‘The Crown’ puts both Diana, Camilla in sympathetic light

Nov 21, 2022, 9:29 AM | Updated: 10:06 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Controversy and debate surround season five of ” The Crown,” but Elizabeth Debicki has largely been praised for her portrayal of Princess Diana.

Debicki, best known for her work in the limited series “The Night Manager” and films including “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Tenet,” said she prepared for the role more than any previous job she’s had.

A delay of filming due to the pandemic allowed for extra time to study and perfect the Princess’ mannerisms and way of speaking.

“When I wrapped I thought, ‘Well, I’ve done my best. Now we’ll see,'” said the French-born Debicki, who moved with her family as a child to Australia.

She was first told producers had her in mind for the role after she auditioned for a small part in season two, which she says did not go well.

“I was really confused about the part they were asking me to go in for because I wouldn’t have at all been physically right for it,” she recalled. Debicki wasn’t surprised when she received an email with the news that she didn’t get the part, but the rest of the message was a shock.

It said, “‘We think maybe you’d be a very good Diana.’ … it knocked me over. I did not see it coming,” said Debicki, adding that she was told they didn’t have anybody else in mind for the part. “I was really hoping they were going to ask me, so match made in heaven.”

Debicki takes over as the Princess of Wales as her marriage to then-Prince Charles is fast deteriorating. During the course of season five viewers see a recreation of the infamous 1995 on-camera interview that Diana did with journalist Martin Bashir, who used false documents and other tactics to persuade Diana to agree to speak with him on the record.

In 2020, the BBC appointed a retired senior judge to lead an investigation into what happened. A report from the inquiry said Bashir acted in a deceitful way and breached BBC rules by mocking up fake bank statements and showing them to Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, to gain access to the princess.

Debicki says viewers have had strong responses to the Bashir episodes, which both illustrate some of his maneuvers and show an increasingly paranoid Diana who believes she has no other choice than to do the interview.

“It’s such a complex, psychological journey the character goes on to end up sitting in that chair… When I learned all the things about what the inquiry revealed to us and then saw how Peter (Morgan) had written it, I knew it was going to be really difficult, but also very important to tell that story,” she said.

“That interview for so many years stood as this kind of stand-alone moment in history. (Portraying that) felt — just like the information that came to light — so important that people understand what happened and who’s responsible.”

In that Bashir interview, Diana famously said, “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” a reference to Camilla Parker Bowles. Season five of the series offers up empathy for each of those two women. Olivia Williams, who plays Parker Bowles, wants people to see the now-Queen Consort’s dignity.

“She was a victim of circumstance in many ways… She had to move out of the family home. She wasn’t yet married to Charles. She had no security. Every picture of her was taken by a man hiding in a bush illegally, trespassing on her property, and so no wonder she looked miserable or angry,” said Williams.

“Now she’s emerged with this extraordinary warmth and is able to to wink at a bank of press who were formerly her tormentors. There’s never been, you know, ‘Camilla: Her Story’ or a vindictive memoir from her or even a cruel word. I just love her.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

3 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

4 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

11 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

12 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

14 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

‘The Crown’ puts both Diana, Camilla in sympathetic light