The conclusion of the first part of Season 6 of ‘The Crown’ takes us to the most challenging moment for the royal family with an intriguing gesture from the queen.
Netflix series continues to infiltrate Buckingham Palace, at least in fiction. After the tragic ending of the third episode of the sixth season of ‘The Crown,’ the successful production takes on the challenging task of depicting how the House of Windsor experienced the death of Princess Diana.
“What people forget is that there are real human beings and real lives at the heart of this,” explained a friend of King Charles III, who, through a statement published in The Telegraph, asserted that this season “exploits” the events that occurred and has “no qualms about tarnishing people’s reputations.”
The care with which Peter Morgan’s series treats the palace residents leans more towards whitewashing than exploitation, but the introduction of the plot involving the accident that left us without Lady Di complicated the matter. With unexpected tact, every time we see a character deliver the news of the death, we stop hearing the dialogue, making it the expressions of the actors that convey the gravity of the moment.
What has caught many off guard is the use of Princess Diana’s ghost, brilliantly portrayed by Elizabeth Debicki, as the turning point for the two main characters to come to terms with their loss. This is how we see Charles (Dominic West) confronting his memories and the feeling of guilt. “Admit that you had already thought about this,” he is told in one of the series’ most intense conversations to date.
But the truly significant scene is Diana’s appearance before an unwavering queen who, stubbornly, tries to overlook the nation’s grieving that, as her son fears, could destabilize the role of the crown.
“I hope you’re satisfied. You’ve finally managed to turn me and this house upside down,” stubbornly explains Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (Imelda Staunton). After the prince fails to bring his mother to reason, it is this spiritual memory that persuades the monarch. “Since our memory reaches us, you’ve taught us what it means to be British,” Diana insists. “Show them that you can learn too.”
Following this, the queen delivers the speech in which she acknowledges her grief and, more importantly, that of the people, officially recognizing (also for her household) the sad event that had changed the nation forever. More or less compelled by circumstances, Queen Elizabeth II once again handles the situation with her public address and calms everyone down, but it is in the solitude of her quarters that she realizes the gravity of what has just occurred.
At the end of the episode, we see the queen praying by her bed when, with concern, she looks back. Diana may not visit her again, but it won’t be necessary for the queen to continue feeling her presence. The people’s princess, her memory, her figure, will be with her forever, just as she will be in the memory of the country that lost the figure who showed that the doors of Buckingham were not as eternal as they seemed. For some reason, ‘The Crown’ has made history at the 2023 Emmys.