For the past four seasons, The Crown has captivated audiences around the world with its depiction of the life of British Queen Elizabeth II. Shining a light on both the monarch’s public policies and personal life, the series has won countless accolades, including several Emmy Awards.
With the debut of season four earlier this week, the show is set to explore Queen Elizabeth’s life from the 70s to the 90s. Those familiar with British history know that during this time, Princess Diana became a highly important figure in the monarchy. To tell the story of the People’s Princess, the producers of The Crown cast actress Emma Corrin in the role. Corrin recently got the opportunity to talk with reporters from the Los Angeles Times about her approach to Princess Diana and how she came to a new understanding of the larger than life figure.
At 24 years old, Corrin is a relative newcomer to the entertainment industry, her only other major credit being a short stint on the Epix Batman prequel series Pennyworth. Upon being cast as Diana in The Crown, Corrin found an unaccustomed level of fame and notoriety. While shooting a scene for the series, Corrin unexpectedly found herself the subject of an impromptu photoshoot by dozens of paparazzi. Speaking to her in private, Benjamin Caron, the episode’s director and an executive producer on the series, pointed out to Corrin that everything she is feeling now is the exact same thing that Diana felt upon her engagement to Prince Charles.
Those who have reviewed the season note that the show’s writing team, which is led by creator Peter Morgan, are not afraid to examine the more dysfunctional traits of the Royal Family. Whether it be Diana’s love for the limelight or Charles’ jealousy for the attention his far younger wife receives from the media, all aspects of the lives of the Royal Family are on The Crown’s radar. Addressing the difficult subject matter, Caron admits that the season might be polarizing for the series’ fanbase. To that end, Caron and the rest of the show’s producers strove to make perfect casting decisions.
Caron in particular praised Corrin’s depiction of Diana, noting how she is able to create an air of vulnerability and naivete for the People’s Princess. Although Corrin was only a small child when Princess Diana died in 1997, she nonetheless felt her presence throughout her life, saying that Diana continues to epitomize kindness.
In Corrin’s portrayal, the actress says that she sought to balance Diana’s vulnerability with the strength she exuded in her bravery. In addition to reading biographies about Diana, Corrin also worked with professionals to emulate everything from the princess’s accent to the way she walked. In analyzing the way Diana spoke, Corrin notes that she usually lowered her voice at the end of each sentence, creating an aura of melancholy and sadness. Corrin also researched Diana’s struggles with bulimia and the psychological factors of the condition.