You can see how subtle Desplat's use of timbre is by further considering the two cues that deal explicitly with Princess Diana, who looms large in the film considering she only appears through archival footage. "People's Princess I" and "People's Princess II" open with a pulsating electronic drone (one that almost sounds like morse code) that is quickly joined by a regular four-beat bass line. These two instruments flow throughout both cues as Desplat takes the main melody through different instrumentations, almost like Diana were the melody, trying to figure out how she fits into the Royal family. The melody goes through strings, through woodwinds, and notably through the harpsichord, before landing on a synthesized version of the harpsichord accompanied by strings. By finally settling on a modern version of the harpsichord, you hear and see that this Princess managed to take the Royal family out of their strange isolation and bridge the divide between them and modern Britain.
For me, perhaps the most delightful way Desplat uses classical techniques is found in the paired cues "Elizabeth and Tony" and "Tony and Elizabeth." Tony Blair was newly-elected Prime Minister in 1997 and you can hear the delicate dance between the two heads of state in their meetings since Desplat scores their interactions as a waltz. You even hear hints of timbres from "People's Princess I" glinting through as Blair was the one to christen Diana with that sobriquet.
The final touch that sets this score apart is the inclusion of Verdi's "Libera Me" from his Requiem. The "Libera Me" was one of Diana's favorite pieces of classical music and was sung during her funeral, the event that ends the movie. I only wish he had also included John Tavener's Song for Athene that was sung as her casket was carried out of Westminster Abbey.
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