The Crown Recap: Here’s How Season 6 Handled Diana’s Tragic Death

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the first three episodes of The Crown’s sixth season.

The final season of Netflix’s The Crown has begun, and it’s tackling one of the most seismic events in Queen Elizabeth II’s entire reign: the death of Princess Diana.

More from TVLine

Part 1 of Season 6 debuted on Thursday (Part 2 premieres Dec. 14), and the first two episodes pick up eight weeks before the tragedy, with Diana taking her sons William and Harry to Saint-Tropez and getting to know film producer Dodi Fayed. Dodi’s dad Mohamed aggressively pushes Dodi to make a love connection with Diana… even though Dodi is engaged to someone else. Mohamed doesn’t mince words: “This is your chance to finally make me proud of you.” So Dodi spends time on the yacht with Diana and the boys, and when his fiancée arrives, Mohamed sticks her on a smaller boat far away from the main yacht. She’s annoyed, and Dodi confides in Diana about his relationship problems… and when they all watch Jumanji on the yacht together, he and Diana catch each other’s gaze as they laugh.

The Crown Season 6 Dodi Diana
The Crown Season 6 Dodi Diana

When Diana returns home, she finds dozens of flowers waiting for her, along with a gold watch and a note reading: “Paris next week?” In Episode 2, she and Dodi embark on a whirlwind courtship, giggling together on his yacht while Mohamed hires a paparazzo to document their romance. Dodi intended to fly to L.A. to break things off with his fiancée, but the paparazzi photos go wide, leading to a media feeding frenzy. Diana heads to Bosnia for her landmine charity, but all the press wants to ask about is her new boyfriend. Dodi is even being sued for breach of contract for dumping his fiancée, and Charles takes advantage of the chaos by posing for photos with William and Harry, presenting himself as the ideal father.

In Episode 3, Diana admits to a confidante that Dodi’s affection is “very sweet, but slightly misjudged.” Mohamed is still giving Dodi the hard sell, though, even offering to turn over the family empire to him if he lands Diana. During a night out, Diana and Dodi are discovered by fans and have to take refuge inside a jewelry store. Dodi asks if there’s anything there she likes, and she points to a ring — which Dodi makes a note of. But he has to go to Paris to get it, so he offers to fly Diana home on his private jet after a brief stop in the City of Lights. Those lights, unfortunately, turn out to be camera flashes: They’re besieged everywhere they go by pushy paparazzi riding alongside their car on motorcycles and scooters. They stop at Mohamed’s lavish villa, but Diana gets freaked out when Mohamed calls to tell her, “It’s a perfect little house waiting for the perfect couple.” She only wants to get to the hotel to call her boys, but by the time she reaches a phone, they’ve already gone out.

While Diana wraps a birthday gift for Harry, Dodi goes shopping and buys the ring she picked out. She finally gets her boys on the phone, and they ask her point-blank: “Are you going to marry Dodi?” She says no, even though all the papers say she will. She wants to come home and get a fresh start: “Mummy just needs to make some changes to her life, that’s all.” She and Dodi try to go out for dinner, but they’re absolutely swarmed by photographers, so they settle for a restaurant at the hotel. But when they enter, everyone stares at them, and the piano player even stops playing. Diana is clearly uncomfortable and starts to tear up, so Dodi decides they’ll just eat upstairs in their room.

The Crown Season 6 Diana Dodi
The Crown Season 6 Diana Dodi

Once there, Diana apologizes for the “never-ending chaos of being with me,” but Dodi is undeterred. He puts on Julio Iglesias and gets out the ring, telling her he has a question to ask and getting down on one knee. But she stops him, pulling him to his feet and saying this is “madness.” This summer has been great, but “I’m nowhere near ready for another marriage,” she tells him. Besides, he was just engaged, and she knows he’s just trying to make his father happy. He needs to go to California and make films and leave his dad behind, she declares: “We can never see our own problems clearly.” So what’s Diana’s problem? Dodi says she needs to slow down, and she admits she’s been “dashing around” her whole life. She wants to spend more time with her boys, because motherhood is what makes her the happiest. Mohamed calls, and Dodi gears up to tell him the truth… but he actually hangs up before telling his dad that he and Diana won’t be getting married and daring him to cut him off.

They need to head back to his apartment since all her things are there, so Dodi devises a plan to send out a decoy car to lure away the paparazzi and then slip away in another car out the back. We see that Dodi’s driver has had a few drinks before he gets behind the wheel, and while Diana and Dodi wait in an underground tunnel, he admits he hung up on his dad before telling him off… and Diana already knew. They get into the decoy car, but a few photographers still manage to sniff it out, and as they drive off, they’re surrounded by motorcycles and scooters zipping around them at high speed. The driver speeds up to lose them, and Diana and Dodi hold hands as they head into a tunnel… and all we hear is a crash and a blaring car horn.

What do you think of how The Crown handled Diana’s death? Grade the episode in our poll, and then hit the comments to share your thoughts.

Best of TVLine

Get more from Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter