But there’s no rest for television’s royal family as the team behind the Left Bank-produced saga are deep into production on season four. While Colman and her colleagues, including Tobias Menzies, who plays Prince Philip, Josh O’Connor, who plays a young Prince Charles, and creator Peter Morgan attended the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s procession, Deadline spoke to royal insiders about which events are set to make it into the next season.
The third season of The Crown spanned from 1964 through to 1977, beginning with Harold Wilson’s election as Prime Minister and featuring events including the Aberfan disaster, the Apollo 11 moon landing and the death of the Duke of Windsor and Winston Churchill. Season four is set to take us through until 1990 when Margaret Thatcher was ousted as Prime Minister.
Thatcher, who is being played by The X-Files star Gillian Anderson, is set to have a major role in the forthcoming run, which will focus on the relationship between the pair. Thatcher, six months older than the monarch, was said to have had a “punctiliously correct” relationship with Her Majesty, but many have said that there was “little love lost on either side” and according to declassified files, The Queen was thought to have been angry with Thatcher’s refusal to back sanctions against South Africa’s racist apartheid regime.
Peter Morgan himself has touched on this relationship in The Crown’s companion podcast calling their relationship like an “eagle with two heads, facing in opposite directions”. “They’ve got an awful lot in common, not least their gender. Sometimes the things you think will bring two people together, actually drives them apart,” he said.
Princess Diana will also play a pivotal role in season four. Diana met Princes Charles in 1977 when she was 16 and the pair married in 1981. She will be played by Emma Corrin, who has had roles in feature film Misbehaviour and Epix’s Batman prequel Pennyworth. Corrin secured the role after initially reading lines for actors in season three, wowing the producers and creator Morgan.
Other incidents that will feature, Deadline understands, include the intrusion into Buckingham Palace in 1982. Michael Fagan made it into Queen Elizabeth’s bedroom, where she was sleeping, with fragments of glass from an ashtray after scaling the perimeter wall. Although the Queen was unharmed, it was widely considered one of the worst security breaches of the 20th century.
Royal followers, however, will be disappointed to learn that the show will not go behind the scenes at It’s a Royal Knockout, the somewhat controversial television special that took place in 1987. The one-off charity tournament, which aired on BBC One and USA Network, was staged on the lakeside lawn of the stately home-meets-theme park Alton Towers, and featured members of the royal family, including Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, competing with celebrities in a Ninja Warrior-style assault course. The producers explored the event but decided against it, having already looked at the royal family through the lens of the 1969 documentary in the fourth episode of season three.
Netflix has not set a launch date for season four but it is expected to air towards the end of the year.