In The Crown season 6, Part 1, the narrative takes us inside the psyche of the most beloved royal, the Princess of Wales, Diana, and makes us privy to the dynamics of the relationship she shared with Dodi Fayed. Throughout the four episodes, we came to know why Diana was such a loved figure and why people felt so connected to her. Diana’s life was nothing less than a tragedy, and even though people showered her with love, deep down, she always felt a sort of restlessness and unease that sometimes came due to her expectations and, a lot of times, due to the actions of others. Diana had a terrible childhood, and she never got the validation she sought. She was wrecked internally, the impact of which was felt by her at a much later stage in her life. She just wanted her father to tell her that she was worthy of being called his daughter. All her life, she just wanted that pat on her back, but even after doing everything that was in her hands, she never got that. Things would have been on the right track if she had gotten a loving and caring husband. As if the traumas of her childhood were not enough, she married a man who loved someone else, and that decision destroyed the iota of hope that she had for a better life.
By the end of The Crown Season 5, we saw how scattered she felt at times. She started acting very recklessly without caring about the reputation of her family, but could she be blamed for that? We don’t think so. The chaotic state her mind was in made it impossible for her to get a hold of her own sensibilities. Diana was done doing the right thing, being the bigger person, and she just craved instant gratification. She knew that things could never work out between her and Hasnat Khan, but still, she indulged with him and then once again felt lonely when they decided to part ways. So, let’s find out how Diana spent her last days, with whom she developed a close bond, and what happened after the news of her death reached the United Kingdom.
What was Mohamed Al-Fayed’s plan?
Diana decided to go to Saint Tropez with her kids, as Mohamed Al-Fayed had invited her to spend the summer with his family. Mohamed looked up to the Western culture, and for him, being associated with the royal family was a matter of great respect. He dreamt of one day sitting at the same table as the Queen and having dinner with her. Money was also an incentive that drove his intentions, but more than that, he was desperate to have that kind of lifestyle. That’s why he wanted his son, Dodi, to get married to Diana. He knew that it was not going to be such an easy task considering how shy his son was, but still, he was not ready to let him get married to a girl who, according to him, was not worthy of becoming a part of his family. He called Kelly Fisher, Dodi’s fiance, a gold digger, and Dodi was so scared of his father that he never took a stand for the girl with whom he had decided to spend his entire life. Kelly knew that Dodi’s father despised her, but she was ready to take a stand for her relationship. Little did she know that her prince charming would betray her and leave her stranded in the most disgraceful manner.
In The Crown season 6, we saw that in the beginning, Dodi was not at all eager to indulge with Diana, and though he couldn’t say no to his father, he was adamant this time to go against him and had already made up his mind even before coming on the yacht. But slowly, his indignation gave way to admiration for the charming princess. Dodi was mesmerized by the person Diana was, and after he spent a couple of days with her, we realized that he wouldn’t be able to go back to his fiance. Kelly didn’t deserve what she went through because of the Fayeds. The poor girl was cheated upon, and she was literally demeaned by Mohamed and even by Dodi. Kelly later filed a case against Dodi, as the latter had asked her to leave modeling as apparently it was not considered to be a worthy profession. Moreover, he came from that school of thought where he believed that she didn’t need to work as he would be managing the finances of the house. Now, after giving up her career, Kelly realized that her fiance, who came from a so-called respected family, didn’t even bat an eye before cheating on her. Mohamed al-Fayed was a happy man, and he had already started dreaming about the day when his son would propose to Diana.
How did the paparazzi culture affect Diana?
There was a new breed of photographers called the paparazzi who catered to the change in culture. Photos of celebrities were now being sold to publishing houses for hundreds of bucks. Hounding celebrities for photos had become the normal course of business, and Diana also became a victim of this culture, which caused her a great deal of stress as all the time she had to hide from these people.
It is imperative to point out here that it was not exactly the fault of photographers, as it was the publishing houses that compelled them to act that way. The competition is tough, even today, and there isn’t any doubt about the fact that everybody wants to get the best pictures of the lot. But there should be some decency in the way things are done. Mohamed felt that if a picture of his son and Diana went viral, then it would benefit his cause and the world would come to know that Lady Diana was hanging out with his son. So without even informing his son, Dodi, Mohamed Al Fayed contacted a star paparazzi called Mario Brenna, who came on board and took a picture of Diana when she was kissing Dodi on the yacht. The media houses went crazy, and from The Times to every leading daily, pictures were printed on the front page, and almost the entire newspaper of every media house only had content about the alleged affair. There came a time when Diana was literally terrified by these paparazzi and every time she went out, she had to go through a great deal of hassle. It was the beginning of a period where words like integrity were slowly removed from the dictionaries of all the media houses. Competition was fierce, and the publishing houses were ready to stoop to any level to increase their readership and earn profits.
What conclusion did Diana and Dodi come to?
Dodi, throughout The Crown Season 6, was constantly being pestered by his father to propose to Diana for marriage. In the end, Dodi gave in, as somewhere, he was brainwashed by his own father, and moreover, he didn’t have the courage to confront him and tell him that he wanted to take things at the pace that he liked. Dodi proposed to Diana, and obviously, she turned him down and told him that he could not let his father govern his life like that. Diana, at that point in time, had decided to go back to England, and she told Dodi that he had to break the shackles that were put on him by his father and, for once, stand up for what he wanted. Diana said that from where she was standing, she could clearly see what Dodi needed to do. She asked him to give a call to his father and tell him that he had decided not to get married. Dodi called his father, but he couldn’t gather the courage to speak the truth to him, so he cut the call and pretended as if Mohamed was still on the call. Diana knew that he was just pretending to talk, but she didn’t say anything to him. Later, when Dodi himself came up to her and told her that he had cut the call before saying anything, Diana told him that one day he would be able to speak his heart out to his father.
Mohamed Al Fayed loved his son, but he was a very dominating man who, at every step, told him what he should do and what he shouldn’t. Dodi feared his father so much that he was never able to tell her that he dreamed of going to California and making films there. He had joined the family business, left Kelly, and now he was also going to marry Diana just because his father wanted him to. Mohamed also lacked the understanding that what he was doing was not right, and he was pushing his own son away from him and making him feel that he was not worthy. Diana decided that she was going to end her affair and spend as much time as she could with her kids because that was what gave her the utmost happiness. But fate had something else planned for her, and in a split second, something happened that sent the world into a state of shock.
Why did Charles want the Queen to attend Diana’s funeral?
On August 31, 1997, the news came out that Diana and Dodi Fayed had died in an accident in France. Dodi had died on the spot, but Diana was still alive when the paramedics found her. But eventually succumbed to her injuries in the hospital. There was a strange connection that every common man felt with Diana, and that is why the entire world, especially the United Kingdom, felt as if the loss was personal. Charles was well aware of the public sentiment, and that is why he wanted his mother, Queen Elizabeth, to give an official statement. Charles had gone to Paris after Diana’s accident, and he had seen how the entire city had come to a standstill and how they mourned the loss. Queen Elizabeth wanted to follow the protocol, and because Diana was no longer part of the royal family, she felt that it was not wise to give in to her impulses. But the nation wanted her to assume the role of mother and share their sentiments. They wanted to know if the Queen realized what her subjects were going through, and so the media houses started questioning the intention of the royal house. Charles tried to make her mother understand that they couldn’t choose to act like a private family when it felt convenient and that, in such times, the nation wanted her to lead from the front.
Charles knew that Diana had risen above the monarchy, maybe because her rebellious ways and means made her more relatable to the general public. He knew that if the Queen didn’t give a statement, then the people would feel that she was against the cause that Diana stood up for, and there was a high possibility that the already dwindling popularity of the monarchy would suffer even more. Queen Elizabeth finally, at the end of The Crown Season 6, decided to give a statement, and it worked in favor of the royal family.
Even after losing his son, the only thing that was in Mohamed Al Fayed’s mind was that the royal family would accept him as one of their own, but he was deeply disappointed when no such thing happened from the other end. He wanted his son to be a certain way, and only after he lost him did he realize how wrong he had been in his approach. As for the kids, William and Harry, they had a lot to process, and the tragedy impacted him greatly bringing about a change in how they saw the world. We hope that Diana would have found the peace she was always searching for in the mortal world and would have realized how much people loved her for who she was.