Expert Says Meghan Markle Will Be a “Loving and Supportive Partner” to Prince Harry This Week As the Final Season of “The Crown” Premieres

Part one of the sixth season will cover Princess Diana’s untimely death in 1997.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

This Thursday, the much-anticipated sixth and final season of Netflix’s The Crown premieres—part one, anyway, as the second half of the season will debut on December 14. The first part of the season will deal with a very difficult subject for Prince Harry (and, of course, Prince William, too)—the death of their mother, Princess Diana, in a car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997. The fifth season left off as the summer of 1997 began, when Diana began a romance with Dodi Fayed, happy again, and ended in tragedy.

Though the show has made it clear that it will not show the moment of the accident that ultimately took Diana’s life, her final days will play out onscreen, and that will no doubt be difficult for Harry to watch. (He has admitted in the past to watching the show.) The Mirror reports that Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, will support her husband through the coverage surrounding the show, where Diana’s death will once again be back in the forefront. 

Princess Diana

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Diana in 1996

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Harry—who, along with Meghan, signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Netflix back in 2020—will be hoping Netflix viewers are respectful and remember that Diana’s death was a “painful experience” for him, said public relations expert Mayah Riaz. “It’s fair to suggest that Harry acknowledges that The Crown is a fictionalized drama series based on historical events, and he recognizes that it may generate public interest,” she said. “The loss of his mother was a deeply personal and painful experience for him and his brother. While he may understand that the show aims to entertain and inform audiences, he may hope that viewers will remember that it is not an accurate depiction of the emotions he and his brother experienced during that period of their lives.”

When Diana died at just 36 years old, William was 15, and Harry just 12, due to turn 13 in a couple of weeks’ time. Though 26 years ago, the pain over a loss of a parent or a loved one never fully goes away, and Meghan will be there for Harry through the resurgence of headlines about Diana’s death, Riaz said.

“Meghan will support Harry in private, as a loving and supportive partner, just as she has done throughout,” she said.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in love at the Invictus Games 2023

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in love at the Invictus Games 2023

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In photos released from The Crown, Elizabeth Debicki (playing Diana) and Khalid Abdalla (playing Dodi) are seen on a private yacht and looking tense as they sit in the back of a car, and Debicki as Diana is seen spending time with the actors playing William and Harry.

Though it’s almost assured that the royal family will not comment on The Crown, Riaz thinks Harry and Meghan, too, will not comment: “It’s unlikely either of them will comment on The Crown scenes,” she said. “However, if they did, it would align with their ongoing work in supporting mental health initiatives and their dedication to breaking the stigma surrounding these issues.” 

Meghan Markle at the Archewell Foundation's mental health summit

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The couple recently met with parents who lost their children as a result of negative social media usage in their nonprofit Archewell’s first in-person event, held in New York City. During the summit, Harry and Meghan addressed the ways in which social media affects young people’s mental health. Meghan said it was difficult to not be emotional following meetings with the families.

“A year ago, we met some of the families—not all of them,” Meghan said. “At that time, it was impossible to not be in tears, as I’m sure some of you have been today, hearing those stories. You can hear those stories again and again, and it’s still going to have the same emotional impact, because it’s just that devastating.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.