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Dominic West Shares His Take On The Crown's Divisive Princess Diana 'Ghost' Scenes

Dominic West in character as King Charles in The Crown
Dominic West in character as King Charles in The Crown

Dominic West in character as King Charles in The Crown

The Crown actor Dominic West has shared his take on one of the most divisive aspects of the show’s final seasons.

Last month, the first four episodes of The Crown’s sixth season began streaming on Netflix, depicting the lead-up to, and aftermath of, Princess Diana’s death.

In the final episode of what Netflix dubbed “part one”, a vision of Diana appeared to both King Charles and Queen Elizabeth II, which divided opinion among viewers, and was also mentioned in many of the more negative reviews of the season.

Speaking to HuffPost UK, Dominic – who played King Charles in the final two seasons of The Crown – revealed he, too, was shocked when he first read the scenes in the script.

Dominic West at the premiere of The Crown
Dominic West at the premiere of The Crown

Dominic West at the premiere of The Crown

“I must admit, when I first read it I thought, ‘oooh, how’s that going to work? That’s quite daring’,” he recalled.

“But seeing it, and playing it, I sort of realised, ‘how else do you get across what Charles and the Queen are thinking about Diana’? You can have her in voiceover, but it’s just not as dramatic. So I think it works really well.”

He even went as far as saying the “neat dramatic device” helped “get across what The Crown is all about, which is, ‘what are the inner thoughts of these people who wear the crown?’”.

Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki joined The Crown in its fifth season as Charles and Diana
Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki joined The Crown in its fifth season as Charles and Diana

Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki joined The Crown in its fifth season as Charles and Diana

Later in the conversation, Dominic also brought up the rather tepid critical reception the final season of The Crown has received.

I’ve only seen the first four episodes, and I watched it with my family, and my mother-in-law, and actually for all the reviews and the critics I read, it’s a rattling good watch,” he insisted. “You go straight through, it doesn’t hang around does it?

“It’s a really good piece of entertainment apart from anything else. And I think that’s really our first duty, and I think that’s where it succeeds so brilliantly.”

Elizabeth Debicki, who plays Diana in The Crown’s final two seasons, previously shared her thoughts on the subject during an interview last month.

“I’m really proud of that scene,” she revealed. “I feel like it’s really honest and I just think that Dom’s work in the whole season, but particularly in that episode, is just astonishingly beautiful.”

The final six episodes of The Crown season six will begin streaming on Netflix on 14 December.

Read our full interview with Dominic West on HuffPost UK this Sunday.

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