WARNING: This article contains spoilers from all seasons of The Crown
Season six of The Crown, part one has arrived on Netflix and deals primarily with the death of Princess Diana (played by Elizabeth Debicki) in Paris with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed (Khalid Abdalla) as well as their summer romance.
The event has huge implications for the Royal Family and Queen Elizabeth II (Imelda Staunton), who finds herself caught off-guard by the public response and her own delayed reaction.
Businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed (Salim Daw), who is eager to join the British establishment, will be hoping the tragedy will bring him and the Royals closer together but instead, he’s isolated and left alone in his bereaved state.
How did the Royal Family really view Mohamed Al-Fayed?
Many may be curious how the Royal Family really felt during this period towards Al-Fayed and how accurate The Crown was in its depiction.
In the aftermath of Princess Diana and Dodi’s death, the real Al-Fayed made many claims including suggesting the late royal was pregnant with his son’s baby and even accused Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of a murder plot.
READ MORE: Dodi Fayed and Princess Diana’s relationship in The Crown explained
In an exclusive interview with Daily Express, royal historical expert Marlene Koenig shared insight on how the Royal Family may have felt about Al-Fayed in light of these remarks.
The author of Queen Victoria’s Descendants said: “That’s difficult. The actions. I don’t think there were ever any public statements.”
However, she said Prince Philip’s decision in 2000 not to renew the royal warrant granted to Harrods, which was owned by Al-Fayed at the time, was a “pretty big thing”.
Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother and Prince Charles followed suit with the Duke of Edinburgh and didn’t renew their royal warrants either for the prestigious department store when they expired. Harrods had previously held royal warrants since 1910.
A royal warrant is granted by the monarch and various members of the Royal Family as a seal of approval with 800 holders today across a wide cross-section of trade and industry globally.
Each warrant lasts for five years and is then reviewed by the Royal Household Warrants Committee the year before it is due to expire.
The official Royal website states: “Warrants may not be renewed if the quality or supply for the product or service is insufficient, as far as the relevant Royal Household is concerned.
“A Warrant may be cancelled at any time and is automatically reviewed if the Grantee dies or leaves the business, or if the firm goes bankrupt or is sold.”
Therefore, it looks like the royal warrant was very much a signal of the strained relationship between Al-Fayed and the Royal Family with the Egyptian businessman not seeking a renewal either. Al-Fayed said he’d taken them down and burnt them after they expired.
Al-Fayed later sold Harrods, which is now owned by the state of Qatar via its sovereign wealth fund the Qatar Investment Authority.
Koenig added how Al-Fayed’s controversial comments would have “reverberated around the Palace” and were “pretty rough” for the Royal Family, who were also in mourning during this time.
The Crown season 6, part 1 is streaming on Netflix now
The Crown season 6, part 2 will be released on Netflix on December 14