As the sixth season begins, Diana and Charles (Dominic West) have been divorced for a year. Diana no longer has her HRH status, and yet, she remains constantly in the public eye, followed everywhere by both hungry paparazzi and adoring fans who look at her as if she were some kind of religious icon; a walking, talking miracle. In the midst of all of this, Diana finds herself in an almost accidental relationship with Dodi Fayed (Khalid Abdalla), who is pressured by his father Mohamed Al-Fayed (Salim Daw, doing great work with a difficult character), to woo the Princess. Dodi is currently engaged to another woman when this happens, and yet Mohamed makes it clear that if he can sweep Diana off her feet, he’ll make his father proud — not to mention help the Fayed’s rise in the ranks of society.
That may make Dodi sound conniving or manipulative, but “The Crown” actually portrays him in a mostly sympathetic light as a man who desperately wants to make his demanding father happy, no matter what the cost. As for Diana, she seems taken with Dodi, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to jump into a serious relationship. Instead, she just wants to get away on holiday — something that proves difficult when the paparazzi are following her every single move.
As for the Queen, played by Imelda Staunton, she mostly exists in the periphery for the bulk of these episodes — she no longer feels like the main character. Instead, this is now Diana’s show — but fate dictates that that won’t be the case for very long.