‘The Crown’: Did Dodi Really Propose to Princess Diana? And Other Burning Questions Fact-Checked

The sixth and final season of the Netflix drama chronicles Princess Diana’s final days


“The Crown” has returned, and with it renewed interest in what the prestige Netflix series got right and wrong about history. “The Crown” Season 6 is split into two parts, with the first four episodes focusing predominantly on the final weeks of Princess Diana’s life and the immediate aftermath of her death. And within those first four hours, a number of questions arise as to what’s portrayed and what actually happened.

Before the final six episodes debut in December, here’s your quick “The Crown” Season 6 fact-check.

Did Dodi Fayed really propose to Princess Diana the night they died?

One of the season’s most shocking moments shows Dodi Fayed (Khalid Abdalla) proposing to Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) the night they died, mere hours before the fatal car crash. But there is no hard evidence that this proposal ever took place. Its depiction likely stems from tabloid rumors at the time that Fayed intended to pop the question, although a 2007 inquest into the crash confirmed that Fayed did purchase a ring with the inscription “Dis-moi oui,” which means “Tell me yes” in French.

Yet if Fayed had proposed, it’s likely the answer would have been no. As part of the investigation, Lady Annabel Goldsmith recounted a conversation she had with Diana in August 1997 in which she remembered asking, “You are being sensible aren’t you? You’re not doing anything silly are you, like getting married?” to which Diana replied, “Not at all. I’m being spoilt and I’m having a wonderful time. Annabel, I need marriage like a rash on my face.”

In a court appearance in 2008, Mohamed Al Fayed – Dodi’s father – claimed that Diana and Dodi told him they planned to announce their engagement, but during the same appearance Al Fayed claimed Diana was pregnant (she was not) and that Philip wanted Diana dead (unproven).

Was Diana and Dodi’s driver drunk?

Yes. The investigation that followed found that driver Henri Paul – who also died in the accident – had an alcohol level about 3.5 times the legal limit in France. Additionally, none of the passengers were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Prince Harry, however, found that the outcome of the investigation – which ruled Paul was responsible for the crash and Diana’s death – was “simplistic and absurd.” He wrote in his memoir “Spare” that even if Paul had been drunk, “he wouldn’t have had any problem driving through such a short tunnel,” and laid blame on the paparazzi following the car and the people who hired them.


Was Dodi really engaged when he first vacationed with Diana?

The show finds Dodi Fayed engaged to marry American Kelly Fisher (Erin Richards) when he first vacations with Diana, but in real life Fayed denied he was ever engaged to Fisher. The model did, however, file a lawsuit against Fayed after the photos of him and Diana first hit the public, hiring Gloria Allred to represent her.

“Mr. Fayed needs to take responsibility for the woman that he ‘left at the altar’ and treated with such total disrespect. He threw her love away in a callous way with no regard for her whatsoever,” Allred said in the August 1997 press conference.

Fisher dropped the lawsuit after Fayed and Diana’s deaths.

Did the Queen really resist a public funeral for Diana?

It was widely reported at the time that Queen Elizabeth II initially resisted a public funeral for Diana, only to be persuaded by Prince Charles. Buckingham Palace strongly denied the reports, acknowledging there were “some minor differences over points of detail” that were “amicably resolved.”

”In the aftermath of the tragic death of the Princess of Wales,” the palace said, ”there has been a wave of speculation and inaccurate stories about the events leading up to, and subsequent to, the funeral. These stories need to be corrected.”

“The Crown” Season 6 Part 1 is now streaming on Netflix. Part 2 arrives on Dec. 14.


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