‘The Crown’ Season 6 Part 1 Ending Explained

Editor’s note: The below contains spoilers for The Crown Season 6 Part 1.

The Big Picture

  • Season 6 of The Crown delves into the aftermath of Charles and Diana’s divorce, showcasing the strained relationship between Charles and his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The season explores Diana’s new love interest, Dodi, and the media scrutiny surrounding their relationship, ultimately leading to a tragic car accident that claims both their lives.
  • The world reacts to Diana’s death, and the Royal Family, initially hesitant, eventually gives her a ceremonial funeral, realizing the need to publicly mourn and heal as a nation.

The Crown is one of the most ambitious and successful series that Netflix has ever created. By cycling out its main cast every two seasons, The Crown has been able to show how the Royal Family defined itself throughout the 20th century. Although it was always going to be interesting how The Crown would choose to close out this chapter of the Royal Family’s history, the series has generated even more attention due to the tragic real-life passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the ascension of her son, King Charles. The Crown has explored both the merits and drawbacks of the monarchy, showing how the ceremonial position has changed in its relationship with the British Commonwealth. While it will be interesting to see which point in history showrunner Peter Morgan chooses to close out the series, the first half of Season 6 explores some of the darkest moments in the House of Windsor’s history.

The Crown TV Show Poster

The Crown

Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.

Charles and Diana Go Their Separate Ways in ‘The Crown’ Season 6

Image via Netflix

Following the events of the fifth season, the sixth season of The Crown picks up in 1997, shortly after the formal divorce between Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Diana, Princess of Wales (Elizabeth Debicki). Although the scandalous nature of the divorce generates a lot of negative press for the Royal Family, Charles feels that the decision is the correct one. He hopes to continue appearing publicly in order to prepare himself for the eventual responsibility of becoming King. Charles’ ambitions are met with disapproval by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II (Imelda Staunton), who is unwilling to yield leadership to her son quite yet. Charles and Elizabeth are at an impasse in terms of Charles’ potentially remarrying, as the Queen is unwilling to give her approval to Charles’ current partner, Camilla Parker Bowles (Olivia Williams).

The fracture between Charles and Diana means that the couple shares joint custody of their children, Prince William (Rufus Kampa) and Prince Harry (Fflyn Edwards). Although Harry and William enjoy the limited time they are allotted with their mother, Diana is constantly followed by the paparazzi. Diana has also developed a friendship with Mohamed Al-Fayed (Salim Daw), a wealthy Egyptian businessman who is keen on making her his daughter-in-law. Although his son Dodi (Khalid Abdalla) is engaged to be married to Kelly Fisher (Erin Richards), Mohamed suspects that Diana and Dodi will open up to each other if they spend more time together.

Dodi and Diana Fall in Love in ‘The Crown’ Season 6

Image via Netflix

Sparks fly between Diana and Dodi as they enjoy a vacation together in Saint-Tropez, but the presence of photographers makes it more difficult for them to spend time alone. After Dodi invites Diana to his private yacht, they can’t help but admit their feelings for each other. With more attention paid to Diana’s trip than anything else, Charles’ public relations team decides to go on the offensive by staging a photo with their children. The photograph of Charles, William, and Harry is seen as a restrained, classy moment in comparison to their mother. It’s a challenging moment for William; he doesn’t enjoy having all of his actions intercepted by the media, and he does not completely respect Dodi’s intentions toward his mother.

Mohamed is still struggling to gain British citizenship, so he orders photographers to follow Dodi and Diana. After photographs of Dodi and Diana kissing are published in the tabloids, Kelly sues Dodi for a breach of their wedding contract, and their marriage is called off. Diana sends William and Harry to Balmoral Castle in Scotland with their father and begins to spend more time with Dodi in public. Although she continues to engage in charitable activities, the media is unwilling to focus on anything but her romantic life. Dodi is under increasing pressure to propose when his father offers equal partnership in their company if he marries Diana. The attention on Dodi and Diana’s relationship overwhelms Charles and Elizabeth, who feel that the monarchy is becoming irrelevant as the public comes out in support of Diana. Diana’s divorce was scandalous enough, and her remarriage could earn her even more support as the British people look to her for leadership.

The marriage between Diana and Dodi becomes an increasing probability when Mohamed invites Diana to stay at the historic Villa Windsor. Although Diana and Dodi spend a romantic evening together at the Hôtel Ritz Paris, Diana confirms over the phone to Harry and William that she will not marry Dodi. Although Dodi does attempt a proposal, Diana politely declines and suggests that Dodi doesn’t need to marry her if he wants to win his father’s approval. Although they leave the hotel on good terms, Dodi and Diana are both killed in a shocking car accident after they are pursued by the press.

The World Reacts to Diana’s Death in ‘The Crown’ Season 6

After word of the crash spreads, Charles, Elizabeth, and Prince Philip (Jonathan Pryce) are informed that Diana was killed in the accident. A heartbroken Charles is forced to break the difficult news to his children; controversially, The Crown uses Diana’s ghostly presence in some of these scenes. Mohamed arrives in Paris so that he can identify Dodi’s body and give him a proper funeral, and is also visited by a ghostly version of his son. Although Mohamed gives Diana’s possessions to the Royal Family, he learns that his efforts to reach out to them in shared condolence have gone unanswered. Charles also flies to Paris in order to ensure that Diana is laid to rest in a formal manner, despite his parents’ stated beliefs that she was a “private citizen.”

Charles feels that the Royal Family needs to be seen publicly grieving so that the nation can heal, but Elizabeth disagrees. In events similar to Morgan’s biographical drama film The Queen, the Royal Family realizes that their muted response to Diana’s death is a mistake. They break with tradition and give Diana a ceremonial funeral, and Elizabeth makes a formal address to the public expressing her grief. Although William is confused as to why strangers at the funeral are crying for someone that they don’t know, Philip reassures him that they are “crying for you.”

The Crown is streaming on Netflix.

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