Review of The Crown Season 6 Part 1: The truth will be revealed

The moment that many have said shouldn’t be fictionalized for television has finally arrived – and by and large, Netflix should be patting themselves on the back for The Crown Season 6, Part 1.

It’s almost pointless to argue about whether the sixth part should have been made or not. As The Crown moves ever closer to the current timeline, there’s a lot of speculation about how a deep dive into history is seen as disrespectful. Season 6 Part 1 isn’t a viewing experience that everyone will enjoy – and now it’s here, waiting for the world to digest it.

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With that in mind, Season 6 begins with exactly the change in tone we would expect. Meanwhile, Season 4 remained the Queen’s story with other royal members, Season 5 revolved around Charles and Diana’s shared debacle, and Season 6 resulted in the focus being firmly on Diana. Because this focus remains as authentic on screen as it is in real life, it’s almost unbearable to watch, driving Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) out of every corner of comfort she has left.

In some ways we are still in exactly this situation. Sure, many won’t find The Crown Season 6, Part 1 to be life-changing television, but the fascination with the Princess of Wales still endures. We feel incredibly connected to her, yet distanced from the unique treatment she was subjected to. If anything, The Crown begins to hold up a mirror to the complicit truth, even if it does lead to some criticisms along the way.

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Diana’s story is revealed

Princess Diana in season 6 of The CrownNetflix

The Crown Season 6 Part 1 is all about Diana, which in itself has caused controversy. Back when the series was still in the planning stages, author and close friend was Jemima Khan publicly announced the connection to the production about the direction they wanted to take Diana’s story. Looking at the finished product, it’s hard to see how an outsider could have done a better job of presenting facts wrapped in torturous fiction.

These four new episodes may represent the first time that multiple parties share the same level of “blame” – which in turn means we’re the closest we’ve come to all sides being responsible. It’s a painful experience to relive such a recent part of history, as Debicki’s performance incredibly blurs the line with reality. At key emotional moments it’s important to remember that it’s not really Diana on screen, with production details keeping a keen eye out for factual differences. The whole operation depends on the commitment to the Princess of Wales, which is almost astonishing across the board.

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There is little opportunity to gloss over the consequences and aftermath of each individual game, as the fictional scenes do not overdramatize what could have been for the sake of sensationalism. Are Diana’s final weeks something that needs to be analyzed? Probably not, but here they are. In its creation, viewers’ opinions are likely to be reframed and challenged, with the script, scene and performance incorporating a huge dose of empathy.

The rest of the Royals aren’t as solid

Imelda Staunton in The Crown Season 6 Part 1Netflix

While Diana and Dodi Fayed (Khalid Abdalla) are outstanding, the same can often not be said for the rest of the royals. Imelda Staunton’s take on the Queen feels neither like a factual confrontation nor a villainous take on her mind, instead opting for something that could be interpreted as Dolores Umbridge in a wig. Dominic West has the opposite problem, making Prince Charles a man almost too charismatic to be recognized. Collectively, the royal family feels fragmented around Diana – which is actually an astute but unintentional observation.

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Although these criticisms are obvious, they probably cannot be attributed to Season 6, Part 1. Instead, Season 5 bears the brunt of these concerns, with performance criticism remaining a snowball. There’s also a question mark about where The Crown will go from here. With six episodes left, the peak of 1990s British history has now been passed, and the events of the following years pale in comparison to the international mourning we are still experiencing today. Maybe Season 6 will continue to try to make amends and dwell on unpleasant feelings and do the work that the real world was never able to resolve.

Review score for The Crown Season 6 Part 1: 4/5

Regardless of personal opinion, there is no denying the fact that The Crown Season 6 Part 1 is a well-condensed version of the biggest large-scale turmoil the royal family has ever experienced.

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Elizabeth Debicki can move on knowing that she gave the fictional Diana everything she needed to remain in the hearts and minds of viewers, while the overall production successfully mastered the balance between taste and poignancy. As the saying goes, the truth comes out as The Crown provides the external lens needed to watch with fresh eyes.

The Crown Season 6 Part 1 will be available on Netflix from November 16th. Find out more about our Netflix content below:

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Dustin Huang

Dustin Huang is a Nytimas U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dustin Huang joined Nytimas in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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