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The Crown creator responds to criticism of leaked scene from final season

The Crown creator Peter Morgan has confronted criticism surrounding a leaked scene from the final season of the popular Netflix drama.

Nearly a month before the release of season six on 16 November, the Daily Mail released an unauthorised scene from the forthcoming series.

On 10 October, the tabloid published contents of the spoiler with the headline: “Royal Family brace themselves for ‘painful’ scenes as Princess Diana appears as a GHOST to both her ex-husband and the Queen in The Crown's final season.”

In a subsequent article, the Mail published an op-ed from royal historian AN Wilson who condemned the new season for being “cruel”, “farcical” and “a sick joke”.

Wilson further lambasted Morgan for “straying from the truth”.

Sitting down with Variety for a recent cover story, Morgan addressed the criticism, claiming that his intent was never for the princess’s posthumous appearance to be supernatural.

“I never imagined it as Diana’s ‘ghost’ in the traditional sense,” Morgan said. “It was her continuing to live vividly in the minds of those she has left behind.

“Diana was unique, and I suppose that’s what inspired me to find a unique way of representing her. She deserved special treatment narratively,” he added.

Elizabeth Debicki in ‘The Crown’ season 6 (Netflix)
Elizabeth Debicki in ‘The Crown’ season 6 (Netflix)

In recent years, The Crown has faced intense scrutiny from several high-profile Britons, including former prime minister Sir John Major, who alleged that the most recent season distorted historical facts.

Royal biographer Gyles Brandreth, who was well acquainted with Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, claimed The Crown has turned the royal family into a soap opera.

As the upcoming season of the historical drama – based on the royal family throughout the reign of Elizabeth II – enters a new decade, it’s been revealed that it will “sensitively” cover the death of Princess Diana, as well as the marriage between the now-King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

It will also feature three versions of the monarch as a “tribute to the late Queen”.

Claire Foy played her in the first two seasons, documenting her earliest years on the throne. Olivia Colman succeeded her in seasons three and four, and Imelda Staunton plays the Queen in her later years for seasons five and six.

Meanwhile, newcomers Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy will make their series debuts portraying the young adult versions of Prince William and Kate Middleton, who first met as students at the University of St Andrews.

“As the pair meet for the first time on campus, a new romance and a new future for The Crown begins,” an official logline states.

The Crown season six part one will debut on Netflix on 16 November, followed by part two on 14 December.