The Crown season 4

The Netflix megahit is back with the relationship of Prince Charles and Princess Diana taking the spotlight. Peter Gray reports.

Credit: Netflix

After three critically acclaimed outings, Season 4  of The Crown looks set to continue the phenomenal success of Netflix’s megahit. The fourth series of the show takes us from 1977 to 1990, a tumultuous period in British history which saw the beginnings of the Thatcher era and also the marriage of The Prince of Wales (Josh O’Connor) and Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin).

It’s the latter that has had TV critics salivating. The relationship between Charles and Diana has provided countless hours of TV and movie drama thus far, and it will be interesting to see how writer Peter Morgan tackles the subject on The Crown.

Elsewhere, the strained relationship between the Queen (Olivia Colman) and Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) provides another focus for the show, and doubtless yet another chance for Colman to show off her formidable acting chops.

All in all, it looks like another scintillating season for Netflix’s big hit. If you are interested in learning more about the series, here’s everything we currently know about season 4 of The Crown.

Who’s behind the camera on The Crown?

The show the brainchild of the acclaimed British screenwriter and playwright Peter Morgan. Morgan has a wealth of TV and movie credits to his name, having been responsible for such smash hits as The Queen, Frost/Nixon, The Damned United, and Rush.

What is The Crown about?

The Crown follows the story of the English Royal Family from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 right up to the death of Prince Diana in 1987.

Previous instalments of the series have focused on the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the relationship between Elizabeth and her rebellious younger sister Margaret (Helen Bonham Carter) and the Queen’s battles with her Prime Ministers.

The fourth season of the show will focus on the younger members of the royal family and Prince Charles in particular. Season four will trace his courtship, engagement, marriage, and subsequent marital problems with Princess Diana.

A Netflix synopsis had this to say about the upcoming episodes: “Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and her family find themselves preoccupied with safeguarding the line of succession by securing an appropriate bride for Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor), who is still unmarried at 30… while Charles’ romance with a young Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) provides a much-needed fairy tale to unite the British people, behind closed doors, the Royal family is becoming increasingly divided.”

A recently released trailer for the fourth series emphasises this new focus with a montage of clips of Charles and Diana during their courtship and tantalisingly – on their wedding day. Rumours suggest that the new series will not dwell long on the wedding itself, however, the show’s costume designers have recreated the stunning wedding dress that Princess Diana wore on the day.

Josh O’Connor has revealed that the fourth season of The Crown will contain a much harsher portrayal of Prince Charles, with his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles coming under scrutiny in the series.

“If series three was to make people feel empathy and sorry for him (Charles), I guess we’re going to pull the rug from under him in the next series.” O’Connor said to the PA Agency.

An insider on the show was equally frank when asked about the subject matter in the forthcoming series ‘Peter is not going to hold back on how Diana impacted the Royal Family, just as he didn’t when the wrote The Queen. It could ruffle a few feathers.’ The source said.

Was filming for the fourth series of The Crown held up by the Coronavirus Crisis?

Luckily, The Crown just about managed to wrap before the crisis hit in March 2020.

Season four was actually shot back to back with season 3 of The Crown which meant that most of the principal photography was in the bag long before the pandemic reared its ugly head.

As the situation in the UK became more grave in February 2020, Netflix brought the shooting of the final scenes of the drama forward which meant that the season was completed in early March 2020.

Is there a trailer for the fourth season of The Crown?

There have been several teaser trailers for the new series. Here is one of them.

Who’s in the cast of the fourth series of The Crown?

Well, the good news is that all of the main cast of The Crown season three are back for the fourth instalment of the show. This includes Olivia Colman (Queen Elizabeth II), Helen Bonham (Princess Margaret), Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles), Erin Doherty (Princess Anne) and Tobias Menzies (Prince Philip).

However, the really big news is the inclusion in the cast of Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher. Another notable new face is Emma Corrin playing a young Princess Diana.

Who is breakout star Emma Corrin?

The Cambridge educated daughter of businessman Chris Corrin and his wife, Dr Juliette Corrin, Emma is the eldest of the couple’s three children.

Raised in a £2.5million pound house near Sevenoaks in Kent, Corrin attended the £36,000-a-year the Roman Catholic girls’ school, Woldingham in Surrey before applying to study Education with English and Drama at St John’s College, Cambridge.

While at university, Corrin discovered that she had a passion for drama and she began to perform with the University acting group at the ADC Theatre. Here, she followed in the footsteps of such stars as Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and her The Crown co-star Olivia Coleman with a series of highly acclaimed performances in a variety of traditional and modern plays.

Shortly after graduating from the University with a first class honours degree Corrin heard that Netflix were auditioning actresses for the part of Princess Diana for their blockbuster drama The Crown.

Despite being a novice in the acting industry with only two minor screen credits to her name, Corrin perfectly fitted the person specification for the role, which called for a ‘mesmerising new young star with extraordinary range’.

The advert also required someone who could ‘play the part of a ‘social exhibitionist on the world stage’ yet also portray the ‘psychological intensity’ of someone who was cursed with both a traumatic marriage and bulimia.

Tall, blue eyed and pencil slim, Corrin has the same mix of shy girl charm as the late Princess. More importantly, the young Cambridge Graduate ticks all the boxes acting wise. “Emma is a brilliant talent who immediately captivated us when she came in for the part of Diana Spencer” said Peter Morgan about his new star.

As for Corrin, she is just relieved to have got through the arduous audition process for the coveted role. Speaking to the Radio Times, the actress said: “It was a very long process, it took about a year I think, actually. It was kind of quite stressful, and a lot of different stages, but in retrospect it all worked out brilliantly. At the time very stressful. Josh was actually there when I got offered the role, so he compares it to X Factor, which is probably quite accurate.”

Taking on the role of the late Princess will be quite a challenge for the young actress. Princess Diana’s life was tinged with sadness and writer Peter Morgan is rumoured to be pulling no punches in his depiction of her relationship with Prince Charles and the impact of his ongoing relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.

Corrin will next be seen in the movie Misbehaviour alongside Keeley Hawes and Keira Knightley.

When will the fourth season of The Crown debut on Netflic?

Season four of The Crown will arrive on the streaming platform on the 15th of November 2020 at 8am.

More information about The Crown Season 4 can be found here.

For information on other forthcoming TV shows, please click here.

 

-London's Best Events-
What: new drama
When: 15 Nov 2020 8am
Where: Netflix