Netflix’s blockbuster royal family biopic The Crown has just dropped the first part of its sixth and final season, and it has continued to deliver royal tea-spilling plot lines that are supposedly based on real-life happenings. But how accurate could the show be? Let’s fact check.
Warning: spoilers for The Crown Season Six — and real-life history — ahead!
What is The Crown Season Six Part One about?
The focus point of The Crown’s Season Six’s first four episodes has been the late Princess Diana, covering events from her final weeks before a fatal crash in Paris.
Featuring everything from Camilla Shand‘s 50th birthday party, spicy boat photoshoots, shock proposals between Diana and Dodi Fayed, and even visions of the dead(?), it is sometimes difficult to determine where the line between fact and fiction lies.
The world went crazy when Prince Harry published his autobiography Spare earlier this year because of how rarely we are given direct insight into the life of the British Royal Family. So is this the second glimpse we’ve all been searching for?
Time to crack open a bottle of Queen Elizabeth II‘s fave Dubonnet, and go for a fact check deep dive.
Did The Queen really avoid Camilla’s 50th?
The 50th birthday celebrations of Prince Charles’ infamous side-boo Camilla is a centrepiece of the opening episode. But did Lizzy really sidestep the b’day bash?
The answer is a bit of a disappointing one for lovers of gossip.
To this day, the exact attendees of the birthday have been a mystery, tightly guarded like the crown jewels.
One person we do know wasn’t there was former conservative British PM Margaret Thatcher, who wasn’t on the guest list yet was featured in the Netflix adaptation.
Did Mohamed Fayed arrange for the yacht kiss photoshoot?
The second episode, titled Two Photographs tells the story of some spicy paparazzi shots that caused a massive bidding war among the UK press: pictures of Dodi and Diana kissing on a yacht.
But who called the paps? And was it a deliberate attempt to stir up the British media and thus, the Royal Family?
On the topic of whether one of either Diana or Fayed alerted the press to their whereabouts, royal expert Marlene Koenig told the Daily Express, “here’s no doubt. How did the press find out about being in the yacht?”.
“My feeling is that [Diana] was great for calling the press and there were reports that she alerted them to where she would be.”
Again, we can’t confirm anything with 100% certainty, but that’s how the experts think the cookie crumbled.
Did Dodi really propose to Diana?
Okay OMG okay, SO, in episode three, just as things really start to ramp up, The Crown show-runners depict a scene in which Dodi makes a marriage proposal to Dianna.
It has been widely questioned whether or not this proposal ever took place. Friends of Diana have asserted that she would not have married anyone, which is reflected in the show when Diana rejected Fayed’s marriage offer.
What is known is that Dodi WAS in possession of a ring — which has been the source of speculation for almost three decades now. It is assumed that he would have proposed with this ring.
Creators of The Crown have constantly stated publicly that their show is absolutely not a documentary, merely a dramatic imagining of the lives of the royals.
Do Diana and Dodi really have ghosts?
In one of the more panned moments from the start of Season Six, the fourth episode — which takes place after the death of Diana and Dodi, several characters have scenes in which they interact with the two deceased figures seemingly beyond the grave.
Mohamed Fayed is greeted with an apparition of his son and the two apologise to one another. Ya know, because that worked out so well when Disney did it for Han and Ben Solo in Star Wars Episode IX?
Meanwhile, Queen Liz has a cheeky deep and meaningful with Diana’s ghost and agrees to give her a proper funeral.
Leaving viewers to ask the question most famously asked of Dumbledore by Harry Potter in Deathly Hallows: is any of this real, or is it just happening in their heads?
At the time of Diana’s death, as the show depicts The Queen was reluctant to give Diana a proper ceremonial funeral, and even to return from Balmoral to London to address the country.
However, after facing substantial backlash eventually Elizabeth II did so. Though she was most likely influenced by her family and advisors, rather than an evening of visits from the ghosts of Princesses Past, Present, and Future.
For even more info on The Crown Season 6 – hit up our quick-smart explainer article here.