‘The Crown’ Season 6 Episode 2 Recap & Ending Explained: Did Charles PR Tactics Work In Favor Of His Family?

The first episode of the current season of The Crown was about Dodi and Diana getting acquainted with each other and enjoying each other’s company. Diana was aware of his engagement with Kelly Fisher and still agreed to take the leap of faith. Charles was angered by the amount of coverage Diana received in the newspapers over Camilla, and he decided to back away for his sanity. The next episode would be an extension of the courtship Diana had begun with Dodi.

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Spoilers Ahead


Who Are The Two Photographers?

Episode 2 begins with the profiles of two photographers, Mario Brenna and Duncan Muir. While Mario used to be a gifted photographer in the European fashion and entertainment industry, he is now a paparazzi photographer who clicked pictures of celebrities discreetly and made a lot of money by selling them at a high price. Mario is skilled, and he is proud of the work he does. Sadly, he is oblivious to the repercussions of publishing his work.

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Duncan Muir, on the other hand, is a traditional Scottish photographer who specializes in clicking pictures of the Queen at many of the formal functions. Mario is presented as someone who has no morals and has concerns about privacy. Meanwhile, Duncan is considered someone who still believes in not crossing the line when it comes to photographing anyone. These two photographers released two photographs that defined their line of work and the ethics they have, thus forming the theme of the episode.


Why Was The Government Concerned About Diana’s Friendship With The Fayed Family?

As the daily updates were shared with the Queen and her immediate family, the press team was quick to point out Diana’s close friendship with Dodi Al Fayed and their secret weekend frolicking around in Paris. The palace is concerned about Dodi’s intentions, as they believe Diana is being manipulated by his family. The royals do come across as racists at this point. If Dodi and Diana were ever to tie the knot, her proximity to the royals would fast-track Mohammed Al Fayed’s citizenship process, which he has been desperately seeking, as per Palace reports. The palace was not keen to be associated with a family from the Arab land, and they only hoped Diana would be able to see through them instead of getting carried away by the love and companionship that she was seeking. The family was making judgments and was hardly concerned about knowing the woman or the man she was courting. Charles is probably the only person who is willing to ignore all the chatter around her relationship because he understands her need to find a new companion.

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What Were Dodi And Diana’s Plans?

Dodi and Diana were back in the south of France, away from the mainland and photographers. While Dodi was slowly falling for Diana, he had not broken up with Kelly yet. He shared his concerns with Diana, and she agreed with his idea to cease everything with Kelly so they could move forward as a couple. Dodi planned to head to Los Angeles to do the deed; meanwhile, Diana was headed towards London to meet her sons, followed by her work with the anti-landmine campaign in Bosnia. Dodi and Diana seemed like driven people who never compromised on their work, and the man especially was not intimidated by the limelight that followed Diana.


Why Did Mohammed Al Fayed Hire A Paparazzi Photographer?

Meanwhile, Dodi’s father was hell-bent on manipulating the situation in his favor so that Diana eventually married his son. No data is currently available to support the fact that Mohammed Al-Fayed played a role in forcing Dodi and Diana to become a betrothed couple. He was making sure the wind could change in his direction to be treated with respect by the Royals of England. Mohammed Al Fayed was becoming desperate, and he hired Mario Brenna to click pictures of the couple from their time sojourning on the yacht. The photographer captured some real intimate moments between the two. Mohammed Al Fayed wanted the photographs to be published so that the news of their relationship was made public, as he was sure Kelly would break up with Dodi over this scandal. The man was utterly selfish and did not understand the effect of his actions on Diana and her sons.

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Mario Brenna, as stated at the beginning of the episode, was good at his job, and with these pictures in hand, he would be willing to sell them at any price he desired. Diana had become the talk of the town post-divorce, and she was followed by paparazzi photographers all the time. These intimate pictures would be just the beginning of the tiresome chase of the photographers who would make her life hell.


Will The Paparazzi Photographs Ruin Diana And Charles’ Friendship?

Everyone came to know the said photographs would be published. Dodi informed Diana about it, and the Royal family learned from their press secretary. These photographs could change the course of the life Diana was leading as a public figure. The photographs were published during her trip to Bosnia, and the journalist at the press conference about her visit only resorted to asking questions based on these images. As expected, this caused severe distress to Dodi, Diana, and Charles’ families. As an extension of that, William was in pain and agony after coming across photographs of his mother published for everyone to savor and judge. Diana was distressed because the time she spent with Dodi was supposed to be a private affair. Dodi probably was not aware of his father’s involvement, and as viewers, we are not sure if Mohammed Al-Fayed’s involvement in this leak is legitimate or not.

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Meanwhile, Dodi was sued by his ex-girlfriend for a breach of contract. Days before the pictures, Diana and Charles had agreed to be friends because they had become good at co-parenting. Diana was elated to have formed a platonic bond with Charles, one that was not just for the sake of their children. This was in jeopardy after the leak because Charles was particular about the image of his family.


Did Charles’s PR Tactics Work In Favor Of His Family?

The press secretary of Prince Charles came up with the idea of projecting Charles and his sons as the epitome of traditional rearing, as opposed to what was happening in Diana’s world. The term all of them used for Diana was exhibitionism. The royal family was known to have stuck to the old values, and they thrived on that. Despite Charles’ modernist approach towards monarchy, he was persuaded to do this campaign to make sure Diana’s story was quickly forgotten. Long after the divorce, the Royal family was still affected by the coverage Diana received on the public platform, and it was absurd. They probably thought, from the perspective of Diana being the future King’s mother, that it would automatically affect William and Harry to a large extent.

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Charles hired Duncan Muir for a series of photographs of the three men in line to the throne. A series that captures the simplicity of the life Charles led with his sons around the raw nature of Scotland. One photograph that was published in the newspaper was the opposite of Diana’s leaked intimate images clicked by Mario Brenna, thus defining the title of the episode. Charles was glad this PR stunt was a success and their popularity ratings had gone up. Charles was relieved they could move past this ordeal, especially what his sons went through, and focused on spending quality time with family.

The Crown episode ends with the Queen being judgmental of the life she believes Diana is leading. The queen’s words came across as a mockery of the woman who was previously married to her son. Instead of being happy for Diana, who is trying to find her foothold, the Queen ends up feeling pity for her. The Queen’s backhanded comment indicated that Diana would have been sorted and sheltered if she had remained married, but now she has to face the brunt of the media, who are invading every bit of her privacy. The Queen hopes Diana finds peace.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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