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Your episode-by-episode guide to The Crown season five

The Crown’s fifth series is likely to shock viewers with its explosive plots and fictionalised storylines – with the new season of the Netflix drama released today amid mounting backlash over the ‘insensitive’ portrayal of the Royal Family during the Nineties.

As the drama – which has spanned over several decades – reaches recent events that will be fresh in some viewers’ minds, the show has been criticised for sensationalising situations and falsifying plots. 

Focusing heavily on the fallout between Princess Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki, and King Charles (then Prince of Wales) as portrayed by Dominic West, the new series showcases a number of low points for the royals.

Among them are Charles and Diana’s marriage breakdown, the late royal’s controversial Panorama interview and the famous ‘tampongate’ phone call between the King and Queen Consort, then Camilla Parker Bowles.

Elsewhere, a frustrated Charles is shown trying to jostle for power from the Queen, while Prince Philip develops an intimate friendship with Penny Knatchbull over their love of carriage driving.

Here, FEMAIL reveals a full breakdown of each episode… 

EPISODE ONE: QUEEN VICTORIA SYNDROME 

The central plot in the first episode of the new series sees Prince Charles lobbying Prime Minister John Major to encourage the Queen to abdicate the throne (pictured Charles and Diana in the first episode of the new series) 

Meanwhile Princess Anne joins her mother the Queen for a trip on Britannia - before the Queen lobbies Prime Minister John Major for money to fix up the royal yacht

Meanwhile Princess Anne joins her mother the Queen for a trip on Britannia – before the Queen lobbies Prime Minister John Major for money to fix up the royal yacht 

The central plot in the first episode of the new series, and a theme which runs throughout the programme, sees Prince Charles lobbying Prime Minister John Major to encourage the Queen to abdicate the throne.

In the storyline the new monarch is portrayed as pleading his mother to abdicate so as not to stand in the way of a more popular, younger heir. 

Charles is buoyed by the Sunday Times poll showing support for abdication among 47 per cent of the Queen’s subjects. 

Charles is told he and Diana are going on a ‘second honeymoon’ to Italy’ where they are also joined by a group of friends, including Norton and Penny Knatchbull, as well as their children Prince William and Prince Harry.

It’s one of the first real instances where the family are shown on screen in the new series.

The Queen’s press secretary is shown hiding papers from the monarch, who is on holiday on her royal ship Britannia, but showing Prince Philip.

Such is Charles’ determination to draw the Prime Minister into his conspiracy that he is shown cutting short a holiday with Princess Diana and William and Harry to race back to London.

Diana and Charles end up screaming at one another on the deck of the yacht. 

Prince William, pictured, and Prince Harry also appear in the episode, with the young royals offering some comfort to their mother Diana

Prince William, pictured, and Prince Harry also appear in the episode, with the young royals offering some comfort to their mother Diana 

Summoning Mr Major to a private meeting at Highgrove, Charles asks him to keep their discussions secret.

In their exchange, Charles hints that the monarchy should follow the lead of the Conservative Party which a year earlier had ousted Mrs Thatcher in favour of the younger Major. He says: ‘What makes the Conservative Party the successful electoral force that it is? ‘Its instinct for renewal and its willingness to make way for someone younger.’

He draws a parallel between himself and his great-great grandfather, Edward VII, the son of Queen Victoria, who was Prince of Wales for almost 60 years.

Charles tells Mr Major that if he joins the Queen at an upcoming Ghillies Ball at Balmoral he will be able to judge for himself ‘whether this institution that we all care about so deeply is in safe hands’. 

Meanwhile the Queen, Philip and Anne are enjoying a holiday on the royal yacht. Anne is introduced to future husband Tim Laurence for the first time.

However it’s not long before Prince Philip and the Queen realise the ship needs some crucial repairs – with the Duke of Edinburgh even saying the ship is ‘falling apart’ and at risk of becoming ‘obsolete.’

He suggests the Queen ask the Prime Minister for funds to fix the ship, which she later goes on to do when John Major and his wife arrive at Balmoral. 

The Queen says she needs ‘a small refit’ in order to ‘keep the yacht in tip top shape.’

And when Major says it won’t be possible, the Queen pushes him – telling her the ‘connection is deeper’ than that with other royal possessions, and the boat is ‘a floating, sea-going expression of me.’

Later in the episode, Charles talks to Mr Major about the Queen wanting taxpayers’ money to repair the Royal Yacht Britannia. 

He tells the PM: ‘Sometimes these old things are too costly to keep repairing. I’ll leave you with that thought.’ 

Major goes on to tell his wife the senior royals are ‘seriously deluded and out of touch’ while the junior royals are ‘feckless, entitled and out of touch.’ 

EPISODE TWO: THE SYSTEM 

The main plotline in the second episode of the programme shows Prince Philip developing a close friendship with Penny Knatchbull after the death of her daughter from cancer

The main plotline in the second episode of the programme shows Prince Philip developing a close friendship with Penny Knatchbull after the death of her daughter from cancer 

Elsewhere in the second episode, Dr James Colthurst and Andrew Morton are seen collaborating with Diana on the explosive book

Elsewhere in the second episode, Dr James Colthurst and Andrew Morton are seen collaborating with Diana on the explosive book

The main plotline in the second episode of the programme shows Prince Philip developing a close friendship with Penny Knatchbull after the death of her daughter from cancer. 

EPISODE THREE: MOU MOU

The third episode of the drama is dedicated to recreating the life of Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian businessman whose son Dodi went on to have a relationship with Princess Diana

The third episode of the drama is dedicated to recreating the life of Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian businessman whose son Dodi went on to have a relationship with Princess Diana

The third episode of the drama is dedicated to recreating the life of Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian businessman whose son Dodi went on to have a relationship with Princess Diana. 

It begins with the moment the Duke and Duchess of Windsor visit Egypt, while Mohamed is selling cola-cola on the streets. 

Mohamed is shown marrying Samira Khashoggi in a lavish wedding, before they welcome a family. 

Years pass, and he is shown buying the Ritz. At the opening night meets his future wife Heini. 

Meanwhile he is shown chatting with his son Dodi, whom he tells to fire one of the waiters, who is the only person of colour at the party.

However he changes his mind when Dodi tells him that the waiter is in fact Sydney Johnson, former valet to the Duke of Windsor. 

He requests a personal meeting with Sydney before hiring him to be his personal valet. He asks him to teach him how to become ‘a British gentleman.’ 

After seeing the Queen sitting next to Tiny Rowlands, the owner of Harrods, at the Windsor Horse Show, Al-Fayed becomes fixated on buying the store. 

Al-Fayed ends up financing Dodi’s involvement in the movie Chariots of Fire, which goes on to win an Oscar, before buying Harrods. 

Meanwhile news of Wallis Simpson’s death is announced, leaving her home completely empty. Al-Fayed buys the home, and all of the belongings in it, and swears he will restore it to it’s former glory. 

Dodi signs a 50-year lease on the Parisian villa of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, which he promptly restored in three years. He said it would be ‘a gift to the British royal family’.

However when he invites the Queen to come and visit, she is hesitant. She is only persuaded to send a member of her team when she learns Edwards diaries and highly sensitive letters about his involvement with the Nazis are among the belongings in the property.

At the same time, Sydney is portrayed as developing a bad cough until he is eventually shown dying in bed, while Al-Fayed nurses him. 

He is then shown attending Windsor Horse Show, where the Queen appears unsure about sitting next to him. Instead, she arranges for Princess Diana to be seated with him.

Diana and Al-Fayed appear to get along immediately, with the Egyptian businessman insisting the royal call him ‘Mou-Mou’, the episode’s title.

At the event, Al-Fayed introduces Diana to his son Dodi. 

The Duke takes it upon himself to offer some comfort to ‘see how the couple are coping’, and visits the Knatchbull’s home to offer his condolences.

Penny invites the royal out into the garden to visit the grave of their daughter, where she lays his flowers.  Discussing marriage, Philip hints he and the queen have ‘grown in separate directions.’ 

Philip encourages Penny to take up a hobby to distract her from the grief, before she reveals she has an old carriage in the garage of her home. 

He makes it his pet project to renovate the carriage back to its former glory, before presenting it to Penny and inviting her along for a ride.

Upon their return to Penny’s home, they discuss setting up a charitable foundation in memory of Leonora, which Philip has drawn up plans for.

Elsewhere in the second episode, Dr James Colthurst and Andrew Morton are seen collaborating with Diana on the explosive book. 

Colthurst delivers the tapes from Diana to Morton via bicycle before Morton’s home is broken into. 

Prince Philip is shown learning of the book from Penny during a visit to her home and he goes to see Diana at home.

He refuses her offer of sitting down, telling her he has ‘always had a soft spot for her’ because she is ‘young and beautiful’ but also he ‘often shares frustration of her husband.’

He tells her she must remain silent and hints of his knowledge of the book. 

In the next scene, Philip tells the Queen that Diana ‘will be fine’, adding: ‘I told her that if she were a little more clever, a little more strategic, she could find all the happiness she needs in the system, without anyone being any near the wiser.’

However Diana is seen drinking a glass of wine at the palace, before Andrew Morton is showing being interviewed about the book. 

At the end of the episode, The Queen and Prince Philip discuss the idea of having ‘secrets’ from one another.    

EPISODE FOUR: ANNUS HORRIBILIS 

The fourth episode of the series focuses on The Queen’s famous Annus Horribilis in 1992.

It begins as Princess Margaret appears on Desert Island discs, where she selects ‘Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael’ and says it has ‘special meaning’, a reference to Peter Townsend. 

Margaret calls Peter ‘the love of her life’ and agrees to be reunited with Peter at an event in London. The pair meet, and dance together. 

The episode goes on to see Margaret re-reading older letters which she had written to Peter, while showing scenes of Vanessa Kirkby and Ben Miles embracing and riding together.

Following the fire at Windsor, the two appear to grow closer. They are shown walking with one another in the grounds of the castle.

Peter goes on to kiss Margaret, and she reciprocates. 

She goes on to fight with the Queen about it, telling the Queen she remains ‘bitter’ about the fact she was unable to marry Peter, calling him her ‘sun’.

She says she would have reason to set fire to Windsor Castle, saying: ‘Me, you don’t think I have reason to burn down my sister’s home? Because of what she denied me. Peter Townsend.’

Margaret appears devastated by the fact they were unable to be together.

Elsewhere, Prince Andrew visits his mother to tell her he hopes to officially separate from Fergie due to her various affairs. 

The pair have a laugh together and make a joke about the toe-sucking photos, before Andrew comments he feels bad about ‘the sheer humiliation of it all’.

He confesses he feels it has left him with ‘no option’ but to mention ‘D word.’ 

The fourth episode of the series focuses on The Queen's famous Annus Horribilis in 1992 - with scenes depicting the Windsor Castle fire, the breakdown of the marriage between Fergie and Andrew, and Charles and Diana's split

The fourth episode of the series focuses on The Queen’s famous Annus Horribilis in 1992 – with scenes depicting the Windsor Castle fire, the breakdown of the marriage between Fergie and Andrew, and Charles and Diana’s split 

Meanwhile Princess Margaret is depicted as sharing a loving kiss with her ex-boyfriend Peter Townsend in the episode (pictured)

Meanwhile Princess Margaret is depicted as sharing a loving kiss with her ex-boyfriend Peter Townsend in the episode (pictured) 

Margaret goes on to fight with the Queen (pictured) about it, telling the Queen she remains 'bitter' about the fact she was unable to marry Peter, calling him her 'sun'.

Margaret goes on to fight with the Queen (pictured) about it, telling the Queen she remains ‘bitter’ about the fact she was unable to marry Peter, calling him her ‘sun’.

Charles also fights with the Queen over his marriage with Diana, insisting that he wants to divorce her. 

Meanwhile the Windsor Castle fire also takes place. The scenes shows the Queen and Philip consoling each other in the charred remains of their home.

At the end of the episode, the Queen is shown delivering a speech about how difficult 1992 has been for her.

The speech is given at the Guildhall in London, in a speech marking the 40 year of her reign.

She argues with the Queen Mother over the terminology used in the speech, but ultimately insists she describes the year as the Annus Horribilis. 

EPISODE FIVE: THE WAY AHEAD 

The fifth episode focuses on Charles, his ambition to be King, and his romance with Camilla Parker-Bowles amid the breakdown of his relationship with Diana - including Tampongate (pictured)

The fifth episode focuses on Charles, his ambition to be King, and his romance with Camilla Parker-Bowles amid the breakdown of his relationship with Diana – including Tampongate (pictured)  

Charles appears obsessed with the idea of modernising the monarchy and works relentlessly at pursuing his own ideas by which to do so

Charles appears obsessed with the idea of modernising the monarchy and works relentlessly at pursuing his own ideas by which to do so

The fifth episode focuses on Charles, his ambition to be King, and his romance with Camilla Parker-Bowles amid the breakdown of his relationship with Diana. 

EPISODE SIX: IPATIEV HOUSE

One of the most graphic scenes in The Crown's fifth series, and perhaps of the entire show, is the gruesome murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his family taking place at the beginning of episode six

One of the most graphic scenes in The Crown’s fifth series, and perhaps of the entire show, is the gruesome murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his family taking place at the beginning of episode six

The sixth episode of series five focuses on the Queen and Prince Philip’s visit to Russia in 1994, and the controversial history surrounding the execution of Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra and their five children on July 17 1918. 

The episode begins with a flashback to 1917 London, where we see King George V and Queen Mary chatting over breakfast. 

They are told by the King’s private secretary that the government is thinking of sending a ship to rescue the Imperial family from the Bolshevik Revolution, but will only do so with the Sovereign’s approval. 

The King leaves it to Queen Mary to decide, and the scene cuts off before she gives her verdict. 

The show then takes us to Russia where Nicholas II, his wife and family are taken to the basement of Ipatiev House, near Ekaterinburg.

The family have been falsely told that the British have sent a ship to rescue them, but their hopes are destroyed when a battalion of soldiers enter the basement. 

The Romanovs gasp and begin to cry as a soldier reads out their execution order to them.

‘In view of the fact that your relatives in Europe continue to attack Soviet Russia, the Ural Executive Committee has sentenced you to death,’ he reads.

Right after finishing to read the edict sealing the family’s fate, the soldier wastes no time before shooting Tsar Nicholas II dead, with two soldiers finishing off with their bayonets.

The gruesome killing continues, while in England, King George leads a shooting party on one of the royal estate, where he and his entourage shoot pheasants.  

The Romanov family is mistreated even in death as the scene goes on, with the soldiers loading the bloodied dead bodies onto a carriage and driving them to their burial location. 

The soldiers are also heard laughing and cheering as they are burying the Tsar’s family. 

Meanwhile, in Britain, a distraught Queen Mary is seen sighing as she joins George V on his shooting expedition.

The episode then travels forward in time to the 1990s, where the Queen is told by John Major that he has been in contact with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and that he wants the Queen to host a state dinner for him to strengthen the Anglo-Russian ties. 

The show then follows Prince Philip onboard a plane, where Penny Knatchbull is present and sharing a funny carriage riding anecdote to the  group flying on the same plane.

Back in the UK, the Queen has a meeting with her private secretary Dickie Arbiter, where he tells her that Boris Yeltsin was once the governor of Ekaterinburg, where the Russian Imperial family was killed in 1918. 

Yeltsin then arrives at Buckingham Palace for a state dinner, where the Queen mentions the murder of Nicholas II and his family, and the demolition of Ipatiev House. 

While he is displeased that Queen has lectured him on Russian history, Yeltsin agrees to order the reburial of the Romanov family, whose bodies are exhumed and need authentication. 

The Queen then asks Prince Philip to provide a DNA sample to authenticate the body, because he had ties to the Russian on his mother’s side. 

Prince Philip is annoyed at the Sovereign’s lack of interest in the DNA process, and discusses it with Penny Knatchbull in another scene.   

The Monarch and Duke of Edinburgh then travels to Moscow, where they fulfill different engagements. 

However, the burial of the Romanov family is delayed, which angers the Queen and leads her to have a frank conversation with Prince Philip, where he tells her that Penny Knatchbull gives him ‘intellectual and spiritual companionship.’

The Queen is distraught because she refuses to believe that the Duke is not having an affair with Penny, but she invites her to Windsor Castle. 

There they discuss the reason behind the execution of the Romanovs family, each bringing their own theories as to why the British refused to help the Tsar before his death. 

The Queen, to Prince Philip’s request, invites Penny to ride with her to the Sandringham Christmas Day Church service, 

The Queen later has a conversation about long lasting marriages with the Prime Minister. 

The episode ends with the Queen playing with her corgis and the Duke of Edinburgh looking on. 

In the opening scene of the fifth episode of the drama, Prince Charles questions his role as Prince of Wales. He is seen holding court at an invented dinner party complaining about his ‘predicament’. 

He leaves the table to call Camilla Parker Bowles who, given that it is Christmas 1989, is at home with her own family.

The resulting call is intercepted by an amateur radio-waves enthusiast, who ends up recording the conversation and trying to sell it to the newspapers. 

Charles appears obsessed with the idea of modernising the monarchy and works relentlessly at pursuing his own ideas by which to do so. 

He discusses the idea of setting up a ‘rival court’ with Princess Anne, saying it would have been perfectly normal in the 18th century to set up a ‘shadow monarchy.’ 

During the episode, Charles and Diana tell the Queen of their hope to separate, and John Major gives a speech in parliament to announce the split.

It is then revealed that the aforementioned tapes, known as Tampongate, are set to be released. Charles is told by his press secretary about the recording. 

The full transcript is then printed in the paper, with the scenes switching between the royal family’s reactions, and clips of Camilla and Charles on the phone to each other.

In the call, they become more breathy as Camilla, who is lying on her bed, tells Charles: ‘You’re awfully good at feeling your way along.’

Meanwhile Charles tells her: ‘Oh stop! I want to feel my way along you, all over you and up and down you and in and out…’

The couple go on to discuss how they can’t start the week without each other, with Charles saying: ‘I fill up your tank…then you can cope….The trouble is I need you several times a week.’

During the call, the then prince referred to being reincarnated as the tampon brand Tampax, and told Camilla that he wanted to ‘live inside’ her as they fantasised about being intimate with each other.

Meanwhile royals are shown reacting to the shocking clips and the ongoing media coverage. 

In the show, Prince Charles has an interview with Jonathan Dimbleby following the tapes in an attempt to clear the air and improve his public reputation. 

He says he tried to be faithful ‘until it became obvious that uh, the marriage couldn’t be saved. Both of us having done our best. At which point I tried to do my duty. But there was…there was nothing to be done. So yes, um, old friendships were rekindled.’

At the end of the episode, Anne warns her parents that Charles is setting up a ‘separate court’, and the Prince is shown giving an impassioned speech during a visit for his Prince’s Trust organisation.

He gives a speech and is shown being given a tour of the garden at the organisation and chatting to young people about their futures.

However the most striking moment comes as the credits roll – when the royal is shown on a dancefloor at the event, where he is beckoned forward and begins to dance with one of the young people.

He can be seen laughing and smiling as he breaks into a number of moves on the dancefloor while the other man breakdances, and the crowd cheers him on.

EPISODE SEVEN: NO WOMAN’S LAND

Episode seven and eight of the new series focus on Princess Diana’s controversial 1995 Panorama interview with Martin Bashir – with the former delving into how the journalist secured the exclusive about her marriage to Charles, then Prince of Wales.

‘How would we even get to her?’ is the reply of the Panorama boss when the character of investigative reporter Bashir insists the BBC programme should try for an interview with Diana, in which she reveals her side of the story.

Viewers witness Bashir shockingly faking bank statements to suggest those closest to Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer, now Earl Spencer, had received money from the British security services to spy on him. 

With the fake bank statements in hand, the reporter meets with Charles at his stately home and also claims that he believes Diana is being watched, encouraging the sibling to speak to his sister. 

Charles reveals this information to Diana, who as she journeys to her sibling’s London home is seen struggling to control her car as she tries to drive away from a group of men in a vehicle next to her who wanted a picture. 

Diana can be heard saying ‘Oh my god’ as she struggles to use the car’s brakes and goes for a scary swerve around moving cars. After she manages to stop the vehicle, Diana covers her mouth with her hand as if she is about to be sick. 

Moments later, she arrives at her brother’s Earl Spencer’s London home, where he hastily greets her.   ‘Quickly close the door behind you,’ he tells her, with Diana replying: ‘Charming. After a two-year silence, that’s how you greet your sister?’

As the two settle down to speak, Charles reveals he has been contacted by a journalist from the BBC called Martin Bashir.   ‘He came to talk to me about surveillance of public figures by the security services,’ he adds.  ‘It’s clear Bashir thinks people are watching you too.’

Diana seems to agree and says:  ‘Well, you know what I think. They’ve been spying on me for years. They’re all in on it. That’s why I got rid of my personal protection officers.’ 

Charles adds that Bashir says he has proof that the Prince of Wales’ press secretary and Diana’s own private secretary, whom she calls ‘my Patrick’ are keeping tabs on her.  

Viewers witness Bashir (pictured in The Crown) shockingly faking bank statements to suggest those closest to Princess Diana's brother Charles Spencer, now Earl Spencer, had received money from the British security services to spy on him

Viewers witness Bashir (pictured in The Crown) shockingly faking bank statements to suggest those closest to Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer, now Earl Spencer, had received money from the British security services to spy on him

A shocking moment sees Diana struggling to drive her car as she tries to drive away from a group of men in a vehicle next to her who wanted a picture

A shocking moment sees Diana struggling to drive her car as she tries to drive away from a group of men in a vehicle next to her who wanted a picture

Diana can be heard saying 'Oh my god' as she struggles to use the car's brakes and goes for a scary swerve around moving cars. After she manages to stop the vehicle, Diana covers her mouth with her hand as if she is about to be sick

Diana can be heard saying ‘Oh my god’ as she struggles to use the car’s brakes and goes for a scary swerve around moving cars. After she manages to stop the vehicle, Diana covers her mouth with her hand as if she is about to be sick

Earl Spencer than tells Diana she should meet Bashir, before asking her what else is new with her. She then reveals: ‘I think they fiddled with the brakes on my car now, as well.’ 

When her shocked brother says ‘what?’ she adds, pensive: ‘Though it might just need a service.’ Diana later agrees to meet Bashir and they talk through how the interview will go.

Elsewhere, the episode explores Princess Diana’s relationship with a British-Pakistani heart surgeon named Dr Hasnat Khan, who she meets at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital in 1995, when visiting a friend whose husband is undergoing an operation. 

The pair eventually enjoy a date together at the cinema, with Diana opting to disguise herself in a brunette wig and sunglasses – before continuing their evening at the princess’ home of Kensington Palace, where they share their first kiss. 

EPISODE EIGHT: GUNPOWDER

Princess Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki, in The Crown when portraying the controversial 1995 Panorama interview

Princess Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki, in The Crown when portraying the controversial 1995 Panorama interview

This explosive episode opens with an argument between the then BBC Chairman of the Board of Governors Duke Hussey and Director-General John Birt in a filled boardroom about the direction of the broadcaster. 

Viewers then witness ‘all of top brass’ – but not the royalist Duke – holding a private meeting together about the Princess Diana interview, which she wants to film on November 5, Bonfire Night.

The Director-General wants to know what Diana’s agenda is before he agrees to filming the special, with Bashir explaining: ‘I think she has multiple agendas. She feels misunderstood. She feels angry. She wants to be vindicated.’

‘You think she’ll be critical of the monarchy?’, the Director-General asks, to which Bashir replies: ‘Critical of Charles, certainly.’ The Director-General also questions: ‘Explain something to me. She could go anywhere in the world with this. How did you get her to do it with you?’ 

‘It’s not with me though, is it? It’s the BBC. She’s doing it with us because she feels safe, understood and protected, responds Bashir, before the Director-General says he needs a couple of days to think about his decision. 

The end of the episode sees some of Diana's interview shared with the viewers, while Princess Margaret is seen watching it on TV, as well as Prince Charles and Prince William

The end of the episode sees some of Diana’s interview shared with the viewers, while Princess Margaret is seen watching it on TV, as well as Prince Charles and Prince William

Prince William is shown watching the programme at Eton, where a teacher asks if he is 'okay', and he insists he is 'fine.'

Prince William is shown watching the programme at Eton, where a teacher asks if he is ‘okay’, and he insists he is ‘fine.’

The Chairman then calls for a meeting with the Director-General to ask that a tribute programme be made for the Queen’s 70th, following this, John gives the go-ahead for Princess Diana’s interview to take place. 

EPISODE NINE: COUPLE 31 

Prince Charles discusses his relationship with Diana and their freshly finalised divorce in episode nine

Prince Charles discusses his relationship with Diana and their freshly finalised divorce in episode nine 

Episode nine of the series focuses on the divorce proceedings of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. 

The royal intrigue is intertwined with normal couples also getting divorced to show that Diana and Charles are just like everyone else. 

At the beginning of the episode, the Queen writes to both of them to recommend that they get divorce, even though it goes against everything she stands for. 

Diana is then seen speaking to her therapist about her divorce and the fallout from her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir.

Meanwhile, in Highgrove, Charles is seen discussing Diana’s demands with Camilla Parker Bowles, and recommends her to go see a spin doctor to help her rehabilitate herself in the public eye. 

The Queen then asks John Major to act as a mediator in Diana and Charles’ proceedings so that their issues are resolved quickly. He later tells his wife over dinner. 

Later, Camilla goes to see Mark Bolland, the spin doctor, where they discuss her negative press coverage and he promises to help her. 

As Camilla discusses her meeting the spin doctor with Charles, she suggests he should also meet with him.

Meanwhile, Major tells Diana that Charles wants her to promise in their divorce agreement that she will never speak publicly about the royal family again, which she refuses. 

Back in Highgrove, Charles and Camilla meet Bolland, who tells them to expediate Charles’ divorce so they can move forward. 

Major then announces to the Queen there was a breakthrough in the case, and that Diana and Charles’ divorce proceedings will be treated just like any other couple. 

We see the estranged couple signing their agreement and celebrating the divorce with their legal team. 

In the evening, Charles drives to Kensington Palace where a surprised Diana welcomes him. 

Their conversation begins cordially, but animosity over old issues resurfaces and they end up rowing. 

Charles tells her he can only be happy with her being out of his life and out of his family, and leaves, while Diana burst into tears. 

The episode ends with a flashback to their 1981 wedding day, and the press commentary as Diana and Charles’ divorced is finalised and stamped.   

 

However, before the interview is filmed, Diana questions Bashir, revealing her brother is concerned about the reporter after noticing his notes from two meetings with the journalist ‘didn’t tally’. 

‘In the first, you said MI5 were watching me. And in the second, you said MI6,’ says Diana, before Bashir responds: ‘Actually, I think it could be both.’

He adds that he expected a last-minute ‘wobble’, before successfully encouraging the princess to go-ahead with the interview, claiming: ‘I think they might’ve got to your brother.’ 

Viewers then see Diana preparing for the interview at Kensington Palace, styling her makeup and taking off her wedding ring, before sitting down to talk to Bashir in front of a camera.

While the interview takes place, viewers – who don’t hear Diana’s answers during this segment – see fireworks light up the sky and various members of the royal family enjoying Bonfire Night. 

The Director-General later views the clips, and is unsure whether to broadcast them, suggesting it could ‘end their careers’. But Bashir warns him that ‘Diana will speak to someone else if they don’t run it.’ 

John eventually agrees to broadcast the interview – with Diana then soon arriving at Windsor Castle to inform the Queen of the programme. Her Majesty is left shocked and makes an impassioned speech, saying the matters should have been discussed in private. 

The end of the episode sees some of Diana’s interview shared with the viewers, while Princess Margaret is seen watching it on TV, as well as Prince Charles and Prince William.

Elsewhere, the episode also concentrates on a young Prince William, and his relationship with his mother, as well as his reaction to her BBC interview.  

Before the interview airs, Diana and William are shown chatting on the phone, with the princess asking her son if he’s made any news friends at Eton, before explaining: ‘Well, Mummy might have made a new friend too.’

‘Right now, just a friend-friend, but I hope he’ll become a special friend, and I wanted you to be the first to know,’ she adds, to which William replies: ‘Do you have to tell me these things?’

‘I thought you’d be happy for me,’ says a shocked Diana. Her son admits: ‘I’d just prefer it if you didn’t talk to me about this stuff. I never know what to say. It’s embarrassing. It’s hard enough with you being in the news all the time. You’re only making things harder,’ he adds, before saying he has to end the call.

Meanwhile, during the Panorama interview, Bashir is shown asking Diana: ‘What impact do you think the breakdown of your marriage had on Prince William?’ Diana is shown saying: ‘Well he’s a boy who is a serious thinker, so it’s hard to know the impact just yet. We’ll have to wait a few years to see.’

Later, Prince William is shown watching the programme at Eton, where a teacher asks if he is ‘okay’, and he insists he is ‘fine.’

EPISODE 10: DECOMMISSIONED 

The tenth and final episode of the series follows the royal family as they try to grapple with their unpopularity in the media, and sets up the romance between Dodi and Diana in the final season.

The programme begins with Dodi asking his father for a private jet to fly him and his girlfriend, supermodel Kelly Fisher, home from LA to London.

Diana is shown watching a TV programme called: ‘Monarchy: the Nation decides’ and joining in with an interactive vote where she repeatedly votes ‘no’ in response to the question: ‘Do you want a monarchy?’

The family come together for the Queen’s birthday, and talk quickly turns to the programme, as well as Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Labour Party, as well as the upcoming election.

The Queen is focused on Hong Kong, and it is decided Charles will be sent for the handover. 

He suggests the trip be used as an opportunity for him to meet Blair, as well as combining it with a holiday for him and Camilla on board Britannia.

Meanwhile Dodi arrives in London from a sex-and-drug fuelled flight, and has an awkward dinner with his father, Heini and Kelly. Mohamed says he doesn’t approve of Dodi’s choice of girlfriend. 

After Tony Blair wins the election, John Major tells the Queen in their final meeting that he might be able to speak to the new prime minister about Britannia. 

Charles travels to Hong Kong on a business class flight, while Tony travels in first. He appears desperate to create a rapport with the new Prime Minister

Charles travels to Hong Kong on a business class flight, while Tony travels in first. He appears desperate to create a rapport with the new Prime Minister

Meanwhile Dodi arrives in London from a sex-and-drug fuelled flight (pictured, Dodi doing cocaine on the flight) and has an awkward dinner with his father, Heini and Kelly

Meanwhile Dodi arrives in London from a sex-and-drug fuelled flight (pictured, Dodi doing cocaine on the flight) and has an awkward dinner with his father, Heini and Kelly

Charles travels to Hong Kong on a business class flight, while Tony travels in first. He appears desperate to create a rapport with the new Prime Minister. 

Meanwhile Diana goes for dinner with Mohamed, who invites her and the boys to a holiday in St Tropez over the summer. 

Back home, the Queen summons Charles to her home after hearing about his trip – and meeting with Tony Blair – and the two argue. 

The Queen tells him that the affair with Camilla must end, while Charles accuses the Queen of supporting Diana more than she supports him. 

The episode ends as the Queen goes on a final trip to the royal yacht, while Diana prepares for her trip with Dodi and Mohamed to St Tropez.

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