Skip to main content

5 things the new season of 'The Crown' got wrong -- and 1 thing it got right

WARNING: Spoiler alert for Season 6 of 'The Crown'

After a roller-coaster year for the Royal Family, the arrival of the ever-popular series “The Crown” on streaming giant Netflix was always going to ruffle a few feathers. The drama based on the Royal Family and its history has been a staple for Netflix since the first season dropped in November 2016. But, as it’s got closer to covering events that are in recent memory, many have said that it cuts too close to the bone.

This season, the sixth and last of "The Crown," covers the death of Diana, and its aftermath, as well as storylines surrounding the Prince and Princess of Wales, and William and Catherine’s time at St Andrew’s University in Scotland, where they met.

For the first time, the 10 episodes are being delivered in two parts, with episodes one to four dropping Thursday, and the last six arriving on Dec. 14. Whether you are interested in the Royals or not, it’s great TV, with high production values and some stellar performances from Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II and Dominic West as Prince Charles.

But as a dramatization of historical events, it uses artistic licence to tell the story with elements added and removed. So, with a great big spoiler alert, here are five things that the “The Crown” got wrong – and one thing it got right:

Timeline of Diana’s last summer

In the series, not every significant part of Diana’s last summer was portrayed in the episodes. We see Diana in Saint Tropez with her sons, William and Harry, where she was a guest of Mohamed Al-Fayed (owner of Harrods and the Ritz and old family friend of Diana’s), and where her romance with his son, Dodi, began.

In this Aug. 22, 1997 file photo, Diana, Princess of Wales, and her wealthy companion Dodi Fayed, walk on a pontoon in the French Riviera resort of St Tropez. (AP Photo/Patrick Bar-Nice Matin, file)

We see her head off to Bosnia to do some work with a landmine charity, she spends some more time with Dodi in Monte Carlo and then finally she goes to Paris, where she died in 1997.

But there’s a glaring omission: the death of Diana’s close friend, fashion designer Gianni Versace, who was gunned down on the doorstep of his home in Miami on July 15, 1997.

The late Princess of Wales was said to have been devastated by his death, so writes Lee Sansum, an ex-military policeman who went on to become a private bodyguard employed by Mohamed Al-Fayed in the 1990s, in his book, “Protecting Diana: A Bodyguard's Story.”

He guarded the princess during the last months of her life when she accompanied her partner, Dodi Al-Fayed, to the south of France on vacation, and was there when she heard the news.

British pop-star Elton John, centre, weeps as Diana, Princess of Wales, left, sits beside him during the memorial mass for murdered Gianni Versace, in Milan, in this July 22, 1997 file photo. (AP Photo / Luca Bruno)

Diana flew to Milan for Versace’s funeral, where she sat in the front row with Elton John and Sting. It’s bizarre that that such a significant event in what is considered by many to be a very important relationship in Diana’s life wasn’t included in the series.

The Mohamed Al-Fayed narrative

Throughout the first four parts of this season, we see Al-Fayed having numerous phone calls with his son, during which he is seen to coerce Dodi into a relationship with Diana, saying that if Dodi marries her, he would finally be his father’s equal and be successful.

We also see him hire the photographer Mario Brenna who took the famous first pictures of Diana kissing Dodi Al-Fayed aboard his yacht in the Mediterranean, which were sold for £250,000. This narrative, along with the hiring of Mario Brenna, appears to have been invented for the show, as no claims like this have been reported or ever confirmed.

Mohammed Al-Fayed visits the crash site

Upon learning of the deaths of his son, Dodi, Diana and the driver of the Mercedes they were travelling in, Henri Paul, Al-Fayed went to Paris to bring his body home for burial.

In the show, he asks to be taken to the crash site, where he gets out of his car and manages to get very close to the spot where they died. The likelihood of this happening is very slim, as the streets would have been closed off after such a significant accident.

The time of Diana’s death

Whilst driver Henri Paul and Dodi Al-Fayed died instantly in the car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris, Diana was alive at the scene and taken to hospital, it was reported at the time.

She later succumbed to her injuries, dying at 4:53 a.m., according to reports.

In Episode 4 of "The Crown," we see hospital staff waiting outside the room where she is being treated, anxiously waiting for news of her condition. Finally, a doctor emerges and breaks the news that Diana has died. If you look very closely, the clock on the wall behind him says it’s just after 4 a.m.

How Prince Harry was told of the death of his mother

Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, with their sons Prince William (left) and Prince Harry bid goodbye to a cheering Toronto crowd from aboard the Royal Yacht Brittania in this Oct. 27, 1991 photo. (CP PHOTO) 1991 (Stf/Hans Deryk) ROY

In his autobiography, "Spare," Prince Harry describes how his father, Prince Charles (as he was known at the time), told him his mother had died. Harry wrote that he was at Balmoral Castle in Scotland over the summer holiday, and that his father woke him up to tell him what had happened.

He wrote that Charles said, “'They tried, darling boy. I'm afraid she didn't make it…'"

Harry went on to say, "Pa didn't hug me. He wasn't great at showing emotions under normal circumstances. But his hand did fall once more on my knee and he said, 'It's going to be OK.'”

However, in Episode 4 of "The Crown," this moment is depicted differently. We see Prince Charles, in Prince Harry’s room, with Prince William. Prince Charles wakes Harry up to tell him the news and pats him several times on the shoulder – pretty different from Prince Harry’s recollection of that moment.

Accuracy of Diana's wardrobe

The new season isn't all inaccuracies. One thing "The Crown" absolutely nailed was Diana’s wardrobe throughout.

In this Sunday July 20, 1997 file photo, Diana, Princess of Wales, is on the quay of the residence of Mohamed Al Fayed in Saint Tropez, French Riviera, where she spends a few days holidaying. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)

From the swimsuits she donned whilst holidaying in Saint-Tropez to the blazer and trousers she wore on the night she died, the costume designers did an incredible job of recreating Diana’s iconic looks.

Part one of the final season of "The Crown" is streaming now on Netflix; part two drops on Dec. 14. Top Stories

PM pans Poilievre for 'pulling stunts' by threatening to delay MPs' holidays with House tactics

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is threatening to delay MPs' holidays by throwing up thousands of procedural motions seeking to block Liberal legislation until Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backs off his carbon tax. It's a move Government House Leader Karina Gould was quick to condemn, warning the Official Opposition leader's 'temper tantrum' tactics will impact Canadians.

Stay Connected