Princess Diana To Be Depicted As ‘Desperate And Lonely’ In The Crown Season Four

Young actress Emma Corrin - who trained at Cambridge University - will take the role.

The Crown is risking upsetting The Royal Family by portraying Princess Diana as a “desperate and lonely self-harmer”

by Bonnie McLaren |
Updated on

The new trailer for Netflix series The Crown is here, and we've seen a few glimpses of Princess Diana for the first time in the show's run. For now, it's just a hint of her trademark hair, a second of her gorgeous dress, and a small suggestion of the hysteria surrounding her fame. But we can expect to see far more. According to reports, the programme risks upsetting The Royal Family by portraying Princess Diana as, according to a casting advert, a 'desperate and lonely self-harmer'.

At the time of casting, producers were searching for a 'staggeringly talented young actress' actress to take on the role from 18-22, as she struggles to connect with in-laws The Queen and Prince Philip.

According to The Sun, the advert read: 'We need a mesmerising new young star with extraordinary range. She has to play charming comedy, flirt and social exhibitionist on the world stage, desperate and lonely self-harmer at her lowest ebb and the kind of psychological intensity of Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby.' The psychological horror film, released in 1968, follows young a mother who gives birth to the Devil’s child.

According to the newspaper, a TV insider claimed that show creator Peter Morgan is not going to ‘hold back’ on the portrayal of the princess.Peter is not going to hold back on how Diana impacted the Royal Family, just as he didn’t when he wrote The Queen,' they said. 'It could ruffle a few feathers.' Bookies Ladbrookes had placed Little Drummer Girl actress Florence Pugh and Bohemian Rhapsody star Lucy Boynton as favourites to take on the role - but, to everyone's surprise, it actually went to newcomer, and unknown actress, Emma Corrin.

'I have been glued to the show and to think I'm now joining this incredibly talented acting family is surreal,' Emma, who trained at Cambridge University, said in a statement.

'Princess Diana was an icon and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring, to explore her through Peter Morgan's writing is the most exceptional opportunity and I will strive to do her justice.'

Even though season four hasn't aired yet - it will arrive in November 15th of this year - it has already been announced that Elizabeth Debicki will play the princess in the fifth and sixth series of the royal drama.

Take a look at how The Crown characters compare to their real life counterparts...


the crown characters versus real life slider

prince philip the crown1 of 26

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

Prince Philip actually only became a Prince of the United Kingdom in 1957, when it was announced that he'd be known as His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

prince philip the crown2 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Matt Smith

Matt Smith's Philip becomes more of a central focus for The Crown's second season, which explores the Duke's place in the royal family while hinting at his rumoured infidelity.

the queen claire foy3 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Claire Foy

*The Crown *marks the second time that Claire Foy has played a Queen: she previously starred as Anne Boleyn in the BBC's adaptation of Wolf Hall.

queen elizabeth4 of 26

Queen Elizabeth II...

Season two sees Elizabeth more established in her role as Queen, but having to contend with a tumultuous political climate and tensions in her marriage.

vanessa kirby the crown5 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Vanessa Kirby

Prior to playing Princess Margaret, Vanessa balanced stage work with credits in film and TV productions like Great Expectations, *About Time *and Me Before You. She'll next be seen opposite Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 6.

princess margaret portrait6 of 26
CREDIT: STF/AFP/Getty Images

Princess Margaret

Widely perceived as the Queen's 'wilder' sister, Margaret associated with a more bohemian circle in the 60s and 70s.

queen mother7 of 26

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother...

Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was widely considered among the most popular members of the royal family, and was active in public life even as she turned 100.

victoria hamilton the crown8 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Victoria Hamilton

Fan of Doctor Foster? Victoria Hamilton's turn as Gemma's neighbour Anna was certainly a contrast to her royal role as the Queen Mum.

jared harris the crown9 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Jared Harris

The son of actor Richard (aka Dumbledore from The Philosopher's Stone), Jared Harris' screen credits include *Mad Men, Sherlock Holmes *and Lincoln.

king george iv10 of 26

King George VI...

Known as Bertie to his family, George VI never expected to become King. Upon the abdication of his older brother, however, the throne was his.

matthew goode the crown11 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Matthew Goode

Matthew Goode is something of a period drama mainstay, having previously appeared in the likes of *Downton Abbey, Brideshead Revisited *and The Imitation Game.

Antony Armstrong-Jones12 of 26

Antony Armstrong-Jones...

Antony Armstrong-Jones had a notoriously tempestuous relationship with Princess Margaret, but even after their 1978 divorce, he continued as the royal family's photographer of choice.

jackie kennedy jodi balfour13 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Jodi Balfour

South African actress Jodi Balfour most recently starred as DI Elaine Shephard in the BBC's police procedural Rellik; prior to that, her biggest role was in Canadian TV drama Bomb Girls .

john f kennedy the crown14 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Michael C. Hall

American actor Michael C. Hall is best known for his roles as the serial killer of the title in *Dexter *and as a mortician in *Six Feet Under. *

duke of windsor the crown15 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Alex Jennings

Alex Jennings is another *Crown *star to have previously played a different member of the royal family on screen: he starred as Prince Charles opposite Helen Mirren in The Queen.

wallis simpson the crown16 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Lia Williams

Alongside her TV roles, actress Lia Williams has starred in a number of plays, directed short films and runs a production company with her husband.

peter townsend the crown17 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Ben Miles

Ben Miles has previously appeared in shows like Cold Feet, *Coupling *and the BBC's Shakespeare adaptation, *The Hollow Crown. *

jackie kennedy18 of 26

Jackie Kennedy...

*The Crown *marks the second screen incarnation of former First Lady Jackie Kennedy of 2017: Natalie Portman earned an Oscar nod for unconventional biopic Jackie earlier this year.

wallis simpson19 of 26

Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor...

Upon her third marriage, American socialite Wallis Simpson became the Duchess of Windsor, though she was never truly accepted by the royal family.

Edward VIII20 of 26

The Duke of Windsor, formerly Edward VIII...

Britain was gripped by scandal - not to mention a constitutional crisis - when King Edward VIII proposed to Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée who was still technically married to her second husband.

peter townsend real life21 of 26

Group Captain Peter Townsend...

A royal equerry from 1944 to 1953, Peter Townsend's romance with Princess Margaret caused a scandal due to his being recently divorced from his wife.

john f kennedy22 of 26

John F. Kennedy...

John F. Kennedy made just one state visit to Buckingham Palace during his presidency, which took place in the summer of 1961. The real life events form the subject of 'Dear Mrs President' in *The Crown's *second season.

Prince Charles and Princess Anne23 of 26

Prince Charles and Princess Anne...

Before Charles and Anne headed off to boarding school, they were educated by a governess at Buckingham Palace.

Prince Charles and Princess Anne24 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Billy Jenkins and Lyla Barrett-Rye

Billy has previous appeared in Channel 4's Humans, while Lyla played a younger version of Romola Garai's title character in a recent adaptation of Emma.

lord mountbatten the crown25 of 26

Lord Mountbatten...

Philip's Uncle was born Prince Louis of Battenberg, a title which was dropped in anticipation of anti-German sentiment ahead of WWI. A descendent of Queen Victoria, he was also Elizabeth's second cousin once removed.

lord mountbatten the crown26 of 26
CREDIT: Netflix

Played by Greg Wise

You'll probably know Greg Wise for his role as the dashing but caddish Willoughby in the 1995 screen version of *Sense and Sensibility *(in which he starred opposite future wife Emma Thompson).

Diana's struggles with mental health were recorded in Andrew Morton's controversial book Diana: Her True Story, published in 1992. In a secret interview with the royal biographer, she allegedly told him: 'I was so depressed, and I was trying to cut my wrists with razor blades.' In 1995, she revealed her battle with bulimia in an explosive interview with Martin Bashir.

READ MORE: Elizabeth Debicki To Play Princess Diana In Series Five And Six Of The Crown

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us