ALISON BOSHOFF: Intimacy coach joins The Crown for drama’s Dodi sex scenes
The ups and downs of several royal love affairs are at the centre of the forthcoming series of The Crown — and I hear the makers have hired an ‘intimacy co-ordinator’ to help with sex scenes, in a first for the prestige Netflix drama.
David Thackeray, a leading figure who has worked on frank content for the series It’s A Sin, Heartstopper and Sex Education, is credited on series five of the show, which will launch in November. Sources indicate that he was asked to assist actors during the filming of an on-screen depiction of sex scenes involving Dodi Fayed, played by actor Khalid Abdalla.
Princess Diana’s romance with Fayed will be shown, starting with her friendship with Fayed’s father Mohamed, the owner of Harrods and the Paris Ritz. Dodi Fayed died with her in the car crash in Paris in August 1997.
However, it is heart surgeon Hasnat Khan who is portrayed in the series as the love of her life. Khan, who Diana called ‘Mr Wonderful’, had a relationship with the late Princess between 1995 and 1997.
A new cast is in place for series five and Diana is played by Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki.
At 6ft 1in tall, Debicki certainly has Diana’s height (and then some) but she also captures her voice, movements and mannerisms to perfection. Her performance is quite possibly even more outstanding than Emma Corrin’s lauded depiction of the young Princess in Series 4.
Elizabeth Debicki plays Princess Diana in the next season of The Crown, which is due to premiere on Netflix in November
Diana, Princess of Wales, and her companion Dodi Fayed, walk on a pontoon in the French Riviera resort of St. Tropez in August 1997
Hasnat Khan is played by Pakistani star Humayun Saeed.
Imelda Staunton plays the Queen and Lesley Manville is Princess Margaret. Trainspotting’s Jonny Lee Miller makes a surprisingly good John Major.
The series starts by exploring Prince Philip’s alleged relationship with his carriage-driving partner Penny Knatchbull, and the Windsor Castle fire in 1992 — the year famously referred to by the Queen as her annus horribilis. It will end with the broadcast of Diana’s infamous Panorama interview in 1995.
The embarrassment of the notorious ‘tampongate’ in which Prince Charles was recorded talking to mistress Camilla Parker Bowles, features, as will a depiction of the Queen’s reaction to the toe-sucking scandal which led to the end of Prince Andrew marriage to Fergie.
Dodi Fayed died in the same car crash that killed Princess Diana in Paris in 1997
All in all, it is certain to dismay some royal-watchers.
Meanwhile, series six of The Crown is currently being filmed and will end with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, as the monarch mourns the deaths of her mother and sister, but having re-established herself in the public’s affections after the famous family scandals and Diana’s death.
Writer Peter Morgan and his team have been taking care to try to balance the demands of drama with the controversy of depicting recent history. I’m told that he’s found the experience of revisiting the most recent past ‘sticky’ and will most certainly not be carrying on any further into the present day.
He is, however, weighing plans to do a series, or a series of films, going back further in time, starting with the death of Queen Victoria. I wonder if she’ll be amused.
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