Princess Diana Haunts Us in Season 5 of ‘The Crown’

Elizabeth Debicki’s portrayal of the late Princess Diana in season five of ‘The Crown’ is truly haunting, especially for Diana’s biographer, Andrew Morton.

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Princess Diana in Netflix's series 'The Crown'

I’ve known who Princess Diana was before I knew England was a country. My mother has been obsessed with the royal family since before I was born. She made sure that my sister and I would hold some appreciation for the royals. Even going to the extreme of waking us up at two in the morning to see William and Kate get married. I don’t follow up with the royal family as much as my mom, but the one figure that I’ve always been fond of is Princess Diana. As the People’s Princess, Diana held a special place in many of our hearts, and her abrupt death left people in dismay all around the world.

However, her life still lives on. Through her sons, her charities, and most importantly, through her words. One of her more memorable autobiographies is Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words by Andrew Morton. He spent a considerable amount of time with Diana to make this biography a reality. When her death was broadcasted to the nation and beyond, Morton was one of her mourners. Now that season five of The Crown is out, Andrew Morton and the rest of us are seeing the ghost of Princess Diana live on, but her depiction is more accurate than we ever could’ve imagined.

More Reality Than Fiction

Princess Diana Hanuts Us in Season 5 of 'The Crown.' Cover of Diana's biography by Andrew Morton

For casual viewers of The Crown, we can separate ourselves from the real stories we’re witnessing, but for Andrew Morton, this was his life. During the 1990s, Morton worked exclusively with Princess Diana to complete her biography in 1992. The two initially denied ever collaborating together, but after the princess’s death, Morton revealed that Diana was his main source of information. 

While they never met in person, Morton got an inside glimpse into the sufferings of the princess. Diana would secretly send Morton tapes through their mutual friend, James Colthurst. The contents of those tapes were scandalous to the royal family, as Diana declared the struggles of her failing marriage between her and Prince Charles. Once her biography was released in 1992, Buckingham Palace erupted. In an interview with TODAY, Morton reflects on the secrets Diana shared with him.

Princess Diana Hanuts Us in Season 5 of 'The Crown.'  Picture of Andrew Morton.

“I was nursing a secret and the secret was a dangerous one: The Prince and Princess of Wales were living separate lives. The Prince of Wales was enjoying a life with Camilla Parker Bowles. And this was knowledge kept from the British people and the world.”

Andrew Morton, TODAY

Even 25 years after her death, Andrew Morton still thinks about the saddened but kind eyes of Diana, even through a video recording. 

Bringing the Princess Back To Life

Princess Diana Hanuts Us in Season 5 of 'The Crown.'  Elizabeth Debicki playing Diana in season five of 'The Crown'

From the series’ first season, we always knew that The Crown would have to find the perfect actress to take on the role of the Princess of Wales. We just weren’t expecting the similarities to be so startling. Actress Elizabeth Debicki seemingly uses all of Diana’s mannerisms and expressions as if they were her own. Even when I’d only catch a glimpse of my mom watching the newest seasons, Debicki’s portrayal of the princess had me doing a double take. 

This was the consensus of many, including Morton himself. As Andrew Morton began to watch the newest season of The Crown, he was taken aback by the shocking resemblance, and how it impacted him seeing the princess seemingly alive on the screen.

“I was shaking watching that. It was like being taken back 30 years to when I was interviewing her for the book…For me, having worked so closely with her, it was like seeing a ghost. It was really uncanny.”

Andrew Morton, TODAY

We couldn’t agree more. Any depiction of beloved past figures can give us the chills, but the work that Elizabeth Debicki does in season five of The Crown is masterful, making us believe that Diana is still living and breathing. Some fans took to Twitter to discuss the eerie similarities between the two women, leading to side-by-side comparisons of the striking way that Debicki mimicked the late princess.

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How We Miss Her So

Princess Diana Hanuts Us in Season 5 of 'The Crown.' Princess Diana in a purple suit.

The loss of Princess Diana shook the entire world, and shows like The Crown, make us miss her even more. Diana was a beacon of hope, love, and kindness in an institution that was anything but. People like Andrew Morton can attest to her charm and grace. Wherever she went, she treated people with respect and openness, which is what gained her the status of the People’s Princess. With each new adaptation of Diana’s life, actresses will give their all to mirror the princess’s ways, but if we’re being honest, there will only be one Princess Diana in our hearts. 

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