I’ve been waiting a long time for the “Princess Diana dies in Paris with Dodi Fayed” chapter of The Crown, and now it’s finally streaming with the towering Elizabeth Debicki in the title role. The first half of it, I mean. The final episodes stream in December.)

The fatal car crash in the tunnel can’t skirt what happened — it has to be real. The ending will presumably cover the same material as Stephen Frear‘s The Queen (’06….17 years ago!) but without Helen Mirren‘s elk moment.

I was working at People magazine when Diana began seeing Fayed in July 1997. Two or three of us were asked to make some calls and prepare a file on the guy. Within three or four hours I’d learned that Fayed was an irresponsible playboy, didn’t pay his bills on occasion, lacked vision and maturity and basically wasn’t a man. And yet Diana overlooked this or didn’t want to know. And that’s why she died. She orchestrated her demise by choosing a profligate immature asshole for a boyfriend.

Fayed was just foolish and insecure enough, jet-setting around with his father’s millions and looking to play the protective stud by saving Diana from the paparazzi, to put her in harm’s way. It all came to a head on that fateful night in Paris. Fayed told his drunken chauffeur to try and outrun a bunch of easily finessable scumbag photographers on scooters, and we all know the rest.