Ever since The Crown debuted on Netflix, audiences have been hungrily anticipating the arrival of Princess Diana , the “ People’s Princess ” and the Palace’s most glamorous pot-stirrer . (Even over two years ago, when The Crown was still knee deep in 1950s drama , audiences were begging The Crown mastermind Peter Morgan for a hint as to how long they’d have to wait to see Diana’s 1977 meeting with Prince Charles. ) And now, dear readers, The Crown has finally cast its Lady Diana Spencer .
On Tuesday, the series announced that it has tapped stunning newcomer Emma Corrin to play the young Princess of Wales-to-be.
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The actress is so new to entertainment that she only has three credits listed on her official IMDb page, including the historical drama Misbehaviour —in which Corrin will play Miss South Africa during the 1970 Miss World competition. She will also reportedly star in the Epix series Pennyworth. So until we see her in those, we will just have to take Morgan’s word that Corrin is perfectly suited for the role.
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“Emma is a brilliant talent who immediately captivated us when she came in for the part of Diana Spencer,” Morgan said in a statement, reported by Variety . “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.”
Although Morgan has previously teased that Princess Diana might make her debut at the end of the drama’s third season, Variety reports that the character indeed will not be introduced until the show’s fourth season—a detail seemingly confirmed by Corrin herself
“Beyond excited and honoured to be joining The Crown for its fourth season,” the actress said. “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!”
Though Diana will not appear in The Crown ’s third season, her real-life alleged rival, Camilla Parker Bowles, will. The actress tasked with playing Bowles, Emerald Fennell, told Vanity Fair earlier this month that audiences will get to see Bowles’s blossoming 1970s friendship with Charles (played by Josh O’Connor ) in the forthcoming third season of The Crown.
Fennell found those scenes to be different than she expected them to be: “I was surprised the most by their relationship when they were really young. I didn’t really know that they had a serious relationship that pre-dated their current relationship. I think people will be surprised to learn they experienced great challenges in both their lives, and were able to maintain a strong bond through it all.”
Fennell also said that she had a surprising amount of liberty in playing the real-life character
“The weird thing about Camilla Parker Bowles, there’s very, very little about her as a young woman—which is quite freeing,” Fennell said. “It means that I’ve been able to get a sense of her rather than being able to do a mimicry. There’s almost nothing of her. No footage of her voice, and maybe only a handful of photos. So I’ve been quite lucky in that regard. I got off fairly lightly.”
When Vanity Fair spoke to The Crown casting director Nina Gold last year, she spoke about the difficulty of casting actors to play characters such as Bowles and Diana
“There are so many tiny, intangible signifiers of class and status that we don’t even realize,” said Gold, referring to everything from diction to posture to manners to attitude. “In the 60s and even 70s, the class distinctions were more extreme than they are now. The way the Queen and the royal family and the people around them sounded in the 60s . . . if you were to hear them speak now, it would sound way too much. But we need actors who can speak that way and embrace it, so it sounds authentic coming from them. It’s a pretty difficult balance.”
The Crown ’s third season, starring Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth, will debut later this year. To read about the scandal and intrigue Colman said would be teased in The Crown ’s forthcoming season, click here
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