‘The Crown’s Cast & Creator Preview Season 4’s Royal Drama

The Crown Season 4 Princess Diana

A battle royal is set to break out around every castle corner on Season 4 of The Crown, the soapy historical drama about the British monarchy that spans 1979 to 1990. Here’s a preview of the palace intrigue:

A Messy Love Triangle

Responsible for siring an heir and a spare, Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) is coaxed by his family to wed Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin), an acquaintance 13 years his junior. As the world knows now, the pensive royal and his free-spirited wife “were mismatched,” says series creator Peter Morgan. He puts their differences on full display in several memorable moments, including Diana’s sexy dance onstage at Charles’ birthday in 1985, which mortifies the future king.

Resentful of her star power, he turns to his ex Camilla Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennell) for comfort — which only drives Diana further away. “All he wants is to be loved, and all Diana wants is his love,” says O’Connor. Corrin agrees. “They needed the same thing,” she says. “But they couldn’t give it to each other.”

Power Plays

After decades of dealing with male politicians, Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman) is eager to work with the first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher (a nearly unrecognizable Gillian Anderson). But, says Colman, “it turns out not everybody gets along.” That’s putting it politely. The women clash on everything from palace security to sanctions on apartheid-era South Africa.

“Where the queen leans back, Thatcher leans in,” says Anderson. Their opposite backgrounds (blue blood vs. blue collar) and demeanors (polite vs. pushy) make the weekly meetings between the two a true treat to watch.


A Mental Health Crisis

The queen’s spirited sister, Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter), grapples with life as a middle-aged divorcée. With her royal duties given to the queen’s adult children, she’s left feeling “more and more irrelevant,” says Bonham Carter. Depressed, Margaret reluctantly turns to therapy, where she learns of secret cousins hidden away in a mental institution. It’s a discovery that leads to an angry family confrontation. This season, it seems no one’s content to keep calm and carry on.

The Crown, Season 4 Premiere, Sunday, November 15, Netflix