Getting regal. Khalid Abdalla was cast as the late Princess Diana’s boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, on the forthcoming fifth and final season of The Crown.
The Kite Runner actor noted his excitement to join the Netflix series via social media after the announcement, which came after Variety broke the news in September 2021.
“Sharp intake of breath, for so much to discover,” the British actor tweeted at the time. “I can’t wait. It’s a pleasure & honour to be joining everyone on @TheCrownNetflix.”
While few details about season 5 of the Emmy-winning series have been confirmed, Abdalla will act opposite Elizabeth Debicki, who will take over the role of Diana from Emma Corrin.
The series also announced that September that Salim Daw would join the cast as the Egyptian-born heir’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed. Mohamed was notably the former owner of Harrods, and his son was a film producer and heir.
The casting of Dodi and Mohamed seemingly indicates that the fifth season will capture the final years of Diana’s life ahead of her and Dodi’s 1997 deaths.
The real-life couple was first linked in the summer of 1997. Their brief relationship causes a media frenzy before the tragic Paris car crash, in which they both died, a few months later.
The fourth season, which swept the 2021 Emmy Awards days before Abdalla’s casting was announced, followed the love triangle between Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor), Diana (Corrin) and Duchess Camilla (Emerald Fennell).
The series’ final season began filming in July 2021 with Debicki and Dominic West playing the estranged couple in the 1990s. The Great Gatsby actress previously called her role as the late royal a “true privilege and honor” via a statement on her casting in August 2020.
“Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many,” Debicki said at the time.
The Crown debuted its first season in November 2016, enthralling viewers with its behind-the-palace-walls account of the lives of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and the rest of the royal family throughout the long-running monarch’s reign.
Show creator Peter Morgan previously admitted that he’s met with former palace aides to research potential plotlines for the series, before revealing “no one’s trying to censor me.”
“No one’s ever tried to correct what I do or censor what I do,” Morgan told The Hollywood Reporter in August 2020. “No one wants anything to do with each other. I don’t want anything to do with the palace and the palace wants nothing to do with me — again, so that we all have the most important thing, which is that they can say, ‘I don’t know what they think they’re doing.’ And we can say, “We have no interest in making them happy.’ … I only write what I want to write.”
Over the years, Morgan has added in storylines about other members of the royal family, including Charles, Diana, Princess Anne and Princess Margaret.
Scroll down to learn more about Abdalla ahead of his role on The Crown’s final season: