Emma Corrin is a dead ringer for Princess Diana, but Gillian Anderson could be Margaret Thatcher’s doppelganger. What do Netflix’s new images tell us about the stories being told in The Crown season 4?
The fourth season of Netflix’s The Crown looks like it will be full of drama, as the series about the Windsors delves into the tumultuous late 1970s and early 1980s. Contributing to that turbulence are two pivotal women who will wreak havoc on the British continent: England’s first Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), and Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin).
The actresses brought in to portray both marquee roles have already generated huge buzz with their striking resemblance to both iconic figures. Netflix has continued to whet our appetites further with additional released images that indicate that the next season is clearly in capable hands in the chameleon-like abilities attributed to Emma Corrin and Gillian Anderson.
So let’s dive right in to see what those images tell us.
The first look shows us the young ingenue Diana, who captured the public’s attention (and the paparazzi’s focus) as the young Lady Spencer newly engaged to Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor).
“You really see her turn from a girl into a woman,” Emma Corrin said in a Vanity Fair interview. “We see her before she goes into the palace, when she is living with her flat mates, and how normal she was before she was plucked from obscurity.”
For most Crown viewers, Corrin’s likeness to Princess Diana is uncanny, but the 24-year-old actress doesn’t necessarily agree, citing another family member as closer in stature.
“My mum has been told that she looks like Diana. She often has been mistaken for her throughout her life, which is a really weird connection,” Corrin said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “But I have never had that. I get young Jodie Foster.”
“When you are reading about Diana, you want to sift all the bulls**t from the truth,” Corrin added.
A Difficult Marriage
Part of that truth will be how she copes with Charles’ former flame, Camilla Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennell). Charles and Camilla broke up in season three of The Crown, and the upcoming chapter will explore the young love story between Charles and Diana. Diana was just 19-years-old when she became engaged to the Prince of Whales, 13 years her senior.
In one of the released images, Camilla Parker Bowles seems to be admiring Diana’s engagement ring, the gorgeous sapphire specimen surrounded by diamonds.
The well-informed audience knows that Charles and Camilla rekindled their romance and married later in life, after Charles and Diana divorced and the tragic death of “the people’s princess” in a Paris car crash. In her famous BBC interview, Diana admitted, “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” It will be fascinating to revisit this drama from the outset.
Prince Charles’ Inner Turmoil
The Crown does a great job of introducing sympathies for individuals for whom you least anticipate. Morgan already did a great job of this with Queen Elizabeth II in his film The Queen, starring Helen Mirren. Expect Charles to be coping with the assassination of his beloved uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten (Charles Dance) while dealing with his new marriage.
“The people’s princess” develops into a press darling, stealing much of the spotlight from the other stiff upper lip Windsors. In another Crown image, the queen (Olivia Coleman) and Charles seem to be grappling with the added stress the newfound, modern attention that Diana brings.
“When we see Charles with the queen or with his father, there was the sense of that relationship being strained, and there’s a kind of inability to communicate,” O’Connor said last year, in an MSN interview. “I think for the Camilla relationship, it’s all about making that really easy, making it kind of fun and light so that we see quite a sweet Charles, but it’s sort of like a playful Charles.
“I think it sets us up in a way where perhaps we feel some sympathy for Charles, some understanding of his playfulness and his rejection from the family. Camilla offers that, I guess, the playful side of Charles.”
Margaret Thatcher’s Twin
Another The Crown representation shows the newly elected PM, Thatcher, on the steps of 10 Downing Street, alongside her husband, Dennis, as she waves to the public. A polarizing figure, Thatcher and the queen were born just six months apart, and their intriguing, complicated relationship will be a fascinating aspect of the coming season(s).
Every picture released so far has only strengthened the case that The Crown’s Gillian Anderson is Margaret Thatcher’s mirror image.
The rest of the pictures give us glimpses into Princess Margert’s (Helena Bonham Carter) continued isolation, the queen mother (Marion Bailey) continuing stalwartly in her duties, Princess Anne (Erin Doherty), as well as Prince Phillip (Tobias Menzies).
Check out more of the new photos below.
The Crown season four premieres on Netflix, November 15. Which storyline are you most excited to see?