Princess Diana's death will be handled with "enormous sensitivity" in The Crown's sixth and final season, producers have confirmed. During a panel at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Executive Producer Suzanne Mackie addressed the upcoming storyline.
"The show might be big and noisy, but we're not. We're thoughtful people and we're sensitive people," she said. "And so there was a very, very careful, long, long, long conversation about how we do it – and I hope, you know, the audience will judge it in the end, but I think it's been delicately, thoughtfully recreated."
Commending Elizabeth Debicki for her portrayal of Princess Diana, Suzanne noted: "She was so thoughtful, considerate and loved Diana. So there was a huge amount of respect from us all. I hope that's evident when you see it."
Earlier this year, Netflix confirmed that The Crown would not depict the tragic car crash that took Diana's life in 1997, however, it will be a major plot point.
Releasing an official statement, the streamer confirmed "[Season 6] will not depict the crash, contrary to some reports," adding, "It will be scenes covering the lead-up to, and [the] aftermath."
Dominic West, who portrays Prince Charles in the series, has also spoken about the upcoming storyline. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly in October 2022, he said: "It's a hell of a season, because it deals with Diana's death and appalling scenes, like having to break that news to your sons [Prince William and Prince Harry].
"I've got two boys of that age and so it's a heavy, heavy responsibility to get it right and something I think we all take pretty seriously."
Echoing this sentiment, Elizabeth Debicki told the publication: "I'll say that [showunner] Peter [Morgan] and the entire crew of this job do their utmost to really handle everything with such sensitivity and truth and complexity, as do actors.
"The amount of research and care and conversations and dialogue that happen over, from a viewer's perspective, something probably that you would never ever notice is just immense. From that very first meeting [with] Peter, I knew that I'd entered into this space where this was taken seriously [in] a deeply caring way. So that's my experience of the show."
While the sixth and final season of The Crown is expected to premiere in late 2023, an official release date is yet to be announced. In the meantime, however, first-look photos from the series have been unveiled.
Set to include the beginning of the Prince and Princess of Wales' romance at the University of St Andrews, Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy have been cast as the royal couple.
Other stars set to appear include Luther Ford as Prince Harry, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles and Bertie Carvel as then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. Imelda Staunton will also reprise her role as Queen Elizabeth II.