Ever since Netflix series The Crown debuted in 2016, it has been one of the most anticipated shows on the streaming platform. Translating the real-world fascination on monarchies (specifically the British) to the small screen, it mixes historical events from the lives of Britain’s royal family with some hints of fiction, making it a drama that’s relatable and gripping.
But if there’s one arc that's been inarguably anticipated since the show aired, it is the appearance of Diana Spencer, better known as the late Princess of Wales. Dubbed The People’s Princess, her tragic story is definitely one that’s well-known by many even up to present. This led to a lot of speculation as to how the series will tackle her narrative.
When Prince Charles (Josh O’Conner) and his history with Camilla Parker-Bowles (Emerald Fennell) was finally introduced in Season 3, talks about Princess Diana's character appearing on the show escalated. After months of waiting, we were introduced to British actress Emma Corrin, who was slated for the role and bears an uncanny resemblance to the beloved late royal.
But how exactly did her performance fare? We line up her best moments as Princess Diana on The Crown season four below. Warning: spoilers ahead!
Her mannerisms, down to the most subtle nuances, are on-point
It’s no secret that playing characters with real-life references — especially with someone as adored as Princess Diana — is not an easy feat. However, Emma Corrin not only nailed her portrayal when it comes to the aesthetics department (with the hair and the expressive blue eyes) but also Diana’s mannerisms. What’s interesting is Princess Diana’s head tilt or her small one-sided smile can come off as forced or awkward when not portrayed properly given its distinctness. But Corrin was able to pull it off as if they were her own habits.
On times of vulnerability, anger, and even insecurities, Corrin’s Diana was not limited to portraying the victim of the narrative but she was also an active player who made the story richer. She felt warm and sweet when the story called for her to be but also livid and glaringly insecure when needed.
Her confrontation with Emerald Fennell’s Camilla was one of the season’s highlights
Everybody knows how the story ended for the parties of this three-way love affair. Still, since the tapes of Princess Diana revealing the truth about her supposed fairytale relationship with Prince Charles was released in a 2017 documentary, people’s curiosities were rekindled once more. Despite the creative license obviously taken by The Crown’s team in filling in these gaps, there’s something quite satisfying about how they created the confrontation between Camilla and Diana in the series’ third episode this season.
Of course, no catfight or dramatic sharp lines were thrown to retain the integrity of the characters. But Corrin’s edginess in the scene, despite her subtle movements — perfectly contrasting Fennell’s nonchalant attitude as Parker-Bowles — was spine-chillingly good, to say the least. She didn’t need big gestures to relate her anxiety to the viewers and the escalation of her actions — from forced composure to annoyingly but still daintily shoving dessert down her throat in the height of their conversation — was so good that it was easy to feel both sorry and anguished for her in that very short sequence.
Her constant back-and-forth with Prince Charles always leaves us wanting more
One of the secrets revealed in recent years about Diana and Charles’ relationship is that behind the happily ever after being sold to the public, they never had a good patch, even prior to the marriage. This was because Diana found out about Charles’ still ongoing correspondence with Camilla during the course of their engagement and eventual union.
In the series, Diana and Charles went head-to-head constantly on various occasions. There were no shoddy bickering or over-the-top gestures despite the heated scenes and Corrin’s clipped but expressive acting was the cherry on top of it all. Needless to say, this performance is truly one to remember.
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