The hit royal drama that has earned both praise and controversy over its seven-year run will wrap after 60 episodes this year, with the final 10 episodes being released globally in two installments on November 16 and December 14.
Part one of the final season will tackle perhaps the most dramatic period in the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the events immediately leading up to Princess Diana’s 1997 death and its devastating aftermath.
Diana died as a result of injuries sustained in a high speed car crash in the early hours of August 31. The princess and her then boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, were traveling at speed through Paris pursued by paparazzi when their car collided with a structural pillar of the Pont de l’Alma tunnel. Fayed died at the scene, while Diana was taken to a nearby hospital where attempts to save her life were ultimately unsuccessful.
The princess was introduced as a character in The Crown in its fourth season, played by Emma Corrin, a role for which she won a Golden Globe. The role was taken over by Australian actor, Elizabeth Debicki for Season 5 and will carry through to her final appearances in Season 6.
A series of new production stills for the first part of the final season were released on Monday, several of which depict Debicki as Diana in her final days alongside William and Harry, with particular attention paid to the painstaking recreation of the princess’ wardrobe.
One standout dress which has been recreated by costume designers, Amy Roberts and Sidonie Roberts, is a red shift dress worn by Debicki in an image alongside actors Rufus Kampa as Prince William and Fflyn Edwards as Prince Harry.
In real life, this dress marked a poignant milestone in the life of Diana, being the outfit she wore for her final public engagement just a month before her death.
The simple red shift dress with matching covered belt featuring gold hardware was designed by one of the princess’ closest creative friends, Catherine Walker.
Walker created more event dresses for Diana than any other designer and formed a working relationship with the royal when she was pregnant with William.
The red dress was worn by the princess to the opening of a Children’s Ambulatory Care Centre at the Northwick Park & St. Mark’s Hospital in Harrow, England.
In her autobiography, published in 1998, Walker included the dress among those she created for Diana which were her personal favorites. Of it she wrote: “I will always remember this simple shift dress and will always keep a replica in my archive. The princess had ordered it a couple of years before wearing it here. It was her last daytime engagement.”
In The Crown‘s promotional imagery, Diana is seen wearing the dress on vacation with William and Harry, however, there is no evidence to suggest that the princess wore the design again after the hospital engagement.
Walker herself died in 2010, just months before one of her designs was worn to the royal wedding of Diana’s eldest son, William, selected by mother-of-the-bride, Carole Middleton.
William’s wife, Kate, the Princess of Wales, has become a champion of Catherine Walker & Co., now headed by Walker’s husband, Said Cyrus. The house has made a number of Kate’s famous coat dresses and ceremonial event wear.
The Crown season 6 will debut globally in two installments on November 16 and December 14 only on Netflix.
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