The Crown costume designer reveals how team created Diana's wardrobe

Costume designer from The Crown reveals how team recreated Princess Diana’s wardrobe for the drama’s final season – from 3am eBay shopping sessions to designers reissuing famous outfits from 90s

  • The Crown’s costume designer Sidonie Roberts spoke to the Telegraph  
  • READ MORE: Everything we know so far about series 6 of The Crown – from Diana’s ghost to a young love story and a royal wedding 

The final season of The Crown is set to start streaming in two instalments, with the first landing on November 16, and the second on December 14.

While the royal drama is no stranger to controversy, its sixth series is likely to feature some of its most contentious moments.

Among the events documented in the drama will be the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, who was killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.

While it has reported that the fatal crash will not be shown on camera, the episodes in the first instalment of the season will build up to the royal’s death. 

The Crown’s associate costume designer and head buyer Sidonie Roberts spoke to the Telegraph about dressing actor Elizabeth Debicki in her final episodes, chronicling the real life royal’s iconic style into the drama. 

Actor Elizabeth Debicki is snapped while filming series six of The Crown. The bathing suit she wears is a perfect replica of the one donned by Diana, Princess of Wales during her 1997 Mediterranean cruise with Dodi Al Fayed 

Diana, Princess of Wales, pictured during Summer 1997 in her animal print halter-neck swimsuit from Gottex – one of her most iconic pieces

Another of the pieces mentioned by The Crown’s associate costume designer and head buyer Sidonie Roberts was this red Catherine Walker shift dress

While looking at season six’s costumes for the character, Sidonie noted how few clothes populated the rail.

This realisation, she said, made it ‘really hit home how her life is cut short’, branding the moment a ‘stark realisation.

During her last Summer, the princess famously went on a Mediterranean cruise with Dodi Al Fayed, and holidayed with him and her sons William and Harry in the south of France.

It is at this point one of the princess’ most iconic swimsuit looks comes into play, according to Sidonie – an animal print halter neck one-piece created by Israeli swimwear company Gottex.

The company made the piece for the royal drama, before reissuing it for others customers to purchase. 

Sidonie told the Telegraph that during one moment, the group are being hounded by the press, prompting her to don the eye-catching piece, and offer the press some images in return for privacy, ‘because William’s really struggling’.

The costume designer and buyer added: ‘It’s these moments when she’s very conscious of the motive and agenda, what this costume will say and the power she has with the media and her fashion.’

Another of the princess’ best-known pieces is also recreated in the programme – the turquoise one-piece she was pictured wearing while sitting at the end of the passerelle on the Al-Fayeds’ yacht in the Mediterranean. 

The outfit Diana, Princess of Wales donned during a visit to Angola, where she walked across a landmine minefield being cleared by a charity called Halo, was reproduced almost exactly

This piece was re-crafted by the costume team, and has been retailing at £200.

Some clothes worn by characters in the drama will be informed creations by the costume department. Some of these, revealed Sidonie, were picked up during 3am ebay shopping session.

However, the series features many more directly based on pieces worn by the princess.

One of these shown during the final instalment, is a simple red shift dress created by designer Catherine Walker – who designed a significant number of well-known ensembles sported by the royal.

In reality, the simple red shift, which boasts a gold double belt feature, was originally made for the princess for a visit to Chicago, but was not worn until the unveiling of a foundation stone at the casualty unit at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, Middlesex. 

Diana is snapped in Bosnia in August 1997, a trip undertaken as part of her work raising awareness of landmines. She wears a pale pink shirt and sizeable gold earrings

Netflix designers captured the outfit in the drama, creating the royal’s look with the crisp pale pink button-down shirt, and her large gold studs

Sidonie said the dress inspired a look in the programme which was supposed to invoke a ‘clean and clear vehicle into the ostentatious wealth of the Al Fayeds’ world’.

Another ensemble which bears an almost identical resemblance to the outfit worn in reality by Diana, Princess of Wales, is the one she donned during a 1997 trip to Angola. 

During the visit, the royal famously donned protective body armour and a visor as she crossed a landmine minefield being cleared by the charity Halo in Huambo.

As part of her advocacy work raising awareness of landmines, the princess visited Bosnia in August that year.

One of the famous snaps from that visit shows the royal dressed in a light pink shirt, accessorised with a pair of large gold ear studs.

Meanwhile, the trailer for the upcoming series shows the royal dressed in a very similar shirt and earrings, showing how the spirit of the princess’ style has been captured by the creative team.  

The show recreated this shot – a moment which, after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, would become particularly poignant, showing her sitting at the end of the passerelle on the Al-Fayeds’ yacht in the Mediterranean, not long before her death

Diana, Princess of Wales is pictured sitting aboard the Jonikal Yacht, own by the Al Fayeds, moored in Portofino in 1997

When it comes to the costumes during what will no doubt be a highly controversial segment – the moments leading up to the royal’s death – Sidonie revealed how the team handled that.

She revealed that the clothing was kept extremely close to what Diana wore in reality.

They worked with a tailor, making two trouser suits, keeping the end scene ‘as true to life as possible’.

This, Sidonie said, was because ‘the subject is really sensitive and really tragic’, and they did not want to detract from that.

She said: ‘That was a very important decision for us.’

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