The Crown casts its Princess Diana and everything else we know about its final three seasons

The Crown cast Princess Diana and Prince Philip. Here’s all the news about the rest of the seasons including the timeline, sneak photos, and thoughts from creator Peter Morgan.

Excitement has been brewing for the remaining seasons of The Crown ever since Netflix announced that the series would return to its original six-season production plan, rather than the scaled-down five that was announced last year.

The lavish Netflix series just finished filming season 4, which will give us our first glimpse into a pivotal figure who makes waves among the Windsors, Princess Diana.

Actress Emma Corrin will play the younger version for the final season of the current cast (Olivia Coleman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham-Carter, Josh O’Connor), when she was known as Diana Spencer. Now The Crown has cast Princess Diana for the final two installments, Tenet’s alluring Elizabeth Debicki.

Although the height disparities between S5/6’s Elizabeth II, Imelda Staunton, and Debicki may be extreme (Staunton’s 5’ compared to Debicki’s towering 6’3”!), the similarities between Diana and Debicki are pretty uncanny:

Jonathon Pryce’s Prince Philip

The Diana casting news comes on the heels of announcing Jonathon Pryce as the elder Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. In addition to the drama unfolding around the collapse of Prince Charles’s and Diana’s marriage in the 1990’s, Philip made headlines in the press for quite a bit of off-the-cuff remarks, such as this one to a Scottish driving instructor: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?”

Other casting news, sneak peeks, and storylines

Staunton is taking the reins – or the crown, in this case – from Coleman as Queen Elizabeth. Phantom Thread’s Lesley Manville—a frequent collaborator with director Mike Leigh—will take over from Bonham-Carter as Princess Margaret.

For the upcoming fourth season, in addition to meeting Corrin’s Diana, we will be introduced to The X-Files’s Gillian Anderson as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, sure to bring her usual brilliance to the role. Like Debicki, Corrin also bears a striking resemblance to the late Diana. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself in these images:

Sneak peek photos of Anderson’s Iron Lady—with signature sunglasses, wig, and shoulder pads—have already leaked and you can see them here.

Josh O’Connor—a standout from season 3 —will reprise his role as Charles for the upcoming season. In addition to exploring the drama in the Prince of Wales’ love life, the series is also likely to tackle Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s messy divorce (although not his Ghislaine Maxwell-Jeffrey Epstein scandal), a time that Queen Elizabeth referred to as an “annus horriblis” during a famous speech in Parliament.

Both divorces clearly took a toll on the queen in the 1990s, as did the shattering Windsor Castle fire in 1992. The series will probably wrap up Princess Diana’s death in 1997, in the fateful Paris car crash that triggered a crisis within the Royal Family, one that is incredibly explored in series creator Peter Morgan’s movie, The Queen (starring Helen Mirren, still my favorite Elizabeth).

The final season of The Crown will likely show the deaths of her sister Margaret and her rock, the Queen Mother, both in the same year (2002), but also a more joyful time for Elizabeth, her Golden Jubilee, that very same year.

Angus Imrie (‘Creepie Jake’ in Fleabag) will take on a young Prince Edward, the queen’s youngest son, for the upcoming season. Tom Byrne will portray the controversial Prince Andrew, although at the time on The Crown, he is less scandalous (at least compared to today). Long rumored to be the queen’s favorite son, this will surely provide some fiction to be explored in the upcoming season. You can read more about the actors taking on both roles here.

An elder Queen Mother, Princess Anne, Charles, Andrew, and Edward have yet to be announced for the final two seasons, as well as Sarah Ferguson, Tony Blair, and John Major, to name just a few famous figures.

When can we expect the seasons to drop?

The coronavirus pandemic cut production on The Crown season four short by just two weeks, but rather than wait it out, Morgan said the crew made do with what they had and adjusted the footage.

“I’ve done my best,” said Morgan, according to Indiewire. “For the final block, one director [Jessica Hobbs] was filming three separate episodes. A couple of scenes were missing from each one… The price of waiting would have meant to not get the show out on the same schedule. And nobody to whom I’ve shown the episodes can tell what’s missing. I’m really relieved. I was neurotic of course, flapping around not doing anyone any good. Then we had to work harder in the edit.”

You can read the full interview and see what changes had to be made to make their deadline. But the good news is that highly anticipated S4 will grace our Netflix screens this November. Morgan is already penning season five, however, The Crown is taking a filming break and won’t begin until June 2021, which means fans will have to wait until 2022 for the next installment. This is similar to the hiatus between seasons two and three. Sigh. We’ll have to wait two years to dig our sights into the final cast.

In the meantime, we can enjoy the prestigious British cast this fall in Coleman’s final season as QE. Stay tuned here for all your The Crown news.