The Crown's Khalid Abdalla films scenes as Diana's lover Dodi Fayed

PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: The Crown’s Khalid Abdalla is seen on set for the first time as Princess Diana’s tragic lover Dodi Fayed after arriving in Marbella to film series five scenes on a replica of mogul’s £170,000 superyacht

  • The British actor, 39, was spotted arriving to film scenes for the Netflix alongside his wife Cressida Trew and Welsh actress Erin Richards as they boarded a replica of the mogul’s famous £170,000 superyacht
  • The Titania yacht, which is being used for the filming, is typically available to rent for £474,363 ($643,000) per week in the summer
  • The last two series of The Crown will cover the Royal Family in the 1990s to 2003
  • On Saturday it was confirmed that the fifth series of The Crown will be released in November 2022

The Crown star Khalid Abdalla has been seen on set for the first time after it was reported he’d landed the role of Princess Diana’s boyfriend Dodi Fayed. 

The British actor, 39, was spotted arriving to film scenes for the Netflix alongside his wife Cressida Trew and Welsh actress Erin Richards as they boarded a replica of the mogul’s famous £170,000 superyacht in Marbella.

Khalid will appear opposite Elizabeth Debicki who is set to take over the role of Princess Diana for The Crown’s fifth and sixth seasons, with Netflix confirming on Saturday the series will return in November 2022.


Dramatic: Khalid Abdalla has been seen on set for the first time after it was reported he’d landed the role of Princess Diana’s boyfriend Dodi Fayed in The Crown, as he appeared to be filming the mogul’s getaway with the late Royal in Marbella

After arriving at the port for a day of filming, Khalid was seen boarding a small speedboat to make his way to the yacht, which no doubt will perfectly replicate the extravagant wealth of the Fayed family.

The actor was in high spirits as he embraced his co-star Erin, whose role in the series is not yet known, while the boat took them to the entrance of the vast Titania yacht where they’d be filming.

The Titania, which boasts seven cabins and can sleep up to 12 guests, is typically available to rent for £474,363 ($643,000) per week in the summer, and will act as a stand-in for Fayed’s actual yacht.

Sprawling: The British actor was spotted arriving to film scenes for the Netflix on the Titania, which will act asa replica of the mogul’s famous £170,000 superyacht in Marbella

History: There were no official visits to Spain by the royals in the 1990s and it is thought that the crew could have been filming scenes from when Diana and her lover Dodi Fayed visited St. Tropez in 1997 together (pictured) 


Pensive: Elizabeth Debicki (left) has taken on the role of Princess Diana (right) for The Crown’s fifth series, which will depict her romance with Dodi following her divorce from Prince Charles

Jovial: Khalid was accompanied by multiple crew members as well as his wife Cressida Trew, and Welsh actress Erin Richards, whose role in the series is not yet known



Low-key: Khalid cut a casual figure in a white shirt and a mask as he arrived on the yacht’s deck ahead of filming scenes for the drama, after bosses confirmed the fifth series will be released in November 2022


Friendly: Erin and Khalid shared a sweet embrace after meeting on the yacht’s deck, and enjoyed a quick catch-up after boarding the luxurious liner

Getting to work! Production for the big-budget drama has relocated to Spain, and the cast appear to be replicating scenes of Diana and Dodi’s getaway in Saint Tropez


Chic: Erin, whose role in the series is not yet known, cut a stylish figure in a dark blue zipped dress as she shared a laugh with one of the show’s crew after boarding the yacht

Given that there were no such visits by the Royal Family to Spain in the 1990s, it’s thought the cast could be filming Diana’s famous getaway to Saint Tropez with Dodi in July 1997, just weeks before their deaths in a tragic car accident in Paris.

Ahead of landing the role, Khalid appeared in the 2007 film The Kite Runner, and also appeared as Al Qaeda member Ziad Jarrah in the 2006 film United 93, which depicted the events aboard United Airlines Flight 93, one of four plans hijacked during the September 11 attacks.

Erin, whose role in the series is not yet known, cut a stylish figure in a dark blue zipped dress as she shared a laugh with one of the show’s crew after boarding the yacht. 


There he is! Meanwhile Palestinian actor Salim Daw, 70, will play Dodi’s father, former Harrods owner Mohamed Fayed, was also seen on the set boarding an appropriately swanky Rolls Royce 

Big money: The actor portrayed the billionaire, who is now 92, and his typically extravagant fashion sense as his character got behind the wheel of his big money car

The rich are in town! As part of the day’s filming, a vintage Rolls Royce was parked on the Marbella street outside a designer boutique, perhaps to replicate the Fayed’s extravagant wealth


What a ride: The high-end vehicle was hard to miss and quickly caught the attention of locals as Salim filmed scenes behind the wheel of the car

Big money: Also seen on the set was a classic Rolls Royce Corniche in scarlet red, ready for use in the scenes

Glamorous: Erin was seen chatting to some of the show’s crew as the boat made its way over to the luxurious yacht


Climb aboard! All the series’ cast boarded the boat to speed over the yacht where they would be filming scenes

Final days: A snap of Diana and Dodi Fayed enjoying each other’s company on his father’s yacht Jonikal (now called the Sokar) in St Tropez in the summer of 1997 is one of the last ever taken of the pair

Embracing Khalid, it appeared that the pair already knew each other as they chatted on the yacht’s deck. 

Meanwhile Palestinian actor Salim Daw, 70, will play Dodi’s father, former Harrods owner Mohamed Fayed, was also seen on the set boarding an appropriately swanky Rolls Royce.

The actor portrayed the billionaire, who is now 92, and his typically extravagant fashion sense as his character got behind the wheel of his big money car.  


Jovial: Khalid and Erin chatted together on the lavish yacht as filming resumed for series five of the much-anticipated show

Many roles: Ahead of landing the role, Khalid appeared in the 2007 film The Kite Runner, and also appeared as Al Qaeda member Ziad Jarrah in the 2006 film United 93


Summer ready: Meanwhile Khalid’s wife Cressida Trew was dressed for the summer weather in a pale pink floral dress as she took in the views from the yacht



Coming soon: Dodi and Diana were photographed enjoying each other’s company on his boat, named ‘Cujo’, in July 1997, just weeks before their deaths in a Paris car crash on August 31st the same year


Spitting image: In May 2020, Fayed’s original yacht was sold for £171,000, with some observers telling The Sunday Express that the bid was surprisingly low, sparking fears that the memory of Diana was ‘fading’

Dodi and Diana were photographed enjoying each other’s company on his boat, named ‘Cujo’, in July 1997, just weeks before their deaths in a Paris car crash on August 31st the same year. 

In May 2020, Fayed’s original yacht was sold for £171,000, with some observers telling The Sunday Express that the bid was surprisingly low, sparking fears that the memory of Diana was ‘fading’.

Royal author Margaret Holder, who penned Diana: The Caring Princess, a look at the Princess of Wales’ life published in 1999, said she felt it was: ‘a shame that this historic boat didn’t attract a higher bid as a remarkable souvenir of the last days of Diana’s life.’ 


Unfortunate: Royal author Margaret Holder, who penned Diana: The Caring Princess, a look at the Princess of Wales’ life published in 1999, said she felt it was: ‘a shame that this historic boat didn’t attract a higher bid’

Romantic break: In the summer of 1997, the millionaire son of former Harrods owner Mohammed Al-Fayed entertained the former Princess of Wales on the yacht

Romance: The pair were photographed kissing and embracing on the deck almost a year after Diana and Prince Charles’s divorce was agreed upon

Speculation: Diana, then 36, was spotted strutting on the deck, making the most of the Mediterranean sun and her new romance

She added she felt it was surprising that royal fans did not pay more for the historical memorabilia. ‘Not long ago one could have expected a bidding war between wealthy Diana fans,’ she said. 

‘I hope this isn’t a sign that memories of her unique allure are fading,’ she added.

Diana was famously photographed kissing Dodi on the vessel’s deck and sunbathing on his father’s yacht’s diving board that same summer.

The boat was used by Dodi as the venue for lavish parties in the South of France, mainly in St Tropez.

In the summer of 1997, the millionaire son of former Harrods owner Mohammed Al-Fayed entertained the former Princess of Wales on the yacht.

Show story: The couple also spent most of their time of Dodi’s father Mohammed’s super yacht the Jonikal (now known as the Sokar) that same summer

Anticipated: The last two series of The Crown will cover the Royal Family in the 1990s to 2003

Plots: There are several poignant moments which could be used, including the Queen making a speech on her 40th anniversary of her accession in 1992, in which she called the year an ‘annus horriblis’

The pair were photographed kissing and embracing on the deck almost a year after Diana and Prince Charles’s divorce was agreed upon. Diana, then 36, was spotted strutting on the deck, making the most of the Mediterranean sun and her new romance.

The couple also spent most of their time of Dodi’s father Mohammed’s super yacht the Jonikal (now known as the Sokar) that same summer.

A snap of the former royal gazing into the distance from the yacht’s diving board was one of the last pictures ever taken of Diana. 

The Crown series 5: The crew returned to the Costa del Sol for upcoming scenes as filming got underway in sunny Marbella on Monday

On Monday it was revealed that The Crown’s cast had headed to the Costa Del Sol to film series for the drama, as director Philip Martin was pictured on the set.  

The last two series of The Crown will cover the Royal Family in the 1990s to 2003.

The crew will be picking up the story where it left off in the fourth season – and the latest trip to the Costa del Sol is not the team’s first.

On set: A vintage Mercedes garnered much attention as it was photographed with scenic accommodation in the background

New scenes: Shots captured in sunny southern Spain showed director Philip Martin on set of the highly anticipated fifth series

Scenic: Another moment from on set gave a glimpse of a luxe yacht, as suited and booted men gathered around an additional car that was depicted in the foreground

In the third series, the Torremolinos Palacio de Ferias was transformed into a 1960s airport to recreate a royal visit to Malaga by Charles and Diana for the fourth series. 

The crew used the roof of the AC Malaga Palacio hotel to film scenes of a crowd welcoming the couple to Brisbane in Australia. 

Elsewhere, Gillian Anderson, who took on the role of Margaret Thatcher, filmed scenes at the Gran Hotel Miramar.  

Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin – Prince Charles and Diana in the previous series – featured in scenes shot in the gardens of Concepción, where it looked as if the royals were driving through Adelaide in Australia in a car. 

Future scenes: The last two series of The Crown will cover the Royal Family in the 1990s to 2003


Back in Spain: The crew will be picking up the story where it left off in the fourth season – and the latest trip to the Costa del Sol is not the team’s first

The Crown series five: A London deli owner, a RADA-trained farmer’s wife, a former Cutting It actor and an Australian movie star… a look at the brand new faces of Netflix Royal drama

By Ciara Farmer for MailOnline 

Filming is underway in Scotland on the hotly-anticipated fifth series of The Crown – with the last two seasons of the hit drama covering the Royal Family in the 1990s to 2003.

With the shift in time periods comes a shift in line-up, with familiar faces such as Olivia Colman (Queen Elizabeth II) and Emma Corrin (Princess Diana) replaced by new stars. 

MailOnline takes a look at the brand new faces of the Netflix Royal drama as it prepares to depict one of the most turbulent periods in the Monarchy’s history… 

PRINCESS DIANA – PLAYED BY ELIZABETH DEBICKI (REPLACING EMMA CORRIN)


Out with the old… MailOnline takes a look at The Crown’s new stars for series five – it was announced that Elizabeth had been cast as Princess Diana last August, and fans of the Netflix show were delight to hear that the Australian actress would be taking on the role 

Screen star: From her big break in 2013’s The Great Gatsby to becoming a household name thanks to 2016 TV series The Night Manager, Elizabeth steadily climbed up the ranks of showbusiness to secure the career-making role

It was announced that Elizabeth, 30, had been cast as Princess Diana last August, and fans of the Netflix show were delighted to hear that the Australian actress would be taking on the role – replacing Emma Corrin.

Past: Emma Corrin played the People’s Princess in the show’s fourth series

From her big break in 2013’s The Great Gatsby to becoming a household name thanks to 2016 TV series The Night Manager, the star steadily climbed up the ranks of showbusiness to secure the career-making role.

A former ballerina in training, Elizabeth switched to theatre during high school. She studied at University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts, where she was also awarded the Richard Pratt Bursary for outstanding acting students.  

She shot to stardom after making her debut in The Great Gatsby in 2013, after impressing the film’s director, Baz Luhrmann, with her brief appearance in the 2011 Australian movie A Few Best Men.

Since then, she has appeared in several movies including The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Tenet and The Cloverfield Paradox.

Elizabeth has also done voiceovers for Peter Rabbit and appeared in television series The Kettering Incident and The Night Manager alongside Tom Hiddleston.

The actress said of her casting last year: ‘Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many. It is my privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one.’   

PRINCESS ANNE – PLAYED BY CLAUDIA HARRISON (REPLACING ERIN DOHERTY)


Who’s who? The actress playing Princess Anne in The Crown’s fifth season has been revealed as The IT Crowd and Humans star Claudia

RADA-trained performer Claudia was spotted in character on-set at Scotland’s Covesea Lighthouse on Tuesday, where she was shooting opposite Imelda Staunton, who is taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix show. 

Claudia, 45, boasts a number of TV gigs on her CV as well as a high-profile co-star following her turn in 2005 thriller Archangel, where she starred opposite Daniel Craig in the show about a mystery concerning dictator Josef Stalin.

Throwback: The role of Princess Anne was previously played by Erin Doherty in The Crown’s third and fouth series

She is a farmer’s wife and a mother-of-three and is said to have been ‘shocked and delighted’ when she was chosen to play Anne when the Royal was aged in her 40s.   

As well as Imelda, Claudia was also shooting alongside Theo Fraser Steele, who is thought to be playing Anne’s second husband Timothy Laurence.

After she was seen on set of Tuesday, tongues began wagging over the identity of who was playing the royal and also over her remarkable likeness to Princess Anne. 

One Twitter account entitled Royal Watcher, shared a message reading: ‘Ok I think the actress playing Princess Anne is called Claudia Harrison? #TheCrown’, alongside a trio of images of Claudia in different roles as well as an image from on-set. 

The role of Princess Anne was previously played by Erin Doherty in 2019’s third and last year’s fourth series of The Crown. 

TIMOTHY LAURENCE – PLAYED BY THEO FRASER STEELE


Royal role: The Crown’s fifth season will feature The Thick Of It star and London deli owner Theo Fraser Steele playing Princess Anne’s husband Timothy Laurence (pictured on-set on Tuesday)

Busy: Theo’s acting career spans back to 1996, when he starred in Casualty while he also played Christian Holhurst in political satire The Thick Of It in 2005. As well as acting, he is a successful deli owner and runs a shop with his wife in Hackney

The Thick Of It star and London deli owner Theo Fraser Steele plays Princess Anne’s husband Timothy Laurence.  

He cut a dapper figure during filming to play the role of Anne’s spouse, who she married in 1992 after splitting from Mark Phillips.  

Theo’s acting career spans back to 1996, when he starred in Casualty while he also played Christian Holhurst in political satire The Thick Of It in 2005.  As well as acting, he is a successful deli owner and runs a shop with his wife in Hackney.   

Theo comes from Essex and trained to be an actor in London before working with Bill Nighy and Stella Gonet in Richard Eyre’s production of David Hare’s Skylight at the National Theatre aged just 23. 

He went on to have many stage roles both in the capital and across the country. In The Thick Of It he played an MP’s son who was shoved up against a wall and subjected to a torrent of abuse by the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker. 

Speaking in 2018 about moving from acting to food, when he told The West Morland Gazette: ‘We didn’t choose to do it – we sort of fell into it. It started with just me. We now own the business and have a staff of 12’. 

PRINCE ANDREW – PLAYED BY JAMES MURRAY (REPLACING TOM BYRNE)


The Crown series 5: James Murray is set to take on the role of Prince Andrew following his TV appearances in Cutting It and Primeval (James pictured in 2018)

Working hard: The Mancunian actor (pictured with his wife Sarah Parish and their daughter Nell in 2019) is also currently filming Masters of Air – the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks-produced Apple TV series

New guard: Tom Byrne played the Queen’s second son in series four 

James Murray, 46, will take on the role of Prince Andrew, replacing Tom Byrne, who played the Queen’s second son in series four.

James’ previous endeavours include his portrayal of Stephen Hart in ITV’s Primeval and playing Liam Carney in BBC One’s season four of Cutting It.

He acted as the lead DCI in completely improvised show Suspects.

The Mancunian actor, who is married to actress Sarah Parish, is also currently filming Masters of Air – the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks-produced Apple TV series. 

PRINCE CHARLES – PLAYED BY DOMINIC WEST (REPLACING JOSH O’CONNOR)


New role: Dominic West is set to play Prince Charles in the final two series of The Crown

New role: A TV insider said: ‘Show bosses looked at several stars for the sought-after role, but he was by far their preferred actor. Now both parties are hammering out a deal’ (Dominic is pictured in July 2021)

Dominic West is set to play Prince Charles in the final two series of The Crown.

Critically acclaimed: Dominic will replace Josh O’Connor who has played the role for two series

The actor, 51, is understood to be taking on the role of Prince Charles at the time of his affair from Diana, Princess of Wales, with his second wife Camilla Parker Bowles. 

A TV insider told The Sun: ‘Show bosses looked at several stars for the sought-after role, but he was by far their preferred actor. Now both parties are hammering out a deal.’ 

They revealed how the ‘irony’ of the casting will ‘not be lost on anyone’ following his recent scandal where he was pictured embracing actress co-star Lily James last year.

Dominic will replace Josh O’Connor who has played the role for two series. 

PRINCE PHILIP – PLAYED BY JONATHAN PRYCE (REPLACING TOBIAS MENZIES)


New role: The Two Popes actor Jonathan Pryce, 73, has said he is ‘confident’ to take on the ‘daunting’ role of Prince Philip in The Crown’s final two seasons

Out and about: The actor’s role in The Crown comes after he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Netflix’s The Two Popes. However he lost out on the gong to Joaquin Phoenix (Jonathan is pictured with his wife Kate in 2011)

Jonathan Pryce has said he is ‘confident’ about ‘tackling the daunting prospect of portraying Prince Philip’ in seasons five and six of The Crown.

It was revealed in August that the actor, 74, will join the star-studded cast of the hit Netflix show and portray the royal through the 1990s and 2000s.

Past: Tobias Menzies played the late Royal in series three and four

Speaking after the announcement, Jonathan added that it will be ‘a joy’ to act alongside Imelda Staunton as the Queen and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.   

In a statement shared on social media by Netflix, Jonathan said: ‘I am delighted to be working with Netflix again. 

‘The positive experience I had making The Two Popes has given me the confidence to tackle the daunting prospect of portraying Prince Philip.   

‘To be doing so with Peter Morgan in the company of Imelda [Staunton] and Lesley [Manville] will be a joy.’ 

As well as praising the other on-screen talent lined up for the show, Jonathan added that he was excited to be working with screenwriter Peter Morgan.   

The actor’s role in The Crown comes after he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Netflix’s The Two Popes. However he lost out on the gong to Joaquin Phoenix.

In previous instalments of The Crown Prince Philip has been played by actors Matt Smith, in the first two seasons, and Tobias Menzies, in series three and four. 

PRINCESS MARGARET – PLAYED BY LESLEY MANVILLE (REPLACING HELENA BONHAM CARTER)


Congrats! Lesley Manville has been cast as Princess Margaret (right in 1966) for the fifth and sixth seasons of The Crown

Exciting: Lesley is believed to have been producers first choice for the role, is set to play the Queen’s younger sister during one of the ‘darkest periods of her life’ (pictured in February 2020)

Lesley Manville has been cast as Princess Margaret.

The actress, 64, will be taking the reins from current star Helena Bonham Carter for the fifth and final series of the Netflix hit. 

Goodbye: The actress, 64, will be taking the reins from current star Helena Bonham Carter for the fifth and final series of the Netflix hit

Lesley is believed to have been producers first choice for the role, is set to play the Queen’s younger sister during one of the ‘darkest periods of her life’.   

Confirming the news in a statement, she said: ‘I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret. The baton is being passed on from two formidable actresses and I really don’t want to let the side down. 

‘Furthermore, to play siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy.’

The role has been played by Helena for season three and upcoming season four, and was taken on by Vanessa Kirby in season one and two.    

A source told The Sun: ‘Lesley is hugely respected by the creators of The Crown and was their first choice to play Princess Margaret this time.

‘They wanted a star who could tackle the difficult role of a royal entering one of the darkest periods of her life, when the Windsors faced endless scandals and she was dogged by ill health.

‘That’s why Lesley was one of the first actors they approached to join the new cast, and remains one of the few who has fully committed to The Crown.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II – PLAYED BY IMELDA STAUNTON (REPLACING OLIVIA COLMAN)


Her Royal Highness: The very first image of Imelda Staunton in character as Queen Elizabeth II was revealed last week 

Speaking about joining the hit show, Imelda, 65, admitted she is ‘frightened’ to take on the Queen Elizabeth role in The Crown.

The actress is following on from Claire Foy and Olivia Colman, but says she has an ‘extra challenge’ playing a recent version as it will be fresh in the audiences mind.

Before: Oscar-winner Olivia Colman has played the monarch for two series

Speaking to The Sun, Imelda said: ‘When Claire was in the first series, to all of us that felt like history. Then following on from that with Olivia, again it seems like history.  

‘Now we start in 1991 playing someone much more recent. That’s the extra challenge I have, people saying, ‘Oh, I don’t think she’s like that at all”.

Many members of the series four cast have also joked that they won’t be giving any advice to their successors. Oscar-winning actress Olivia said recently: ‘I haven’t spoken to Imelda and I wouldn’t dare offer any advice about playing the Queen.

‘Imelda is extraordinary and she’s going to do it all much better than me. I can’t wait to watch what she does.’

The Crown lovers took to Twitter to react to the news. 

One wrote: ‘Gonna miss this Queen [Olivia Colman] but I’m sure Imelda will do a brilliant job. My time with the crown is done, some of last seasons cast and this seasons were just not it for me. Good luck to everyone involved tho.’

One fan simply penned: ‘perfection’ with another calling the new line-up ‘very strong’. 

Key historical moments involving the Royal Family between 1999 and 2003

1999: The marriage of the Queen’s son Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex: The wedding took place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. 

2000: The Queen celebrates the Millennium: Millennium celebrations take place throughout the UK. The Millennium Dome in London is officially opened by HM The Queen on January 1.    

2001: Queen Elizabeth reacts to 9/11 terrorist attacks: A week after the tragedy she sent a message to the British ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer to offer her condolences. 

She wrote: ‘Each and every one of us has been shocked and numbed by what we have witnessed in these recent days. 

‘At your service today, we think especially of the British victims. These are dark and harrowing times for families and friends of those who are missing or who suffered in the attack – many of you here today. 

‘My thoughts and my prayers are with you all now and in the difficult days ahead’. 

On September 13 The Queen ordered the Changing of the Guard ceremony to be paused for a two minute silence, followed by the playing of the American national anthem. 

2002: The Queen’s Golden Jubilee: The Queen celebrated the milestone on February 6 and it was an international event to mark the 50th anniversary of her ascension to the throne. 

On June 4, an estimated one million people headed to central London to line The Mall on the last day of the official celebrations.

Queen guitarist Brian May played ‘God Save The Queen’ from the roof of Buckingham Palace in her honour. 

2002: The Queen dines at 10 Downing Street with the five living former Prime Ministers who served under her. She met with Tony Blair, John Major, Margaret Thatcher, James Callaghan and Edward Heath.

2002: The death of Princess Margaret: The Queen’s younger sister dies after suffering a stroke aged 71. The pair had had a troubled relationship after The Queen said she couldn’t marry her love Peter Townsend. 

2002: The Queen Mother dies: She passed away aged 101 at Royal Lodge Windsor. 

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