Warning: Spoilers for The Crown season 3 are ahead.
Although The Crown has been interesting all on its own, chronicling the Queen's life from 1947 up now through 1977, many viewers are eager for its take on the Princess Diana years of the Royal Family. Princess Diana will be in The Crown for season 4, which has already started filming. But the newly released third season only takes viewers up to the year Prince Charles and Princess Diana met.
The final episode of The Crown season 3 ends with Queen Elizabeth II's silver jubilee, marking her 25th year of reign. That was in 1977, which is also the year that Princess Diana told a reporter that she met Prince Charles for the first time. "It was 1977, Charles came to stay. He was a friend of my sister Sarah's. [He came] for a [hunting] shoot. We sort of met in a plowed field," she said.
That means that the Diana storyline will be in the fourth season, in as early as the first episode. And the show has already set the stage for her arrival — first by having Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles (née Shand) meet and fall in love, and then by having Camilla acquiesce to marry Andrew Parker Bowles instead. This left Prince Charles heartbroken and tasked with finding a new future queen to be by his side. We know that search will eventually lead him to Lady Diana Spencer and, later down the road, back to Camilla.
It's not clear exactly how much of Diana and Charles' marriage will be included in the fourth season, but each season has been covering roughly 10 years at a time. Season four will then likely take viewers up to around 1987, a couple of years after the birth of Prince Harry. By that timeline, her 1997 death will likely end season five.
Even though viewers have yet to see her on their screens, The Crown's Princess Diana has been out and about filming for season 4. Paparazzi photos have captured Lady Di actor Emma Corrin and Prince Charles actor Josh O'Connor filming portions of the real life couple's 1983 tour of Australia. Corrin was spotted in a pink polka-dot dress on one of the shoots that looks nearly identical to the real one that Diana wore on the tour. The show is clearly striving for immense accuracy.
"They actually offered me the part in the room," Corrin told THR of landing the role. "It felt like I had just been proposed to." The actor also took to Instagram to share the news of her casting, writing, "Princess Diana was an icon and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To explore her through [The Crown creator] Peter Morgan's writing is the most exceptional opportunity and I will strive to do her justice!"
As part of that striving, THR reported that Corrin read biographies, studied old footage, talked to people who knew Diana, and worked with a movement and voice coach to perfect the part.
Two years elapsed between the release of season 2 and season 3, but since season 4 has already begun filming, we could see Corrin's take on Princess Diana as soon as November 2020. Until then, keep your eyes peeled for more photos of filming days, because the resemblance between actor and real life figure is too uncanny to miss.