From the premiere date to the new cast, here's everything ET knows about the fourth installment of the Netflix historical drama.
The highly anticipated fourth season of The Crown, which marks Olivia Colman’s return as Queen Elizabeth II, premieres Nov. 15 on Netflix. The historical drama about the royal family created by Peter Morgan jumps forward in time to a period when two women -- Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) and Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) -- had the most impact on the monarchy. From the trailer to the new cast members, here’s everything ET knows about the upcoming fantastic and thrilling new season of the Emmy-winning series.
Trailer & Premiere Date
Despite the coronavirus pandemic forcing film and TV production around the world to shut down, The Crown was able to finish shooting season 4 early. Now, the new installment of the Emmy-winning drama is set to debut globally on Nov. 15, 2020, one year after season 3 premiered Nov. 17, 2019.
Ahead of its fall debut, Netflix debuted a premiere date video as well as an extended teaser and full-length trailer. The latter two gave the first official look at Anderson and Corrin in their coveted new roles and how they will upend tradition for the Queen.
Season 3 covered the royals’ life and key events between 1964 and 1977, beginning with Prime Minister Harold Wilson's election and ending with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Season 4 jumps ahead two years, kicking off in 1979 and drawing to a close in 1990.
During this time, the romantic life of Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) comes under more scrutiny as the family finds themselves concerned over the line of succession. This eventually leads Charles to a whirlwind romance with Lady Diana Spencer, who captures the world’s attention. The season not only touches on their engagement and wedding, but also spends time with the couple during their 1983 tour of Australia.
In addition to managing Charles’ love life, the royal family also faces several personal tragedies involving Princess Margaret and Lord Mountbatten as well as a scary intrusion into Buckingham Palace.
Meanwhile, Thatcher is elected as prime minister, marking the first time two women are leading the nation while also sparking a tense relationship between the Commonwealth and the monarchy. While Thatcher tries to rebuild the country’s economy, she also finds herself on opposite ends with the Queen over the Falklands War and South Africa’s apartheid regime.
New & Returning Cast Members
Per series tradition, The Crown recasts all the lead roles every two seasons. Season 4 marks the final performances by Colman as the Queen, O’Connor as Prince Charles as well as Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Erin Doherty as Princess Anne, Marion Bailey as The Queen Mother, Charles Dance as Lord Mountbatten and Emerald Fennell as royal outsider Camilla Parker-Bowles.
“Being able to play a character for a period and then pass on the baton feels so lovely,” O’Connor previously told ET about his limited time as Charles, adding that whoever succeeds him “will be very fortunate because it’s a gift of a part. He’s such a troubled and complicated character.”
In addition to Corrin, whose role as Diana has also been recast for seasons 5 and 6, and Anderson, season 4 will feature a few other news faces, including longtime Scottish actress Georgie Glen as Lady Fermoy and Emma actor Angus Imrie as Prince Edward. Meanwhile, newcomer Thomas Byrne will appear as Prince Andrew, Elizabeth and Philip's third eldest child. Plus, Lucas Barber Grant and Arran Tinker make a brief appearance as a young Prince William and Prince Harry.
Fleshing out Thatcher’s family, meanwhile, is Stephen Boxer as her husband, Denis, alongside Rebecca Humphries as her daughter, Carol, and Freddie Fox as her son, Mark.
Check out Anderson, Byrne and Corrin in character below:
Emma Corrin as Princess Diana
Prior to playing Diana, Corrin appeared in the EPIX Batman spinoff series Pennyworth. For Corrin, everyday was an “unbelievable” experience, especially when it came to recreating the princess’ many iconic looks. “I just loved going in and there’d be, like, a new incredible costume hanging in my trailer,” she tells ET. “It was mad.”
Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher
After acclaimed roles on The Fall and Sex Education, the actress will appear in her third Netflix original series as the first female prime minister. Because Thatcher was such an “incredibly divisive character, it is hard to get a neutral opinion from somebody,” the actress tells ET of the intense pressure to get her portrayal right. “You don’t want to end up making a fool of yourself.”
Thomas Byrne as Prince Andrew
The newcomer, who has had bit roles as a child actor, will portray the prince in his 20s.
Season 4 Key Art
The Crown season 4 premieres Nov. 15, 2020. Seasons 1-3 are now streaming on Netflix.