The Crown season 4: Release date, cast and trailer – everything we know

From possible storylines to Margaret Thatcher – and a Claire Foy cameo

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 13 November 2020 11:07 GMT
The Crown season 4 trailer

In four short years, The Crown has become one of the most successful shows on television.

The costly biographical retelling of Queen Elizabeth II’s life – from her marriage to Prince Philip right through to her present-day reign – will continue with a fourth season that has now completed filming.

Considering the series is hurtling through the years, the Netflix drama returned in a rather different form last year, boasting a brand new cast reflecting the age change of its characters.

Claire Foy and Matt Smith are no longer involved with the series and, after the next season, Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies won’t be, either.

Below is everything we know so far about the return of The Crown – including the newly-announced sixth season.

When is it back?

The release date for season four has been set for 15 November 2020.

The third and fourth seasons were filmed back-to-back, with the final two outings expected to start production in 2021.

How many episodes?

As with the first three seasons, the fourth will most likely be comprised of 10 episodes, which will bring its overall count to 40.

What to expect?

The next two seasons will chart the years of 1964 right up until 1990, with the early years of Queen Elizabeth II – 1947-1963 – previously covered in the first two.

While showrunner Peter Morgan has remained tight-lipped on what to expect, a quick brush up on our Royal Family history tells us what we will probably see happen in future episodes.

The next batch of episodes will introduce Margaret Thatcher, who is being played by Gillian Anderson. Diana Spencer will be played by Emma Corrin

Gillian Anderson will play Margaret Thatcher in the new season of ‘The Crown’
Gillian Anderson will play Margaret Thatcher in the new season of ‘The Crown’ (AFP via Getty Images)

Corrin and Josh O’Connor, who return as Prince Charles, were spotted filming scenes of Charles and Diana’s tour of Australia in 1983.The new series will show the births of Prince William and Harry, also – the former was nine months old when his parents embarked on the Australian tour.

Other events expected to be shown in the new season include the wedding of Charles and Diana (1981) and, as reported by Deadline, a famous security breach that culminated in a break-in at Buckingham Palace (1982).

It has been reported that surgery Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter) underwent in 1985 will also be explored

One exciting scene fans may be treated to is a flashback that sees the return of Claire Foy; the actor was spotted on set last November filming what appeared to be Queen Elizabeth II’s 21st birthday speech before the death of her father.

Who will star in it?

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II

Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown (Netflix/PA)

Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret

Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles

Marion Bailey as Queen Mother

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana

Erin Doherty as Princess Anne

Emerald Fennell as Camilla Parker Bowles

Ben Daniels as Antony Armstrong-Jones

Charles Dance as Lord Louis Mountbatten

What’s the deal with seasons five and six?

The final two seasons of The Crown will switch up the cast one final time. Originally, the Netflix drama was going to run for five seasons, but on 9 July 2020, Morgan revealed that he had decided to extend the swansong by one final season.

Appearing in the final two outings will be Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Phillip and Tenet star Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana.

Producers will also be thinking about who to cast as John Major, who succeeded Thatcher as Britain’s prime minister in 1990.

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