We've got a new cast and a whole new era on season 3 of The Crown, which ends in 1977—the same year that Prince Charles famously met Diana Spencer (a.k.a. the future Princess Diana, being played by Emma Corrin). However, in case you're about to spend 10 episodes waiting in excited anticipation of that meeting being depicted on screen, I have some bad news for you. The Crown creator and casting director have already confirmed that Diana is not appearing until season 4, despite on-set pictures getting out and causing reports that we might be getting that storyline a bit early.
Spoilery pictures from set included Diana.
Granted, the cast and crew were filming seasons 3 and 4 back to back, but when we got some spoilery photos of Charles (played by Josh O'Connor) and Diana (Corrin) on tour, looking exactly like the real couple, fans started getting excited that we'd get an introduction to that storyline at the tail end of season 3. Creator Peter Morgan had already indicated that we potentially wouldn't see her until season 4, but fans got wildly excited anyways.
But the season ends before they meet.
Casting director Nina Gold told Vanity Fair in 2018, "Diana’s not in this season." She added, "When we do get to her, that is going to be pretty interesting."
On the plus side, since shooting schedules were clearly so close together, the release date for season 4 won't be too far away. Looking at previous seasons, we're probably getting season 4 sometime in 2020.
We do, however, see Camilla Shand (later Camilla Parker Bowles) in the trailer of season 3, which is because The Crown does spend time in season three covering the relationship between Camilla and Charles:
Considering that there's a ton of speculation about their original relationship and how and why they split up, that'll still be very compelling. And I get it—the producers don't want to rush anything in favor of historical accuracy. But I guarantee you that I and everyone who watches the show are all waiting with baited breath to see Diana appear. (I already have the tissues ready.)
The Crown does foreshadow her arrival.
Spoilers for season three. Although season three is well worth a watch, particularly standout episodes "Bubbikins" and "Aberfan," there's a sense that it's a placeholder for, and a means of foreshadowing, season four. That, of course, will be an explosive season that will cover the events of Princess Diana's life—her adoration by the public, her husband's affair with Camilla, her public stand against the royal family after her split from Charles, her warm and loving relationship with her two sons, and potentially her tragic 1997 death at the hands of a drunk driver trying to escape a crowd of paparazzi in a Paris tunnel.
Season three plants the seeds for much of that. First, there's the theme of emotional disconnection being passed down from generation to generation, as we see with the Queen and Prince Charles—a theme that stops short with Diana, who visibly adored her two boys in a very "un-royal" way. There's also the halted love story between Charles and Camilla, a love story that will start up once again, as it did in real life, after Charles and Diana are married. And, of course, there's Olivia Colman's stoic, enigmatic Queen Elizabeth, who likely be presented as the antithesis of the warm, affectionate princess.
The Crown will be released on Netflix on November 17.
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