Shay Leonard Tribute on The Crown: Who Was He? How Did He Die?

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The second half of the final season of ‘The Crown’ takes the audience to the post-Diana era of the British monarchy. While the first half was entirely focused on Diana’s final days and the immediate aftermath of her tragic death, the second half turns the limelight towards Prince William in the aftermath of the loss. A lot of time is dedicated to William’s point of view, with a special focus on his burgeoning romance with Kate Middleton, who would eventually go on to become his wife. The show takes a break from them in the sixth episode of the season, titled ‘Ruritania,’ which is also where it pays tribute to Shay Leonard. Who was he, and how is he connected to ‘The Crown’?

Shay Leonard Worked For Three Years on The Crown

A native of Kinvara Park, Navan Road, Dublin, Shay Leonard died on June 28th, 2023, at the age of 54, after battling an illness for six months. In his later years, he lived in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, with his wife, Ekin, with whom he had a son, Liam. His funeral service took place at the Bierton Crematorium in Aylesbury.

Leonard was known for his work on TV an films as an art director and a producer. He’d worked in a range of films, which includes titles like ‘Hot Fuzz,’ ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘Vampire Academy.’ In all three movies, he worked in the art department. He started working for ‘The Crown’ in 2017 and was engaged in the props department. He had also worked in the same department for shows and movies like ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ and ‘Now You See Me 2.’ Leonard last worked for ‘The Crown’ in 2020.

Apart from these credits, Leonard is also known for making a short film called ‘To Catch a Crow,’ for which he served as the writer, director, and producer. The film was shot entirely in Cliffoney, Sligo, where Leonard hired locals as actors in the film, no matter if they had prior experience with acting or filmmaking. The movie is described as a light-hearted comedy that also focuses on colonialism, particularly on the English invasion of Ireland. He is said to have been fond of method acting and, reportedly, locked one of the main actors in the pantry for an entire day before the shooting for a scene was to take place to help the actor get a sense of how to approach the scene.

Leonard mostly worked behind the scenes on his projects, but the impact of his work was undeniably crucial. He is remembered fondly by his colleagues, friends, and family, who were deeply saddened by his loss.

Read More: Where Was The Crown Season 6 Filmed?