An emotional scene from the final season of the Crown appears to show Dodi Al-Fayed still breathing as he is visited by his father Mohamed while lying dead in the morgue.
The scene, which was released as part of the first half of the final season of the Netflix series, shows Dodi – played by Khalid Abdalla – lying dead as his father visits his body for the first time.
In the emotional clip, Mohamed, played by Salim Daw, pulls a sheet off Dodi’s face and kisses him several times, clearly distraught.
He cries, embraces his son and then shouts ‘Allah, Allah,’ and looks up to the sky while several doctors watch on.
But the harrowing scene is somewhat ruined as Dodi’s stomach is shown moving up and down – in what is clearly Abdalla breathing.
Al Fayed, a self-made billionaire who owned Harrods and Fulham FC, died earlier this year, aged 94, – almost 26 years to the day after his son was killed alongside Princess Diana in a car crash in Paris.
The former Harrods boss is also heard in the series making the untrue claims that Diana was killed him a plot to stop her marrying his son Dodi.
He also alleges Diana was pregnant with Dodi’s child.
The depiction of events leading up to the very moment the crash happened will likely cause fresh anguish for the royal family in covering such a sensitive subject.
Speaking in a corridor ahead of their ill-fated final journey, Dodi asks Henri Paul – the deputy head of security at the Ritz – if the pair are safe to travel. Speaking in French, Henri explains that two staffers have taken a decoy vehicle, so the coast is clear for Diana and Dodi.
‘No one will see us leave, trust me,’ he tells Dodi.
But as the couple walk out to the Mercedes-Benz W140 they are flanked by paparazzi.
Ominous music then plays as the driver asks Diana if she’s okay, before Dodi tell Henri – driving the vehicle – ‘allez’.
After the pair get into the car, very few words are spoken, but Diana and Dodi hold and squeeze each other’s hands.
The car begins to speed through the streets and passes a pedestrian who is walking his dog – who looks a little taken aback by the speed of the vehicle.
Netflix has always insisted viewers will not see the crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel which killed Dodi and Henri Paul on impact and took Diana’s life a few hours later – however, the crash can be heard right at the end of episode three.
The series goes as far as to show the car entering the Pont de l’Alma tunnel as it speeds past the dog walker, in a clip that may shock some viewers.
The final series also depicts the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death as the royal family are told the news while at Balmoral.
In a moving scene, an aide breaks the news to the Queen (Imelda Staunton), Prince Philip (Jonathan Pryce) and Prince Charles (Dominic West) who are huddled around the television watching the coverage of the crash.
No words can be heard while the aide delivers the news – however Charles, visibly devastated, breaks down in tears on the sofa.
The Queen while stoic, can be seen holding back tears with a solemn look on her face.
Elsewhere in the first episodes of the final season, Princess Diana is depicted as anxious and frustrated on the last day she’s alive as she spends the day in Pris with Dodi. In one scene, she expresses her frustration as she tries to call her sons at Balmoral and is told she has ‘missed them’.
The clip begins with Diana walking out of a car into the Ritz hotel with boyfriend Dodi Fayed by her side. She is swarmed by paparazzi.
She then steps inside the hotel, where she calls Balmoral to speak to William and Harry.
‘Balmoral Castle ,’ the operator says.
‘Oh, it’s Diana calling for the boys,’ the Princess replies.
‘You’ve just missed them,’ the aide adds. ‘The princes waited for your call but have gone back out again. Maybe try again at dinner time’.
Diana then looks extremely anguished, silently mouths ‘f**k’ and scrunches up her face in anger. However, she does get to speak to the boys later on.
Other newly released clips include Charles’ despair over telling William and Harry their mother has died and Diana telling Dodi she’s a ‘persona non-grata’ at Balmoral.
In episode four, Diana is depicted as frustrated while in Paris with Dodi, and desperate to return to the UK to see her sons.
After missing one opportunity to speak with them on the phone, Diana finally manages to have a call with Prince William and Prince Harry, where they ask her if she’s going to marry the son of billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed.
However, according to Prince Harry and Prince William’s accounts of the last phone call he ever had with his mother, this version of events does not quite ring true.
‘I am emphatically not going to marry Dodi. To be honest, I cant wait to come home,’ Diana says in the dramatised version of events.
William then asks his mother if she is ok. She nods and says: ‘I’m ok. Its just a bit mad here. I don’t really understand how I ended up here. Mummy just needs to make some changes to her life, that’s all. But that’s not your problem – that’s mine.’
In a tender moment, she tells her sons she loves them and they reply to say they love her too. She promises to return home the following evening to see them.
Later in the episode, Diana comes to her untimely death in the car accident.
Although it is true that Prince William and Prince Harry shared a phone call with their mother on the last day she was alive, their recollections of the call do not reflect the Netflix series’ depiction.
Speaking in a 2017 documentary Diana: Our Mother, the Princes discussed for the first time the details of their ‘desperately rushed’ final call with the late royal.
Recalling the chat, they expressed their regret that they were desperate to go back outside and play with their cousins, who were also at Balmoral.
Harry said: ‘I can’t really, necessarily, remember what I said. But all I do remember is probably, you know, regretting for the rest of my life how short the phone call was.
‘And if I’d known that was the last time I was going to speak to my mother – the things I would have said to her.’
The fact that Harry, who was 12 at the time of his mother’s death, cannot remember the details of his final conversation with Diana suggests it was not a chat where deep feelings were expressed – rather, an ordinary discussion because neither Diana nor the princes knew it would be their final conversation.
William also said of the call: ‘Harry and I were in a desperate rush to say goodbye, you know, ‘see you later’.’
Another clip shows then Prince Charles (Dominic West) speaking to Camilla (Olivia Williams) in the hours after Diana died.
‘When are you going to tell the boys?’ Camilla asks.
‘I wanted to let them sleep, delay it as long as possible, while they’re sleeping they still have a mother,’ Charles replies.
‘Of course,’ say Camilla, as news coverage of Diana’s death plays in the background.
‘This is going to be enormous,’ Charles adds.
‘People have no idea. This is going to be the biggest thing that any of us have ever seen’.
The emotional first four episodes cover the tragic car crash in Paris that killed Princess Diana in August 1997 – alongside her lover Dodi and their chauffeur Henri Paul – and the Royal Family ’s reaction to it, as well as the summer holiday Diana and Dodi enjoyed in St Tropez prior to the tragedy.
The Paris scenes were shot in the French capital, while a yacht was hired for the St Tropez scenes, although these were actually filmed in Mallorca.
For sensitivity reasons the exact moment of Diana’s death is not re-created, but there are controversial scenes in which Charles tenderly converses with an imaginary Diana in the cabin of the royal plane as he accompanies her body from Paris to London , and later when she also appears to the Queen.
Critics who have seen these scenes called them ‘farcical’ for portraying Diana as a ghost, but series creator Peter Morgan has insisted that wasn’t the intention.
‘I never imagined it as Diana’s ghost in the traditional sense,’ he told Variety magazine. ‘It was her continuing to live vividly in the minds of those she has left behind.’
The Crown was devised by Morgan after the success of his 2006 film about the Royal Family’s reaction to Diana’s death, The Queen.
And the series – which has earned 21 Emmys and dozens of BAFTA nominations, not to mention some criticism for its historical inaccuracies – covers the same ground, but using fresh information gleaned in the 17 years since the Oscar-winning movie was made.
In fact, the scripts had to be updated all the time as the Royal Family were plunged into headlines throughout the filming period, not only with the Queen’s death but also following the release of Prince Harry’s memoir Spare.