For about as long as The Crown has been on the air, fans have been eagerly anticipating the show’s introduction of Princess Diana—perhaps the most famous member of the royal family, aside from Queen Elizabeth herself. And after years of waiting, Diana’s entrance is finally almost here.
Here, ahead of her debut in the show’s fourth season, all the details on The Crown‘s Princess of Wales.
Actress Emma Corrin will take on the role.
Corrin is a relative newcomer. Her previous television roles include playing Pennyworth‘s Esme Winikus, and a one-episode spot on Grantchester.
When The Crown announced she’d gotten the part, Corrin was over the moon. “I have been glued to the show and to think I’m now joining this incredibly talented acting family is surreal,” she said in a statement. “Princess Diana was an icon and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To explore her through Peter Morgan’s writing is the most exceptional opportunity, and I will strive to do her justice.”
Corrin opened up to Town & Country about getting the part.
In T&C‘s November cover story, the actress explained that she’d landed the role after being called in to help run lines. Her agent emphasized that it wasn’t an audition—”But, obviously, I was like, ‘I’m going to prepare as if it were,'” Corrin said.
The cast and crew were impressed by her, to say the least.I was in awe of her,” Josh O’Connor, the actor who plays Prince Charles, told T&C. “This young actress who hadn’t done an awful lot, and here she was inhabiting Diana, seemingly quite easily.”
Added showrunner Peter Morgan, “We spent our whole time just staring at this woman reading the lines going, ‘Wow, she’s kind of perfect.’ ”
Her co-star, Josh O’Connor, says she’s “the spitting image” of Diana.
O’Connor, who plays Prince Charles, opened up to Harper’s Bazaar last year about acting alongside Corrin. “In terms of filming, we just had a great time, and Emma’s doing a brilliant job, and it’s breathtakingly accurate; she looked the spitting image [of Diana], and it’s kind of extraordinary. So that’s kind of spooky,” he said.
The actor went on, “We’re well into it now. We’ve got many months left, they’ve got a few episodes in [to season four], so it’s really exciting. And I think it will be the best yet, actually. I’m really looking forward to finishing that and then getting to share it sometime in 2020, I guess.”
Trailers and preview photos showing Corrin in character have been released.
O’Connor was right—with her costume and makeup for The Crown, Corrin does indeed look like the spitting image of Princess Diana. Check out a couple preview photos and a trailer below.
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Prior to Corrin’s casting, a report claimed that the show was looking for “a mesmerizing new young star” to play Diana.
And a month or so before that, a report in the Sun offered a first glimpse at what Princess Diana’s portrayal in The Crown might look like—and for better or worse, the creators don’t seem to be holding anything back.
The publication reportedly attained a copy of the ad for the role, which called for an actress to play the princess from ages 18-22 in the show’s fourth season.”We need a mesmerizing new young star with extraordinary range,” it read, per the Sun. “She has to play charming comedy, flirt and social exhibitionist on the world stage, desperate and lonely self-harmer at her lowest ebb and the kind of psychological intensity of Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby.”
A source reaffirmed to the Sun that The Crown wouldn’t tread lightly. “Peter [Morgan, the showrunner] is not going to hold back on how Diana impacted the Royal Family, just as he didn’t when he wrote the Queen,” said the source. “It could ruffle a few feathers.”
In seasons five and six, Elizabeth Debicki will play the Princess of Wales.
Netflix confirmed the news in August 2020 that the character would be recast for the show’s final two chapters.
“Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many,” Debicki said in a statement. “It is my true privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one.”
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