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Peter Morgan’s job of charting the life of royals between the 1940s and 1970s has been a masterclass in making the relatively sedate and serene seem shocking. Let’s face it, Princess Margaret riding a motorbike (or a photographer) can only be so scandalous. But this weekend The Crown is about to get fun…

The Netflix hit biopic The Crown is heading into season four and with the last teaser trailer in place it’s just a matter of counting off the days until Saturday’s season drop. And it looks like things are about to get really interesting, as Thatcher and Diana burst onto the scene. Plus The Queen wears a tricorn hat and rides a horse. Bring on 15th November…

Who’s In The Crown Season 4?

Obviously Olivia Colman, who won a Golden Globe for her performance last season, is back as Queen Elizabeth II for the second and final time, and will be joined by season-three-ers including Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret.

Representing the younger generation, Josh O’Connor will be bringing back the sticky-out-ears as Prince Charles and his marriage third-wheel Camilla will still be played by Emerald Fennell. Meanwhile S3’s unexpected fun character Princess Anne is back played by her withering alter ego, Erin Doherty.

Princess Anne (actual Princess Anne) recently commented that she read somewhere that Doherty takes up to two hours to make her hair represent the royal bouffant, dismissively noting that it takes her just 10 minutes. Which is kind of obvious, given Princess Anne looks like Princess Anne all of the time while of course it will take an actress playing Princess Anne significantly longer to get to into character.

But what we’re really looking forward to is the new characters, specifically Margaret Thatcher, played by ex-X-filer Gillian Anderson, and Lady Di, who will be immortalised by Emma Corrin. The trailer gave us our first glimpse and already we can already sense the excitement.

Princes Edward and Andrew will be taken on by Fleabag’s ‘Creepy Jake’ Angus Imrie, and newcomer Tom Byrne respectively.

What of the plot?

The timeline is likely to give us a snapshot of the 80s and early 90s, an eventful time in royal and British history.

Gillian Anderson’s Thatcher will loom large, she took office in 1979 and served until 1990 and events including the Falklands War (in which Prince Andrew fought) and the miner’s strike (in which he didn’t) will be key.

In royal terms expect a huge focus on the Charles and Di wedding then deteriorating relationship in a period that saw the arrival of Princes William and Harry as well as the marriage of Prince Andrew and Fergie (the Duchess, not the Black Eyed Pea) – though it’s not clear if that will be able to take centre-stage given Andrew’s current, um, issues.

As is clear in the trailer we’ll also see the IRA assassination of Lord Mountbatten, which might be a little traumatic given he was murdered along with a child, the sort of twist that always makes me well up.

Events including the Falklands War (in which Prince Andrew fought) and the miner's strike (in which he didn't) will be key...

And the location and look?

Expect something just as sumptuous as previous seasons. Contrasting the general grey grimness of the ’80s with the lavish interiors of Balmoral and Buckingham Palace (actual locations used were Knebworth House and Wrotham Park). Look forward to a new wardrobe, too, as ’70s austerity gives way to ’80s extravagance.

When will Season 4 be released?

Unlike most Netflix releases, which come out on Fridays, The Crown Season 4 will follow Season 3’s Sunday release pattern this weekend, Sunday 15th November. We don’t know an exact time, but we’re expecting it to be 8am, as previous seasons (this is midnight West Coast USA time).

What should you do in the meantime? How about preparing yourself a 1980s themed watch party. That only you and your housemates/bubblemates can actually attend? You could do the countdown on a Casio calculator.

Season 4 of The Crown is released on Sunday 15th November on Netflix…


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