For Prince Charles and Princess Diana, happily ever after was only the beginning. That’s the idea explored in a new teaser trailer for The Crown season 4, which welcomes Diana (Emma Corrin) and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) to the cast. The footage teases Queen Elizabeth’s (Olivia Colman) meetings with both royal disruptors and draws parallels between their promising entrances into the public eye.
But as history bore out, both Diana and Margaret would see their relationships with the monarchy decay. There’s voiceover of a telling passage from Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Diana’s 1981 wedding, with words actually read by the Archbishop of Canterbury. “Here is the stuff of which fairytales are made—a prince and princess on their wedding day” the reading begins. “But fairytales usually end, at this point, with the simple phrase: ‘They lived happily ever after.’ As husband and wife live out their vows, loving and cherishing one another, sharing life’s splendors and miseries, achievements and setbacks, they will be transformed in the process. Our faith sees the wedding day not as the place of arrival but the place where the adventure really begins.”
As shown in the new trailer, heartbreak is in store not only for Charles and Diana, but for several of The Crown‘s characters. Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter) wallows over a pool of water. A body is buried. Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies) and the Queen seem to be at a marital impasse. And there’s that unreadable expression from Charles, just as his bride (and her 25-foot wedding gown) is poised to walk down the aisle.
A description of The Crown season 4, per Netflix, reads:
As the 1970s are drawing to a close, Queen Elizabeth and her family find themselves preoccupied with safeguarding the line of succession by securing an appropriate bride for Prince Charles, who is still unmarried at 30.
While Charles’ romance with a young Lady Diana Spencer provides a much-needed fairytale to unite the British people, as the transformation from teenager to Princess of Wales takes place, it is anything but a fairy tale for Diana.
As previously reported, the new season will take place from the mid-1970s to 1990, which marks the end of Thatcher’s reign as prime minister. That also places the end about two years before Charles and Diana would separate, following the birth of their sons Prince William and Prince Harry. “You meet her and she’s…16 years old,” Corrin told Vanity Fair of Diana’s arrival on The Crown. “From episode 1 to 3, we see her dynamic before she goes into the palace—and how normal she was, living in her flat with friends…then she’s really transported overnight.”
The Crown season 4 premieres on Sunday, November 15 on Netflix.
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