Why It Took The Crown's Elizabeth Debicki 30 Hours to Transform Into Princess Diana

The Crown's head of hair and makeup Cate Hall recently shared insight into Elizabeth Debicki's Princess Diana transformation on the hit Netflix series.

By Alyssa Morin Nov 08, 2023 12:24 AMTags
Watch: How The Crown's Elizabeth Debicki Embodied Princess Diana

You can't rush royalty.

Ahead of The Crown's upcoming sixth season, which premieres on Netflix Nov. 16, the show's hair and makeup designer recently spilled the (high) tea about how long it took to transform Elizabeth Debicki into the late Princess Diana.

"In terms of fittings," Cate Hall told Entertainment Tonight in an interview published Nov. 7, "I would say she probably spent upwards of 30 hours in the hair and makeup chair while we do stuff."

According to the head of makeup and hair, the most challenging looks to create were the private, not-so-well-known moments the Princess of Wales had with her family, including sons Prince William and Prince Harry.

"When Diana's just been swimming," Cate explained, "and she's laying around with her kids, trying to find that believable Diana within the lesser scene framework" was difficult for the team. "We probably had at least four, four-hour fittings before we were even close to going, 'OK, this is what we're going to do.'" 

The Crown Cast Vs. the Royals They Play

There was pressure to make the looks authentic in the series, which chronicles Princess Diana's tragic death in 1997 during the sixth and final season.


Just last year, Elizabeth opened up about the weight of playing the late royal and recreating one of her biggest fashion moments.

"We all felt the responsibility of the revenge dress because it's something that everybody wanted to see," Elizabeth exclusively told E! News in November 2022. "It's an incredibly powerful sartorial moment in the history of fashion."

The actress continued, "That dress is so emblematic of so many things because it's so brave and beautiful, but it's also so tinged with our understanding of what was going on in this person's life. So the duality of that is really powerful."

Elizabeth noted that it took the costume department "many, many hours" of work to replicate the original Christina Stambolian design, which Princess Diana wore in 1994 when her then-estranged husband King Charles III admitted to having an affair with now-wife Queen Consort Camilla

"It's a powerful dress," Elizabeth shared. "It's a totally unique dress too—the structure of it, the shape of it, the look of it—and so I certainly won't ever forget that day on set. We shot it in the same location that it actually happened, so there was this slightly deep layering of things going on that day."


It's clear the same level of dedication and authenticity went into creating The Crown's sixth season. But before it debuts on the streaming service, keep reading to see all of the crowning moments expected to hit the small screen.

Kate Middleton's Introduction

Season six part two recreates the first moment Kate Middleton caught Prince William's eye, while modeling a sheer dress during a 2002 fashion event in college.

Sparks Fly

The Dec. 14 episodes depict Kate Middleton (Meg Bellamy) falling in love with Prince William (Ed McVey).

Brotherly Bond

William and Prince Harry (Luther Ford) share a laugh in a sneak peek.

Royal Family

Charles (Dominic West) poses with his sons during a skiing trip.

Wedding Bells

The show also recreates King Charles III's wedding to Queen Camilla on April 9, 2005.

Royal Duties

William appears to be stepping into his role as he comes of age.

Long Live the Queen

Netflix released a look at Queen Elizabeth (Imelda Staunton) waving to her people in the last episodes.

The Princes in Scotland

Part one of The Crown's final season features Rufus Kampa (as Prince William) and Fflyn Edwards (as Prince Harry) on a trip to Scotland.

Diana & Her Boys

“I think it's a really unique challenge as an actor, to portray those days," Elizabeth Debicki (who portrays Princess Diana in the final season) previously told TUDUM, adding that she trusted in creator Peter Morgan's "emotional blueprint that he created for us to follow. It's his interpretation and I think it made emotional sense to me, so I clung to that. Because, obviously, it's devastating and it's fraught and we can never know.”

Diana & Dodi's Romance

Part one of the final season shares a glimpse into Diana's relationship with Dodi Fayed, portrayed by actor Khalid Abdalla.

Ed McVey as Prince William

In part two of the final season, actor Ed McVey portrays Prince William.

The Future Prince and Princess of Wales

The two walk hand-in-hand in an official season six pic.

Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton

The actress appears in an official photo for The Crown season six.

Behind-the-Scenes fun

Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy take a break from filming The Crown season six, in which they play William and Kate.

Flashback: Season 5

As a reminder, The Crown depicted William and his brother Prince Harry as kids (played by Will Powell and Senan West) on season 5. For season six, Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West⋅will reprise their roles of Princess Diana and Prince Charles (now King Charles III).

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