‘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.


Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

3 days ago

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2...

Associated Press

Meta shuts down thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were primed to polarize voters ahead of 2024

Meta said it removed 4789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States before next year’s election.

3 days ago

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

7 days ago

Men look over the site of a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, ...

Associated Press

New AP analysis of last month’s deadly Gaza hospital explosion rules out widely cited video

The Associated Press is publishing an updated visual analysis of the deadly Oct. 17 explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital.

11 days ago

Peggy Simpson holds a photograph of law enforcement carrying Lee Harvey Oswald's gun through a hall...

Associated Press

JFK assassination remembered 60 years later by surviving witnesses to history, including AP reporter

Peggy Simpson is among the last surviving witnesses who are sharing their stories as the nation marks the 60th anniversary.

11 days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.

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