‘The Crown’ finally casts their Lady Diana Spencer, but not until the fourth season

Jude Law struts his stuff in his underwear while filming in Venice

As Hecate discussed last year, the casting for The Crown Season 3 was coming together nicely. The Crown’s producers insist that they were always going to reset the series with an entirely new cast after Season 2, and I guess I see their point. No one wants to see Matt Smith and Claire Foy in weird “ageing” makeup just so they can look like they’re in their 50s all of a sudden. So Olivia Colman is coming in as Queen Elizabeth and Tobias Menzies will be Prince Philip. As Hecate detailed last year, they found their Prince Charles pretty quickly – an actor named Josh O’Connor. Helena Bonham Carter is the new Princess Margaret (which is perfect casting), and on and on.

In October, The Crown producers announced that they had finally found their Camilla Shand/Parker Bowles: an actress named Emerald Fennell. There was just one major casting decision: Lady Diana Spencer, the future Princess of Wales. Who would play Diana? Will a teenaged Diana make an appearance in the upcoming third season? Well, they found her. But she won’t be in the show until the fourth season.

Following an extensive casting search, the Netflix drama The Crown has found its Diana Spencer. Newcomer Emma Corrin has been tapped to take on the role of Lady Diana, the future Princess of Wales, in the series. In a change, the character will now be introduced in season four of the Netflix awards darling and not its upcoming third cycle.

“Emma is a brilliant talent who immediately captivated us when she came in for the part of Diana Spencer. As well as having the innocence and beauty of a young Diana, she also has, in abundance, the range and complexity to portray an extraordinary woman who went from anonymous teenager to becoming the most iconic woman of her generation,” The Crown creator Peter Morgan said Tuesday in a statement.

“Beyond excited and honored to be joining The Crown for its fourth season,” said Corrin. “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!”

The third season will focus on the Wilson era — the 1964-1970 and 1974-1976 terms of Prime Minister Howard Wilson — and the fourth will focus on Thatcher and Diana. The drama, whose sophomore run wrapped in December 2017, has already been renewed for seasons three and four. Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said the plan is for the series to run for six seasons total and cover the Queen’s entire life. It’s unclear when season four of The Crown will air.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

It’s almost like they’re going to completely rewrite the actual history of the Spencer family and the Windsors. Diana and her sisters were on the radar of the royal family well before Charles and Diana began dating circa 1979. Charles dated Diana’s older sister (and dumped her when she started chatting to the press). The Queen was said to have wanted Diana to marry Andrew. The Spencers and the Windsors socialized together, played together, etc. My point is that it would have been possible to introduce Diana in season 3, because Diana and the Spencer family were already around the royals at that time. But I get it. They want to do something more with the Charles-Camilla relationship.

Also: I really do hope that they do the right thing in season 4 by picking up the series in 1979, with the IRA assassination of Lord Mountbatten. That fundamentally changed the royal family and it led to so much of what happened next, including Diana. Diana and Charles began dating soon after Mountbatten’s death because Charles was so raw.

Last thing: Emma really does look like Diana. Get her a sandy blonde dye job and she would be a dead ringer.

Jude Law struts his stuff in his underwear while filming in Venice

Photos courtesy of IMDB.

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40 Responses to “‘The Crown’ finally casts their Lady Diana Spencer, but not until the fourth season”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    Oooh this is exciting!!! I cant wait for the rest of this series. I’m glad they have said it will be 6 seasons. I like when shows start with a clear idea of where they are headed (I mean, clearly they were following the royal family and the Queen, but they could have dragged it out a bit more since it was so popular and well received.) I think it makes for more concise and well planned story telling.

    I like this pick for Diana. She does look a lot like Diana looked around 79-80. I wonder if she will play Diana in Seasons 5-6, or if they will do a complete reset with the cast?

  2. Murphy says:

    If they wanted to cast Diana before ‘79 she would be a child playing around in the barn with Prince Andrew, too casual an event for the show. There were tons of eligible potential spouses that age around, I’m sure the Queen had her eye on others too

  3. Jessica says:

    Great casting for both ladies. I see a clear resemblance between the actresses and the people they are portraying. Emma Corrin strongly resembles a young Diana, during the engagement and early years of marriage.

  4. Dotti says:

    I hope they have someone better then whoever was being the Queen Mother. It wasn’t like her at all. All her warmth was ignored and she always smiling, her outfits where nowhere near as drabby that they have on the show and she wore a lot of blues and those frilly hats and coats. She drank a lot and never really understood how expensive her lifestyle was. The Queen has a sense of humour if you look at videos of her doing engagements she isn’t this scowling she is usually smiling and she even jokes at times.

    • sassbr says:

      I agree, that was weird casting. She wasn’t cast well in the King’s Speech either-love Bonham Carter, but Collman was the better Queen Mum in Hyde Park on Hudson (however bad that film was.)

    • SK says:

      She was not a warm person. She was a genius at PR and convincing people she was warm when she was a cold, alcoholic snob.

    • SK says:

      Yeah the Queen is known for her sense of humour. Perhaps it wasn’t as evident in her younger years but appeared when she grew in confidence? I think with Olivia in the role there’s definitely opportunity to display her sense of humour.

  5. Digital Unicorn says:

    Emma def has a Diana look about her, so am sure she will be great.

    The casting director for The Crown should get all the awards – its been spot on and in some cases inspired.

  6. Eleonor says:

    Can’t wait to HBC and Olivia Coleman together.

  7. Sash says:

    This is exciting! Probably will be odd for Harry to watch (he is the one who’s watched the show, right?).

  8. Victoria says:

    The guy for prince Charles is very good looking… was he good looking ever? I only know him as he is now

    • Millennial says:

      I think for a brief moment in his 20s, he was alright looking. It went downhill quickly though. Kind of like William.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      At one point Chuck was attractive, not in that HW way but in that kind of posh nerdy way – even with the ears.

      Phillips good looks skipped his children and showed up in Harry. Harry is the very image of a young DoE.

      • Originaltessa says:

        Sorry, Harry is good looking but he can’t touch his grandfather. There’s still a bit too much Windsor in him.

    • AryasMum says:

      Well, they’ve cast a beauty for Camilla . . .

    • Jerusha says:

      He was not bad, you can see the William resemblance here.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think he was good looking enough – not gorgeous, but nice looking, maybe kind of goofy with the ears but not bad. I read a quote once (I think from Ingrid Seward, in a biography she did about Diana years ago, like before the divorce was final) but it always just seemed to fit about Charles – “the prince, while a nice enough looking chap, is not terribly photogenic and the camera worshipped Diana.” (that might not be the exact wording but close enough.) I think that describes him – he’s nice looking, just not all that photogenic, and Diana was incredibly photogenic.

    • Mumbles says:

      I actually think Charles is better looking now. It’s almost as if he grew into his face. Now he looks like a charming old fellow. And he seems happier now than ever, twinkly eyes and all that.

      This is great casting for Diana. Those eyes!

    • Bella Bella says:

      Josh O’Connor was in a PBS show called The Durrells in Corfu. It’s a feel-good drama about a British family that moves to Greece (based on a book by one of the family). He plays the writer Lawrence Durrell in his late teens/early 20s, and he’s great! Very droll in it. If you are interested in seeing his work I recommend that.

  9. Kittycat says:

    Diana already?

    There are tons of drama before she came along.

  10. Stephanie says:

    I don’t like this choice, she has nothing of Diana. I hope she will be good.

  11. Seraphina says:

    Love how they approached it with new cast members as the show progresses through time. I wasn’t sure about Helena as PM, but I saw her in make up shot and she looks fab. Love me some Helena. And there is a pic of the actress cast as PD and I was like: what in the world were they thinking. But then I saw her black and white shot without makeup, yup I see why they cast her. So looking forward to this season coming up.

    • Becks1 says:

      I wasn’t sure about Helena either, but then I remembered her turn as the Duchess of York/Queen Elizabeth in the Kings Speech and became convinced.

  12. Hyacinth Bucket says:

    One of my best friend has written an episode for S3. I saw a rough cut at a screening and it looks fantastic.

  13. Ader says:

    Confession: Every morning, I sit down at my computer and type in “The Crown Season 3 Premiere Date.” Nada — except for that one “Radio Times” article that’s a fake-out.

    WHEN!?!?!?! Somebody at Netflix relieve me of my misery! When is the new season starting!?!?!?!

    • Michelle says:

      I am right there with you!! I have a post-it note on my calendar to remind myself to check for a premiere date every few weeks and NOTHING!! They need to stop this nonsense and give us at least the month they plan to premiere it!

  14. ShockandAwwww says:

    They don’t want to make Charles look skeevy for flirting with Diana at 16. Their relationship disgusts me. The fact that no one thought it problematic that a man in his mid-30s was engaged to a TEENAGER is disturbing. Diana was groomed by this family. She was cut off from her own upon the engagement. It is utterly surrreal that no one has a problem with it, especially since, by her own admission, it was a prison of abuse. Her ENTIRE marriage was literally a lie meant to cover up his affair with Camilla. She was selected because she was so young, chosen to be an incubator for the royal objectives. It is horrifying. They are whitewashing the everyliving hell out of their relationship.

  15. Cay says:

    JOSH O’CONNOR!!!!!!!!!!! If you have not seen the movie “God’s Own Country,” please stream it. It’s so, so good, and JOSH O’CONNOR is fantastic. I’m in awe of him. Please keep talking about JOSH O’CONNOR. I’m obsessed with him. JOSH O’CONNOR!!!!!!!

  16. Dani says:

    I think the only proper recast here is for Princess Marget. Matt Smith was SO good as Phillip, I’m disappointed in the recast. But I will still watch. Excited about the Diana casting and I’m glad they casted a pretty Camilla. I don’t care for her in the slightest but I don’t think it’s fair how she’s always mocked for her looks.

  17. booboocita says:

    Emerald Fennell as Camilla is going to be GREAT. She played Nurse/Midwife Patsy on Call the Midwife (a BBC series that shows up on PBS, with previous seasons available on Netflix), and she was terrific as a closeted lesbian in 1960s Poplar, London. I look forward to seeing play Camilla.

  18. Elizabeth Suzanne Phillips says:

    I’m not sure this girl will exhibit Diana’s star quality, but I think she’s prettier, just feature by feature.