Everything to Know About The Crown Season 4

Warning: Contains minor spoilers for season 4 of The Crown.

Now that the world has watched a full season of Olivia Colman and co. on Netflix’s The Crown, it’s time to speculate about what’s next. As we set our sights on season 4, a new host of characters will be joining the cast. From Gillian Anderson’s Margaret Thatcher to the arrival of Princess Diana and a Claire Foy cameo, here’s the latest on season 4 of The Crown.

When will it air?

Season 4 of The Crown will premiere on Netflix on Sunday, November 15. The first teaser for the season introduces Gillian Anderson’s formidable Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Emma Corrin’s long-awaited turn as Princess Diana.

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Is there a trailer?

While there isn’t official footage of the fourth season yet, on-set photos have found their way to the internet. Pictures of the season’s two main additions—Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher—have already leaked; Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin can be seen reenacting Charles and Diana’s 1983 tour of Australia, while Anderson as Thatcher wears a blue suit while disembarking a ship similar to the Royal Yacht Brittania.

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Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the first photos of baby Prince William emerged. ET Canada has more photos of Corrin filming the royal tour in Spain, this time with her onscreen son. The real Prince William was nine months old when he took the trip with his parents.

What’s the time period?

Back in 2017, the UK Times reported that the fourth season would center around Thatcher’s years as prime minister, just as the third season focused on Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Historically, Thatcher held the title from 1979 to 1990. Events within that period include the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana as well as the births of their two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. In late February, paparazzi photos showed Corrin as Diana with an actor playing a toddler-aged Prince William. Per Good Housekeeping, the scene depicts the 1984 Buckingham Palace Easter Egg hunt. O’Connor was also spotted filming for the series on the steps of The British Museum. Harper’s BAZAAR pointed out that O’Connor’s suit is reminiscent of Prince Charles’ ensemble in his engagement photos with Diana.

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In a recent interview with Netflix Queue, O’Connor says Charles becomes “more serious, subdued, and unnerving” in the second season of the show, which chronicles his turbulent marriage. “I thought if in the first season [that I play Charles], I can win the hearts of people, and in the second, I can sort of strip that back, then that’s the aim.” O’Connor added about the royal’s romance troubles, “He still has a lot of heart. He’s still the young boy desperate for approval.”

He’s not the only royal with marital problems. Erin Doherty, who reprises her role as Princess Anne in the second season, teased her character’s first marriage to Olympic gold-medalist Mark Phillips (Geoffrey Breton), referring to Anne’s marriage as “a pretty rocky experience.” Doherty said Anne will also commiserate with her brother Charles about his own ill-fated relationship. “You’re watching these people grow,” she told the outlet. “You see them experience a similar coming-of-age, but take different routes.”

Deadline also spoke to insiders who say the season will end around 1990, the year Thatcher was “ousted” from the Prime Minister position. The site notes that the queen and Thatcher reportedly had a “punctiliously correct” relationship but are said to have “little love lost on either side.”

No. 10 Dinner

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Sources also told Deadline that an infamous 1982 break-in at Buckingham Palace will be depicted next season. Michael Fagan reportedly entered a sleeping Queen Elizabeth’s room with shards of glass from an ashtray. Although the monarch was not injured, it was considered an alarming security breach, as Fagan scaled the castle’s perimeter wall.

Another major event fans will see in the next season? A surgery Princess Margaret undergoes in 1985. “She smoked 60 cigarettes a day with the knowledge that her father died of lung cancer at 54,” Helena Bonham Carter told Town & Country. “She had a lung removed, and she carried on smoking. She was a total addict. There was too much of her life that she was allowed to get lost inside her head, and I think that’s the unfortunate thing.”

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One major moment that will be missing from season 4, according to Deadline, is the 1987 TV special It’s a Royal Knockout. The “somewhat controversial” special showed a staged charity tournament on the lawn of Alton Towers. Royal family members including Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and Sarah Ferguson competed against celebrities in a competition that the outlet compares to Ninja Warrior. According to sources, producers “explored the event but decided against it” after depicting the ill-fated 1969 royal family documentary in season 3.

Who’s in the new cast?

The show’s main characters are recast every two seasons to update for aging. Olivia Colman (Queen Elizabeth II), Helena Bonham Carter (Princess Margaret), Tobias Menzies (Prince Philip), Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles), Ben Daniels (Antony Armstrong-Jones), and Emerald Fennell (Camilla Parker Bowles) will all reprise their roles, along with most of the third season’s cast.

Perhaps the most high-profile addition to the royal roster? Golden Globe winner Gillian Anderson as prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Deadline reported her casting in January, although Anderson herself didn’t confirm the news until September. “I am so excited to be joining the cast and crew of The Crown and to have the opportunity to portray such a complicated and controversial woman,” she said in a statement. “Thatcher was undoubtedly formidable, but I am relishing exploring beneath the surface and, dare I say, falling in love with the icon who, whether loved or despised, defined an era.”

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Anderson discussed playing Thatcher in an interview with Deadline, telling the outlet that the show set her up to feel as comfortable as possible in the role. Her first day “was a scene they were shooting on a stage at the studio, and so they mapped it out that way in the knowledge that, if you suck, you can always come back and shoot it again if you need to,” she said. “They had already built into the schedule that I would likely be able to fail, and that it wouldn’t be the end of the day. You really feel held. I knew I was going to be all right.”

When will we meet Princess Diana?

In April 2019, Netflix announced newcomer Emma Corrin would play Princess Diana and, contrary to earlier reports, would not appear in season 3. “Beyond excited and honoured to be joining The Crown for its fourth season,” Corrin said in a statement released by Netflix. “I have been glued to the show since the first episode and to think I’m now joining this incredibly talented acting family is just surreal. Princess Diana was an icon, and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To be given the chance to explore her through Peter Morgan’s writing is the most exceptional opportunity, and I will strive to do her justice!”

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Considering the tentative time period of the fourth season and Camilla’s introduction in season 3, it’s safe to assume Corrin will be a key player in the next installment of The Crown. Sources tell Deadline that Corrin initially earned the role while reading lines for actors during the third season, impressing producers in the process.

In January, photos emerged of Corrin filming the fourth season. She’s photographed at the entrance of London’s Savoy Hotel, wearing the same retro floral dress Diana did when she visited there in May 1989. Sporting Diana’s signature bob, Corrin’s resemblance to the late royal is uncanny. Diana’s visit to the Savoy came three years before her official split with Prince Charles.

Diana, Princess of Wales,Savoy Hotel, London

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Will we see Charles and Diana’s blockbuster wedding?

One of the events synonymous with the royal family as we know it is the 1981 wedding between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. 17 million reportedly tuned into watch the couple’s nuptials, an event that will play out on the fourth season. Corrin opened up to British Vogue about what it was like to wear a replica of Lady Di’s famous dress.

“The Emanuels, who designed the original, gave us the patterns, and then it was made for me,” Corrin said of the custom gown. “We were filming the scene when you first see her in the wedding dress—I think it was Lancaster House in London—and I had a team of about 10 people helping me put it on, because it’s massive. I walked out and everyone went completely silent. More than anything else I wear in the series, it’s so…It’s her.”

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In preparation to play the defiant royal, Corrin says she met with Lady Di’s private secretary and watched the documentary Diana: In Her Own Words “about a hundred times.” She added, “I feel I’ve got to know Diana like you would a friend. I know that sounds really weird, but I get a great sense of companionship from her. I suppose, over time, you kind of start to patch together a sense of empathy and a sense of understanding. I love figuring people out.”

What about Claire Foy?

Even though Colman replaced Foy as Queen Elizabeth for seasons 3 and 4, Foy was spotted filming a cameo for the upcoming season on November 20, 2019.

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The photo shows Foy recreating the then-princess’ 21st birthday speech, given in Cape Town on April 21, 1947. Elizabeth famously said, “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” It looks like Colman’s queen will be reflecting on her youth in season 4.

Yes! And a sixth season has been promised once more. On July 9, The Crown creator and showrunner Morgan confirmed that season 6 is coming after all. Back in January, Morgan said that while he originally “imagined The Crown running for six seasons” working on season 5 made it apparent ” that this is the perfect time and place to stop.”

But the writing process has changed his mind once more. “As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons,” Morgan said in a statement via Deadline. “To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present-day—it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.” A trio of Oscar nominees will lead the last two seasons. Imelda Staunton will play Queen Elizabeth, Lesley Manville will play Princess Margaret, and Jonathan Pryce will play Prince Philip in the fifth and sixth installments. It was also confirmed that Elizabeth Debicki (The Night Manager, The Great Gatsby) will play Princess Diana.

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