‘The Crown’ Season 4: New Trailer Depicts Charles and Diana’s Romance Amid Growing Royal Strife
'The Crown' Season 4 features the wedding of Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) and Prince Charles, including a recreation of the wedding gown that took inspiration from designer David Emanuel’s famed real-life wedding dress design. Photo: Des Willie
Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made: the Prince and Princess on their wedding day. But fairy tales usually end at this point with the simple phrase, ‘They lived happily ever after’…
So began the Most Rev. Robert Runcie, the Archbishop of Canterbury during the 1981 summer wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer. And now, nearly 40 years on, that legendary opening is also the word-for-word narrative that kicks off the first official trailer for Season 4 of The Crown.
Following a shorter teaser trailer released in August, the new footage adds some context to the drama, decadence and, yes, Diana that we’ll see in the upcoming fourth season, which covers the late 1970s through the next decade.
The major story, is of course, the origin story of the People’s Princess, featuring the romance and wedding of Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Diana (Emma Corrin) and a recreation of designer David Emanuel’s famed wedding dress for the newly-anointed Princess of Wales.
According to information provided by Netflix, the dress in the show isn’t an exact replica of Emanuel’s real-life version. Instead, costume designer Amy Roberts collaborated with Emanuel on a new version of the dress for the show, including using his original drawings and designs to work from.
Meanwhile, the trailer assures us that the upcoming season will feature the couple’s courtship, engagement and marriage, as well as the pair’s famed 1983 Australian tour. We, of course, know, that we aren’t getting a true fairytale romance, so for all the smiling photo ops the trailer also hints at behind-the-scenes blowouts between the bride and groom, the contrast between royal duties and Diana’s pre-palace life, and the barrage of paparazzi that came to consume her life.
As well, the tension between Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman) and England’s first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), is evident — the gulf between the pair only grows as the PM plunges the nation into the centre of the Falklands War — while the monarch endures new marital troubles with Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies). Despite the strife, however, Colman’s Queen still manages to cut a powerful, imposing and enduring figure as she strides, horseback, into a Trooping the Colour ceremony.
Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter), however, is uncharacteristically solemn in the trailer, at one point seen using a breathing apparatus that is likely a nod to the 1985 operation that saw the removal of part of her lung after years of heavy smoking. The season also sees the effects of her split from the Earl of Snowden, from whom she was divorced in 1978.
As well, the trailer features a funeral scene that one assumes represents the assassination of Lord Mountbatten — played by Charles Dance in Season 3 — following an IRA bombing in 1979.