The first instalment of season six debuted on Netflix on Thursday (16 November), with the first four episodes covering the events leading up to Diana’s tragic death in a car crash in 1997 at the age of 36.
The late Princess of Wales’s funeral took place at Westminster Abbey and was attended by 2,000 people. The ceremony included a performance from her close friend Elton John, who sang a new version of “Candle in the Wind” with lyrics mourning Diana, and a famous speech by her brother Charles Spencer, now Earl Spencer.
In the eulogy, he condemned the media’s treatment of his sister, who he described as “the most hunted person of the modern age”, and promised to protect her sons, Princes William and Harry.
The speech does not feature in The Crown’s fourth episode, which briefly covers the funeral, and producer Suzanne Mackie has revealed that “it was a story choice not to dramatise it”.
She told Variety that it would have been “intrusive” to show too much of the funeral in the drama, as Diana’s death is “raw for people still”.
“We did include [the eulogy], and then we didn’t,” she said. “In the end, it was a story choice not to not to dramatise it.
“It didn’t quite fit in with what we were trying to say,” she continued. “To be honest, it sort of feels like there’s too much story. You have to choose what themes you’re exploring. I was always fascinated by that speech. It’s a beautiful speech, and it was very rousing and it was very, very moving. I remember watching it and being very moved by it, and its impact was very visceral.
“But just from a sheer story point of view, there wasn’t room for it.”
Episode four, however, does show how Willian and Harry walked in their mother’s funeral procession. This has long been a source of contention, with Earl Spencer describing it in a previous interview as a “very bizarre and cruel thing” to ask of the teenagers.
In his autobiography Spare, published earlier this year, Harry revealed that he felt “numb” during the procession. “I remember clenching my fists,” he wrote. “I remember keeping a little piece of Willy in the corner of my eye because it gave me strength.”