The playful princess: Emma Corrin’s Diana dons a swimsuit as she splashes in the pool and chases her sons with water guns in season four of The Crown
- Stills from the upcoming series of The Crown showed the lighter side of Diana as she played with her two sons
- Season four will depict Diana’s difficult marriage to Prince Charles as well as her bulimia battle
- But new images show her as a doting mother to sons Prince William and Harry at their country pile
- In a scene from the late eighties Diana plays in the pool with her young sons Prince Harry and William
- The family were spending time at their Gloucestershire family home, Highgrove, in 1986
Emma Corrin showed the lighter side to Princess Diana in new stills from the upcoming series of The Crown as she played with her two young sons in the pool.
While much of season four will depict her difficult marriage to Prince Charles as well as her bulimia battle, her role as a dedicated mother with also be portrayed.
In images from the upcoming series Emma splashes around in a pool with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry [Lucas Barber Grant, nine, and Arran Tinker, six].
Family life: Emma Corrin showed the lighter side to Princess Diana in new stills from the upcoming series of The Crown as she played with her two young sons in the pool
The princess dashes around the garden of their Gloucestershire home, Highgrove, wearing a green and black swimsuit as she chases her boys with a water gun.
The scene is reflective of the family during the late eighties after they had welcomed both of their sons.
In the Crown Prince Charles [Josh O’Connor] will watch from the sidelines, however in the official snaps Charles was far more involved in the family day and joined them in the pool.
Original: Prince Charles and Princess Diana play with a young Harry in the original snap taken in 1986 which appears to be what The Crown have depicted in series four
Loving: While much of season four will depict her difficult marriage to Prince Charles as well as her bulimia, her role as a dedicated mother with also be portrayed
Other new stills from the series show Diana and Charles’ trip to Australia, where Diana posed with the winning team of lifeguards at a surf carnival at Terrigal Beach in 1988.
Emma mirrored Diana’s yellow floral midi dress in the snap as she confidently chatted to the lifeguards.
Reports from the time describe Diana on her first Australian tour as shy and retiring, however when she visited again years later when the lifeguard snap was taken she had come into her own.
Discussing the garden scene, Emma, 24, said: ‘There were quite a few intense scenes between myself and Josh throughout this season, so to be able to portray Diana as a mother, and the family in happy times, was wonderful.’
Australia bound: Other new stills from the series show Diana and Charles’ trip to Australia, where she posed with the winning team of lifeguards at a surf carnival at Terrigal Beach in 1988 (The Crown still)
Uncanny: Emma mirrored Diana’s (pictured) yellow floral midi dress in the snap as she chatted to the lifeguards
‘It was so much fun filming the scenes with our brilliant William and Harry.’
Meanwhile she also touched on the images of Diana in Australia, and said: ‘We see on the Australian tour how dedicated Diana is as a mother when she refuses to leave baby William behind.’
Emma appeared every inch the fresh-faced young mother as she played with her sons in the gardens of their country home.
She jumped into the outdoor swimming pool with her swim short-wearing sons and chased them around during a water gun fight.
Sweet: In images from the upcoming series Emma splashes around in a pool with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry [Lucas Barber Grant, nine, and Arran Tinker, six]
Sidelined: In the Crown Prince Charles will watch from the sidelines, however in the official snaps Charles was far more involved in the family day and joined them in the pool
Real life: Diana holds out her hand to Prince William as they play in the pool during the scene copied by The Crown (pictured in 1986)
Emma, 24, said: ‘There were quite a few intense scenes between myself and Josh throughout this season, so to be able to portray Diana as a mother, and the family in happy times, was wonderful’
Emma’s character appeared delighted as she spent time with her young children, while Josh wore blue short-sleeved shirt and chinos as he sat and observed.
Director, Jessica Hobbs said: ‘It was a real joy to work with Emma, Josh and the two young boys playing Prince William and Harry to film the family scenes in season 4.
‘The boys were brilliant and particularly delighted to be in the pool scenes. Emma held her own with these two enthusiastic young charges even in a water fight!
‘The boys loved Josh and it was a great credit to both he and Emma that they encouraged such spontaneity and natural performances from these two very young actors.’
Doting mother: The princess dashes around the garden of their Gloucestershire home, Highgrove, wearing a green and black swimsuit as she chases her boys with a water gun.
Playtime: Emma appeared every inch the fresh-faced young mother as she played with her sons in the gardens of their country home
Emma will make her first appearance as Diana when The Crown’s fourth series is released on Sunday.
The season will portray Diana’s entrance in the Royal Family, as well as her incompatibility with Charles due to their near 13-year age difference.
Earlier this week, Emma revealed she asked scriptwriters to add in graphic bulimia scenes to depict the People’s Princess’ battle with the eating disorder.
Out and about: Emma, who will make her first appearance as Diana when The Crown’s fourth series is released on Sunday, was spotted grabbing a smoothie with a pal on Wednesday
‘I don’t think we should shy away from those conversations; Diana was very candid about her experience with bulimia and I so admire that.’
Diana herself first revealed her battle with bulimia during her bombshell Panorama interview with Martin Bashir in 1995.
The Cambridge alum said she related to pressure put on young women to be ‘thin and glamorous’ and that social media placed further importance on people to ‘be a certain way.’
All ten episodes of The Crown, series four, are available to view on Netflix from Sunday November 15.
The Crown Season 4: What do the critics say?
Christopher Stevens, The Daily Mail
No one can accuse The Crown of being too subtle. As the regal Netflix drama returns, tight-lipped close-ups of Lord Louis Mountbatten are intercut with newsreel of soldiers and rioters on Belfast streets.
A Republican terrorist rants in voiceover about shedding British blood, as Mountbatten (Charles Dance) joins the Queen at the Trooping of the Colour.
Then the narrative switches to Prince Charles, meeting a teenage Lady Diana Spencer for the first time. All this before the opening titles have even rolled – at least we know what this one’s going to be about.
Most of the cast are old hands. Olivia Colman returns as the Queen, with Josh O’Connor as Charles and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret.
But all eyes are on newcomer Emma Corrin, who has the daunting task of showing us who Diana was before she became the most famous person on the planet. How is it possible, writer Peter Morgan asks, that anyone in the Royal Family or the media could have imagined that this shy, inexperienced young woman was suited to the international spotlight and all the duties of a future Queen?
When we first see her, she is 16 years old and in costume for a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Dressed in flowers and green leggings, she announces she is ‘being a mad tree’. While Charles is mooning around the entrance hall of her family’s stately home, Althorp, waiting for a date with her older sister Sarah, Lady Di makes sure he notices her by tiptoeing ostentatiously from one hiding place to another, calling out, ‘Sorry, I’m not here!’
Later, Sarah says her little sister ‘was obsessed with the idea of meeting you’.
Di does it again months later, making sure to bump into Charles at a showjumping event following Mountbatten’s murder by the IRA.
As the Prince simpers and sighs at the wheel of his Aston Martin, she pours out her condolences.
In this version of events, Di has a plan and executes it perfectly.
She endears herself to the Royals, making it impossible for Charles to avoid being married off to her.
The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh (Tobias Menzies), Margaret, Anne, the Queen Mum… all the senior royals, whom Charles very improbably calls ‘the whole ghastly Politburo’ – they are all besotted with Diana.
Even the woman he loves, Mrs Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennell), thinks he should take the plunge.
It’s a quite different story to the one painted in ITV’s The Diana Interview, on Monday, which claimed the teenage bride-to-be was so in awe of her royal fiance that she addressed him as ‘sir’ instead of using his Christian name.
Morgan never has minded turning his characters into caricatures, without regard for the real people who inspire his story. Perhaps he thinks they deserve no consideration, or that they’ve learned to ignore everything about them in the media. But his callousness is hard on peripheral figures such as Sarah Spencer, now McCorquodale, who is first depicted hustling Charles off to a private lodge on the grounds, and later tries to sabotage her sister’s chances.
Subsequent episodes are unsparing in their portrayal of Diana’s suffering, including her bulimia. Several carry ‘trigger warnings’ that they include ‘scenes of an eating disorder which some viewers may find troubling’.
Before her marriage, we see her standing in front of a palace fridge in the middle of the night, gorging on desserts. Then she kneels over a toilet, thrusting her fingers down her throat to vomit repeatedly.
Distressing bouts recur in Australia, during her first tour abroad with Charles and their baby son William, and in 1990 when the marriage is on the point of irretrievable breakdown. It is brutal to watch.
This season is 24-year-old Miss Corrin’s only chance to give her interpretation of Diana.
When the series returns for a fifth time, it will be Elizabeth Debicki – star of The Night Manager – who plays the Princess… though how long we’ll have to wait for that, given the restrictions placed on filming by the pandemic, no one can say.
It is also the only chance for Gillian Anderson to do her Margaret Thatcher impression. And it is an impression, though more like the send-up Faith Brown used to do on the Mike Yarwood Show than the real Prime Minister. Anderson sways constantly as though she’s on deck in a heavy swell – something comedians always copied, though Maggie never did it.
The Queen tries to like her, even enduring political lectures over the phone, but the final straw comes when Mrs Thatcher arrives at Balmoral in court shoes and her trademark blue dress suit, instead of wellies and a Barbour. Apparently, Her Majesty is such a snob that she can’t abide anyone who doesn’t know how to dress for a hike on the Scottish moors.
Anderson might be doing a cheap impression but Olivia Colman certainly is not. She’s nothing like the Queen in any respect – doesn’t look like her, move like her, talk like her, resemble her in any way. She plays the monarch as a middle-class suburban housewife, which is doubly bizarre when the rest of the cast are behaving like Spitting Image puppets.
Knocking back a gin and tonic, the Queen Mum cries, ‘Chippety choppity, down with the Nazis.’ Prince Philip reacts to Mrs Thatcher’s election by complaining, ‘That’s the last thing this country needs, two women running the shop.’
Denis Thatcher (Stephen Boxer) goes further: ‘Two menopausal women, that’ll be a smooth ride.’
Smooth, perhaps not. But it’s definitely soapy. For all its flaws, The Crown gives us what we demand from the royal cavalcade – nonstop high drama and emotion, wrapped in a fairytale.
Whether it’s a glimpse of Philip behind his steely facade, drunkenly accusing his son of poaching Mountbatten’s fatherly affection, or Margaret at her most appalling as she scolds Mrs T for being ‘common’, this series never fails to show us the Royal Family as we dearly love to imagine them… ‘whatever love is’.
Ed Power, The Independent
Olivia Colman, as the Queen, puts in a sensibly restrained performance. The Crown is ostensibly a long-form exploration of Elizabeth’s eight decades on the throne.
Here, she serves largely as audience surrogate, as does Tobias Menzies’s excellent Prince Phillip. Colman is perfectly content to sit back and take it all in. That is particularly true as Anderson’s Thatcher makes her entrance. She is a force of nature, as you would expect. And yet something initially feels slightly off about The X-Files star’s tilt at the era’s most divisive prime minister.
Terri White, Empire
The scenes between Anderson and Colman, tension strung tight between them, are among the best in The Crown’s history… The other half of the series is devoted to the woman who, along with Thatcher, most defined the ’80s in Britain: Princess Diana (Emma Corrin).
This was arguably a more difficult casting and performance task. Diana was the most photographed woman in the world…
Emma Corrin has the youth, the innocence, the yet-to-be-curdled sweetness. But unlike Anderson as Thatcher, you can’t ever quite lose the sense that she’s playing Diana; the true Princess Of Wales glimpsed in moments and obscured through mimicry in others
Katie Rosseinsky, The Evening Standard
Over at Number 10, Anderson’s Iron Lady initially feels like The Crown’s answer to Gollum with her hunched posture (heavy is the head that wears the wig) and a voice that creaks and strains on every syllable. It might seem odd for an actor of her subtlety to try something so larger-than-life – but so much of Thatcher’s persona was performance. This was the woman who famously enlisted Laurence Olivier’s vocal coach to help drag her natural register down into something huskier and more authoritative.
Lewis Knight, The Mirror
Newcomer Emma Corrin rises to the demanding task of playing a global icon but she manages to capture Diana’s voice and mannerisms with an accuracy well beyond her years, making her character’s tragic rise to stardom all the more believable.
Meanwhile, despite the new episodes showing a Prince Charles at his most petty and selfish, actor Josh O’Connor imbues the Prince of Wales with soul and sensitivity so as to leave a vestige of likability in the heir to the throne even as his relationship with Diana turns all the more toxic.
Caroline Framke, Variety
For four seasons now, Morgan has written a remarkably addictive, stealthily silly royal soap opera that only occasionally understands just how obvious it can be. And yet, complemented with razor-sharp performances and furnished with the most luxurious set design that Netflix money can be, The Crown has successfully sold itself as one of TV’s most serious dramas. The fourth season, in all its shameless glory, may be its most successful yet even as it puts that prestigious perception to bed. After all, as “The Crown” reminds us with every dizzying turn of Diana’s misfortunes, the royal family’s rabid audience will always take high drama over a more human reality.
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