The Crown's Elizabeth Debicki's sorrow and joy at portraying Diana's last days: 'Her sons were her whole heart'
21.11.2023 - 06:39
Roll out the red carpet, The Crown is back and there won’t be a dry eye in the house as this sixth – and final – series airs.
The Netflix drama following the lives of our royal family concludes with the events of the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was a period defined by the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, an event that shook the world more than a quarter of a century ago, and which many of us still remember clearly today. With the first four episodes airing this week, actress Elizabeth Debicki, who plays Diana, has revealed how it felt to retell one of modern history’s most devastating stories, as she spoke via Zoom at a Netflix press conference.
And it comes as no surprise to learn that she grappled with “real anxiety” about reprising the role. The Australian actress, who joined the cast last year, admits she was daunted by the task of portraying the princess’s final days. “I put off reading the scripts for as long as I could, but when I did, I read them all in one go, which is the testament of Peter’s [Morgan] writing.
I was totally devastated when I finished,” she says. The episodes explore the lead-up to the car crash in a Paris subway tunnel that claimed the lives of Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, portrayed by Khalid Abdalla, in the early hours of 31 August 1997. As a day etched in history, the weight of recreating the event was not lost on Elizabeth.
In researching the role, she delved into the wealth of footage capturing the couple’s final moments, and was touched by the obvious affection between them. “Because they were being pursued, we have an enormous amount of footage.
That was really significant for me – particularly watching their body language,” she says. “Obviously, one doesn’t know, but there’s
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