In season five of The Crown, a newly-single Princess Diana goes on a date to the movies. (A note to the reader: spoilers to follow.) To avoid recognition, she wears a brown wig and sunglasses. The disguise works, as she happily settles into the theater alongside a Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, who she met while visiting his hospital a few weeks earlier.
Yet the viewer knows this blissfulness will be short-lived. As the show depicts, Diana was arguably the most famous woman in the world—and remaining permanently incognito was not a viable option. At the end of this season of The Crown, Debicki’s Diana laments the end of her relationship with Khan, telling Dominic West’s Prince Charles that she thinks she “scared him off.”
There may be no modern figure whose personal life has been more exhaustively chronicled than the late Princess Diana. She first entered the glare of the spotlight at just 19 years old when she began to date Prince Charles, and never left: rarely was there a day without her photograph in the paper or her name in a headline for the next decade and a half, especially as her marriage began to crumble.
This very concept is explored in the fifth season of The Crown, with multiple episodes examining (and dramatizing) her pivotal relationships with not just Charles, but James Hewitt, Khan, and Dodi Al Fayed.
Charles, the Prince of Wales
After Khan, Diana dated Dodi Al Fayed, a film producer and son of billionaire businessman Mohamed Al Fayed. The couple spent the summer of 1997 on the Al Fayed yacht, sailing around the South of France, before heading to Paris. Cameras trailed them everywhere they went.
There, tragedy struck: the couple died in a horrific car crash in a tunnel. An investigation into their death found their driver was drunk and speeding at 121 miles per hour while being pursued by a tail of paparazzi.