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

Nov 21, 2022, 9:29 AM | Updated: 10:06 am
This combination of photos released by Netflix shows Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana, left, and...

This combination of photos released by Netflix shows Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana, left, and Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles in separate scenes from "The Crown." (Netflix via AP)

(Netflix via AP)

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.

AP

FILE - Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks during a reception to celeb...
Associated Press

Emhoff to host Jewish leaders for discussion of antisemitism

WASHINGTON (AP) — Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, will host Jewish leaders this week to discuss a rise in antisemitism and efforts to fight hate in the United States. The White House roundtable on Wednesday follows a surge in anti-Jewish vitriol spread by a famous rapper, an NBA star and other […]
9 hours ago
Mary O'Connor addresses reporters during a news conference at the Tampa Police Department headquart...
Associated Press

Tampa police chief resigns over golf cart traffic stop

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The police chief in Tampa, Florida, resigned Monday after using her position to escape a ticket during a traffic stop involving a golf cart driven by her husband. Mary O’Connor submitted her resignation after an internal affairs review found she violated police department policy during the Nov. 12 stop by a […]
9 hours ago
In this courtroom artist sketch, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and the wife of Ca...
Associated Press

The women at the center of Harvey Weinstein’s LA rape trial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors called 44 witnesses to make their case against Harvey Weinstein, but a jury’s decision at his Los Angeles trial will hinge largely on the testimony of four: the women he is charged with raping or sexually assaulting, all known simply as “Jane Doe” in court. Four more women also testified […]
9 hours ago
FILE - In this image taken from footage provided by the RU-RTR Russian television on Sunday, Dec. 4...
Associated Press

Russia: Mass seal death likely due to oxygen deprivation

MOSCOW (AP) — A top Russian environmental official said Monday that the thousands of dead seals that washed up on Russia’s Caspian Sea coast likely died from oxygen deprivation. Officials in the republic of Dagestan, which has a long coastline on the world’s largest inland body of water, said this week that 2,500 or more […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Jazzy ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ swings on after 57 years

NEW YORK (AP) — The Mendelson family would love to find the envelope where their father, Lee, scribbled some lyrics to jazz musician Vince Guaraldi’s composition “Christmas Time is Here” for an animated TV special featuring the “Peanuts” gang in 1965. The producer always said it had taken less than half an hour to write, […]
9 hours ago
This combination photo of celebrities with birthdays from Dec. 11-17 shows Mos Def, from left, Regi...
Associated Press

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Dec. 11-17

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Dec. 11-17: Dec. 11: Actor Rita Moreno is 91. Singer David Gates of Bread is 82. Actor Donna Mills (“Knots Landing”) is 82. Singer Brenda Lee is 78. Singer Paul Beasley of The Blind Boys of Alabama is 78. Actor Lynda Day George (TV’s “Mission: Impossible”) is 78. Actor […]
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
‘The Crown’ puts both Diana, Camilla in sympathetic light