The monarch is seen chatting to Diana’s ‘ghost’ (pictured). After the conversation, the Queen tells Philip they’re going to London tomorrow, where she gives a speech
In episode four, The Crown’s Queen and Prince Philip are sleeping in Balmoral when they are woken up to the news that Diana’s been in an accident and is being taken to hospital. Charles joins them in his dressing gown.
Viewers watch people tensely wait outside Diana’s operating room, but when the surgeon comes out, they all appear distraught.
Balmoral switchboard then receives the news of Diana’s death. Charles, the Queen and Prince Philip are told, with the then Prince of Wales breaking down into tears.
Eventually, Charles talks to Camilla. He says on the phone: ‘One has questions. Why did she change her plans? What was a she doing in Paris? What caused the accident?’
READ MORE: Is new series of The Crown any more accurate than the rest? Decoding fact from fiction in season 6 – from Tony Blair lobbying the Queen on behalf of Diana to the late royal’s ‘engagement’ to Dodi Fayed before their deaths
Camilla, who is watching the news unfold on TV at Highgrove, asks when Charles will tell the boys their mother has died and he tells her he wants to wait for as long as possible.
‘While they’re sleeping, they still have a mother,’ he says tearfully. ‘This is going to be enormous. People have no idea. This is going to be the biggest thing that any of us has ever seen.’
Eventually, Charles goes to tell the boys, and the audio falls silent again while he breaks the news to William. We then see him telling Harry, while William looks on.
Soon the then Prince of Wales flies to Paris to collect Diana’s body.
On the flight home, Charles is greeted by Diana’s ‘ghost’, who says: ‘Thank you for how you were in the hospital . So raw, broken – and handsome. I’ll take that with me.’
Charles, Philip and the Queen are then discussing Diana’s funeral arrangements, with Charles suggesting she should have a public funeral, while Philip says it is now a ‘Spencer family matter’.
Charles hits back and says: ‘The prime minister believes in a public funeral, a state occasion in all but name – and I agree with him.’
The Queen says: ‘That would mean leaving Scotland and participating in some huge spectacle in London.’
Philip adds: ‘Do you really want to put the boys through that? They’d have to walk behind the coffin in front of all those cameras.’
Soon viewers watch as people become disappointed with the Queen’s lack of public response to Diana’s death.
Amid mounting pressure from members of the public, the Queen is battling with whether or not she should travel down to London and make a statement following Diana’s death.
She insists: ‘The crown rises above impulse’ when Charles suggests she should go to the British capital.
After she holds firm on her position, Charles leaves the room. At this point, Diana’s ghost appears and takes hold of the Queen’s hand. The monarch tells Diana she has started ‘a revolution’.
Diana’s ghost replies: ‘It didn’t need to be. By making an enemy of me – not of me personally – but of what I stand for, then it starts to look like one.’
The spirit then encourages the Queen to show the public she is ‘willing to learn’.
In the next scene, the Queen tells Prince Philip they will travel down to London the following day, where she gives a speech.
Viewers then watch the funeral procession. William asks Philip about the crowds, saying: ‘Why are they crying for someone they never knew?’ Philip replies: ‘They’re not crying for her. They’re crying for you.’
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