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“The Crown” Season 4 Will Tell the Story of Princess Diana

Is season four of The Crown about to be the most devastating?

Welp, all signs are pointing in that direction. Following a series of pretty ominous teasers, Netflix has released the official trailer for the royal showdown and we recommend stocking up on Kleenex before giving it a watch.

Several seconds into the new clip, Gillian Anderson appears as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, one of the most polarizing political figures in the U.K.’s history. “Your Majesty, I think we have enough respect for one another personally to ask ourselves some of the bigger questions, woman to woman,” she tells Olivia Colman‘s Queen Elizabeth II in a seconds-long exchange that proves the real-life figure was dead-set on asserting herself as a force to be reckoned with.

And though Thatcher lists all the reasons for which she believes she’s successful as prime minister, the queen is quick to call out the “joblessness, recession, crises” that have arose under her reign. The clip promises a tense dynamic between these two. And, spoiler alert, we’re pumped to see how, exactly, producers tackle the years that lead to Thatcher’s actual resignation in November 1990.

That said, it’s the devastating love (hate?) story between Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) that takes center stage at the second half of the trailer. The clip finds Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies) reminding Charles of his obligation to the crown: “One day, dear boy, you shall be king. Your duty now is the choice of a woman the people will love as a princess, and in due course, as queen.”

We then see Corrin step into the glamorous role of Diana, posing for the paparazzi and walking around Buckingham Palace in a replica of the iconic David and Elizabeth Emanuel wedding gown she wore to get married in. Perhaps the most painful look at what’s to come is evidenced in a voiceover from Corrin’s Diana, who tells Queen Elizabeth II, “All I want is to be loved. It’s all any of us want from you.” 

Talking about Diana in another scene, the Queen Mother (Marion Bailer) says, “In time, she will give up her fight and bend as they all do.” Helena Bonham Carters Princess Margaret chimes in, adding that if she doesn’t bend, “she will break.” Dark stuff. 

Toward the end, we see dramatic glimpses at huge fights between Diana and Charles, his affair with Camila Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennel) and Thatcher’s ultimate downfall. 

Phew! Did you catch all that?

As the official Netflix description for season four says, the new season begins in the late 1970s through 1990, an “increasingly divided” time for the royal family. The cast also includes Erin Doherty as Princess Anne, Georgie Glen as Lady Fermoy, Tom Byrne as Prince Andrew, Angue Imrie as Prince Edward, Charles Dance as Lord Mountbatten, Stephen Boxer as Denis Thatcher, Rebecca Humphries as Carol Thatcher and Freddie Fox as Mark Thatcher. 

Is There a Trailer?

Yes! The official trailer dropped on Oct. 29 and it features a closer look at Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher, plus Emma Corrin as Princess Diana. In a heartbreaking scene, Diana tells Olivia Colman‘s Queen Elizabeth II, “All I want is to be loved. It’s all any of us want from you.” 

When Can I Watch New Episodes Of The Crown?

The next season, season four, of The Crown premieres Nov. 15 on Netflix.

Who Will Star In Season 4?

It’s the same cast as season three: 

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth
Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip
Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret
Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles 
Erin Doherty as Princess Anne 
Emerald Fennell as Camilla Shand

Plus some important newcomers:

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher 
Emma Corrin as Lady Diana Spencer

What Era Does Season 4 Cover?

Season four takes on 1979 to 1990, beginning around when Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first female prime minister and Prince Charles started getting to know Lady Diana Spencer. Charles and Diana married in 1981 and were together until 1992, so their separation won’t be tackled until season five. William was born in 1982, and Harry followed in 1984. 

Around 1986, Diana was suffering from bulimia, and Charles was having an affair with Camilla, which Diana confronted her about in 1989. So in other words, there’s a lot going on in the ’80s! 

So We’ll Get a Royal Wedding?

Yep, and you can get a sneak peek of Diana in her iconic wedding dress (which has its own Wikipedia page!) in a teaser released by Netflix. 

Weren’t There Rumors of Claire Foy’s Return?

Yep! Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth in the first two seasons, will be back for a flashback to HRH’s 21st birthday in season four. 

When Does Elizabeth Debicki Debut?

Elizabeth Debicki, the most recently announced addition to the cast, will play a slightly older Diana in season five, which will likely cover the ’90s from her split from Charles to her death in 1997. 

Who Else Is In Season 5?

The entire cast gets replaced every two seasons, so Olivia Colman will pass the torch to Imelda Staunton, who you may know best as Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter

She’ll be joined by Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip and Leslie Manville as Princess Margaret. Other cast members have yet to be announced, but some have suggested Tom Hiddleston should play Prince Charles, and now that’s all we can think about. 

Also, Dominic West will take on the role of Prince Charles.

When Will Season 5 Arrive?

This is the bad news: 2022! 

That may feel a few lightyears away, but it’s a regular schedule for the series. Season one came out in 2016, followed by season two in 2017. Season three arrived in 2019, season four in 2020, and now there’s another break for season five. Peter Morgan explained in a recent interview with THR that he needs the time off to both shoot and write the next season, since the show films in two-season chunks. 

The sixth and final season will likely premiere in 2023. 

How Far Will The Crown Get Before It Ends?

Seasons five and six will take the royal family into the 21st century, but not too far into it. Nothing incredibly recent will be covered, but since each season tends to span around a decade, it makes sense that the show might end with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. That would mean William and Kate’s 2011 wedding would be featured, but little else from the 2010s. 

Is There Any Chance of Seeing Meghan Markle on The Crown?

Sadly, no. As much as we keep hoping, Morgan said that Harry and Meghan, despite the captivating drama they’ve added to the world of the royal family, are too recent to cover with any clarity. 

“Meghan and Harry are in the middle of their journey, and I don’t know what their journey is or how it will end,” he told THR. “One wishes some happiness, but I’m much more comfortable writing about things that happened at least 20 years ago. I sort of have in my head a 20-year rule. That is enough time and enough distance to really understand something, to understand its role, to understand its position, to understand its relevance.” 

Here’s hoping for another season in 2040!  

Season four of The Crown hits Netflix on Sunday, Nov. 15.
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