The Crown gets Diana, Princess of Wales, just right by casting Elizabeth

December 3, 2023

Debicki in the sixth season of the series

The Crown gets Diana, Princess of Wales, just right by casting Elizabeth


eason 5 of The Crown was not as exhilarating and arresting as its first four seasons. The key reason was its casting.

To expect the series to be an accurate depiction is a folly. While the series is based on the British royal family [since the ascension of Elizabeth Windsor II to the throne and her reign], the casting of Claire Foy and Matt Smith in the first two seasons as The Queen and The Queen Consort made it a spectacular show to watch, based on real characters. To add even more zing to the series, Vanessa Kirby shone in the role of Princess Margaret, also in the first two seasons.

In season three and season four, casting actors like Olivia Coleman as the older version of The Queen, Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and Gillian Anderson as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were master strokes. The combined cast lent the show a gravitas that we didn’t expect.

The fifth season paled in comparison because Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II simply didn’t surpass the same role Helen Mirren first played in the 2006 film, The Queen, for which she went on to win her first and [only] Academy Award.

The casting, in season five and season six, is carried by one actor, Elizabeth Debicki, who has not only surpassed Emma Corrin as Lady Diana, but Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, as well as everyone else.

But her role in season six is far more interesting. Her depiction of the people’s princess in mannerism is far more confident. It’s still early but as the first part of season six ends with her death, we’re rooting for her to win an Emmy, a Golden Globe and every major streaming/TV award. You really have to see it to believe it.

If she is in the driver’s seat, the story is certainly a real mixture of facts and fiction. If you’re looking at this season as reality, don’t fall for it. Tina Brown, who wrote the well-researched and non-fiction book called The Diana Chronicles paints a vivid, and much more accurate account of the former princess. In her book, Diana comes across as a person, a humanitarian and a flawed human being.

The Crown has gone out of its way to do just the opposite in season six. But in terms of acting and the material given to her, Debicki has shown that she can act among legends and steal the show.

Just watch a few scenes and you will be gobsmacked by how the people’s princess is captured on the screen by Elizabeth Debicki. And no, the casting is far weaker in this season than any other. So, watch it for the conclusion and Debicki. For answers, turn to real life biographers and couturiers and even that might never close the chapter on Lady Di’s death for conspiracy theorists.  

The Crown gets Diana, Princess of Wales, just right by casting Elizabeth