‘The Crown’ Cast Vs. Real-Life Royals: Emma Corrin As Princess Diana & More Transformations

'The Crown' season 4 debuts Nov. 15. Emma Corrin and Gillian Anderson, along with the returning cast, have made amazing transformations to play these real-life figures.

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Image Credit: AP Images/Netflix

The Crown season 4 is one of the most highly-anticipated shows of the year. The new season picks up in the late 1970s and introduces to key figures who played major roles in the lives of the royals in the 1980s and beyond. The most notable of those figures is none other than Princess Diana, who would change the royal family forever.

The fourth season will feature Queen Elizabeth II meeting and working with Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, played by Gillian Anderson. Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s relationship takes center stage in what looks like a fairytale but ends up being anything but that. Netflix’s casting of the key royal figures remains on point. See the amazing transformations of the actors into the real-life people.

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana

Emma Corrin Princess Diana
Emma Corrin plays Princess Diana. (AP Images/Netflix)

Princess Diana is making her grand debut in The Crown season 4. Emma Corrin, 24, is playing the young Princess of Wales in the Netflix series. From the haircut to the accent to just the overall resemblance, Emma as Princess Diana is perfect casting.

The British actress previously played Esme Winikus in the TV series Pennyworth, but this is by far her biggest role to date. Elizabeth Debicki, 30, will take over the role of Princess Diana in seasons 5 and 6.

Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles

Josh O'Connor Prince Charles
Josh O’Connor plays Prince Charles. (AP Images/Netflix)

Josh O’Connor, 30, returns as Prince Charles, now 71, in season 4. He first began playing the Prince of Wales in season 3, but he has a much bigger role in the fourth season as Prince Charles meets and marries Diana.

Josh proved to The Crown fans everywhere that he had totally nailed the role of Prince Charles in the season 3 episode “Tywysog Cymru.” The actor recently revealed on The Graham Norton Show that he noticed Prince Charles always checks his cufflinks and pocket square when it gets out of a car before waving, and that’s something he incorporated into scenes. He also noted that Prince Charles speaks through his teeth, which is how Josh learned how to do the future king’s voice.

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II

Olivia Colman Queen Elizabeth II
Olivia Colman plays Queen Elizabeth II. (AP Images/Netflix)

Olivia Colman, 46, is back as Queen Elizabeth II, now 94, in the fourth season. Olivia replaced Claire Foy, 36, as the reigning monarch in season 3 after Claire played the Queen for the first 2 seasons. Imelda Staunton will take over for Olivia for seasons 5 and 6.

Olivia plays Queen Elizabeth II as the monarch reaches middle age. Olivia has the Queen’s voice down pat and transforms into the royal whenever she has on those signature colorful outfits, but there is one major difference between Olivia and the Queen. Olivia has brown eyes, while the Queen has blue eyes. Blue contacts or CGI were considered for Olivia, but they were ultimately nixed. Olivia’s version of Queen Elizabeth II has brown eyes.

Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip

Prince Philip Tobias Menzies
Tobias Menzies plays Prince Philip. (AP Images/Netflix)

Like Josh and Olivia, Tobias Menzies, 46, returns to the role of Prince Philip, now 99, in season 4. He took over the role from Matt Smith, 38. Jonathan Pryce, 73, will step into the role in the final 2 seasons.

The role of Prince Philip isn’t so much a physical transformation for Tobias. It’s more about embodying the subtlety and silent power of Prince Philip. “Even though he doesn’t give a lot away in interviews, just atmospherically, you get quite a lot from him. Emotionally, he seems hot to me. There’s always an element of frustration and irritability, and suppressed emotion, it seemed to me,” Tobias told Vanity Fair.

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher

Gillian Anderson Margaret Thatcher
Gillian Anderson plays Margaret Thatcher. (AP Images/Netflix)

Gillian Anderson, 52, is one of the new additions in The Crown season 4. She’s playing Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first-ever female Prime Minister. Margaret’s run as Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990 encompasses the entire fourth season.

The X-Files alum completely transforms into the woman known as the Iron Lady. Gillian nails Margaret’s breathy voice and look, which includes that famous bouffant hairstyle.

Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret

Helena Bonham Carter Princess Margaret
Helena Bonham Carter plays Princess Margaret. (AP Images/Netflix)

Helena Bonham Carter, 54, returns as Princess Margaret in the fourth season. Helena stepped into the role of Princess Margaret after Vanessa Kirby, 32, played the royal in the first two seasons. The fourth season features Princess Margaret after her divorce from Lord Snowdon and facing health struggles.

Just like Olivia with Queen Elizabeth II, Helena’s natural brown eyes are kept in The Crown. Princess Margaret had gorgeous blue eyes in real-life. Netflix has not revealed who will play Princess Margaret in the final seasons.

Erin Doherty as Princess Anne

Erin Doherty Princess Anne
Erin Doherty plays Princess Anne. (AP Images/Netflix)

Erin Doherty, 28, plays Princess Anne, now 70, once again in the new season of the Netflix series. Princess Anne became a central character in season 3 with Erin seamlessly stepping into the role. Princess Anne figures prominently into season 4 as she is challenged by marital issues and Diana’s immense and immediate popularity.

Erin eerily resembles the Queen’s only daughter in her younger years. Similar to Josh, a crucial part of playing Princess Anne was her voice. Erin effortlessly mimics Princess Anne’s low voice. In addition, Erin told Netflix that she did a lot of research into Princess Anne’s first marriage to Mark Phillips to prepare for season 4.

Emerald Fennell as Camilla Parker Bowles

Emerald Fennell Camilla Parker Bowles
Emerald Fennell plays Camilla Parker Bowles. (AP Images/Netflix)

Emerald Fennell, 35, continues to play Camilla Parker Bowles, now 73, in The Crown season 4. Despite their marriages, Prince Charles and Camilla reignited their romance in the 1980s. Camilla is a pivotal figure in season 4 as Prince Charles refuses to sever his connection to Camilla.

HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Emerald back in 2019 about why she was so drawn to playing Camilla, who is now married to Prince Charles. “I just think she’s a figure in our culture that I think is really sort of interesting, and we’ve never really heard her story actually,” Emerald told HollywoodLife. “She was a young woman who fell in love with someone. And it’s a story I think that maybe hasn’t been told, so I hope that I’ve done a good job.”

Charles Dance as Lord Mountbatten

Charles Dance Lord Mountbatten
Charles Dance plays Lord Mountbatten (AP Images/Netflix)

Charles Dance, 74, best known for playing Tywin Lannister on Game of Thrones, first showed up on The Crown back in season 3. The role of Lord Mountbatten was previously played by Greg Wise, 54. Lord Mountbatten had an incredible influence on both Prince Philip and Prince Charles.

The show will undoubtedly cover the tragic death of Lord Mountbatten in season 4. Lord Mountbatten was assassinated in 1979 by a bomb that was hidden on board his fishing boat in Ireland.

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