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Rumors And Spoilers About The Crown Season 4

2020 continues to be the year that just keeps on taking, but it is starting to deliver a few rays of light into the world. At least, in the realm of entertainment. 

With movie theaters finally starting to re-open, and streaming platforms continuing (at least for now) to release a surprisingly robust slate of film and television projects, there really is no shortage of ways for the stay-at-home set to keep themselves distracted form the chaos of the world. Netflix, in particular, has almost single-handedly kept quarantiners entertained over the past several months, and is continuing to announce fresh release dates by the week. Their latest premiere tease is the impending fourth season of their critically-adored historical drama, The Crown

Created by renowned screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen), The Crown spent its first three seasons tracking the dramatic highs and lows of Queen Elizabeth II's ascendancy to the British throne, and her rule over England for the past several decades. Clair Foy originated the role as the young Elizabeth in the first two season of The Crown (2016 & 2017), but Olivia Colman took over for the series' third season, which hit Netflix last fall, with many fans and critics hailing it as the show's strongest yet. 

Now that Netflix has made The Crown's fourth season official (it hits the platform on November 15, 2020), those same fans are gearing up for a fresh run of stories dotted by political rivalries, ravishing romances, emotionally wrenching drama, and unabashed royal regalia. In case you're curious about what's ahead, here's a look at a few rumors and spoilers we've discovered about the next season.

The season 3 cast of The Crown is returning, and getting few notable upgrades

First and foremost, fans of The Crown's third season should rejoice that pretty much the entire cast is returning, most notably, Olivia Colman, who in season three guided the monarchy through England's turbulent sixties and seventies. The new season of The Crown will jump ahead to the equally turbulent 1980s, and find the Queen and crew (including Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Josh O'Conner as Prince Charles, and Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip) navigating a rapidly changing country that has increasingly less practical use for a monarchy.

While the scope of the series will clearly remain focused on Colman's bravura work as Elizabeth II, the eighties setting alone is certain to put a bit more spotlight on the younger royals Charles and Margaret. Charles, in particular, is about to get a lot more screen time, seeing as this is the decade wherein he met the future "People's Princess," Diana Spencer. And yes, Princess Di will reportedly be making her first appearance on The Crown in season four, with Morgan casting relative unknown Emma Corrin (Pennyworth) in the high profile role. And if Corrin's co-star Josh O'Conner's recent comments to Harper's Bazaar are to be believed, her work in the role is nothing short of "spooky" good.

Princess Di isn't the only UK heavy joining the fray, either. Considering the setting, it's only fitting that then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will play a prominent role politicking. And rest assured that the great Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, Hannibal) is certain to bring some seriously subdued heat to the role.

There will be a royal wedding in season 4 of The Crown

Those who've been following the trials and tribulations of Queen Elizabeth II and her family over the decades certainly know the eighties featured a few momentous events in the monarchy's history. None of those events were quite as publicly celebrated as the whirlwind romance, and grandiose wedding, of the Queen's son Charles, and his iconic bride, Diana Spencer.

As it became clear the new season of The Crown was set to unfold largely in the 1980s, series fans were quick to question whether or not Morgan would recreate the pair's infamous nuptials. That news was finally confirmed with the release of the season four teaser, in August: The arrival of Diana into the royal fray actually featured as heavily in that teaser as the Queen herself, so its safe to assume that not only will the royal wedding play a big part in the narrative, but that both  Charles and Diana will be front and center for much of the action.

Given the complicated nature of that tempestuous relationship, one can assume that their courtship, nuptials, and everything after should prove more than fruitful, from a dramatic standpoint. And if casting notices and set photos are accurate, The Crown will explore much of the pair's post-nuptial life, up to and including the birth of their firstborn son, Prince William. So even as it remains to be seen just how much screen time Charles and Diana will get in this season, they'll definitely be pulling their dramatic weight along the way.  

The O.G. queen from The Crown might be making a cameo

As brilliant as Olivia Colman has been (and will surely continue to be) in the beyond-juicy role of Queen Elizabeth IIThe Crown's fervid fandom will be quick to tell you that Claire Foy was every bit as electrifying over the first two seasons. So, fans should also be delighted to learn that Foy might be making a cameo appearance, as the younger Elizabeth, in a season four episode. That rumor has yet to be confirmed by Peter Morgan, but the actor was indeed spotted late in 2019 in full Elizabeth mode, according to Harper's Bazarr, presumably filming the scene for the new season, which will likely be the then-princess' April 1947 radio broadcast, delivered on her 21st birthday during a trip to Cape Town, South Africa. It's not entirely clear just how that moment will factor into the Queen's life in the eighties, but it's safe to assume the moment will come via flashback, which is a narrative tool The Crown has fully embraced since its inception.

As for Elizabeth's remarks in that broadcast, Town and Country claims it as one of the monarch's more memorable early addresses as it found her stating regally, "I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong."

Now over seven decades into her rule, it's clear when Elizabeth said "my whole life," she really meant it.

There's a lot more of The Crown on the way

As The Crown continues its own ascension into the modern timeline of British monarchy, many fans have assumed that the series itself was rapidly approaching its end. That rumor seemed particularly likely, as the series is also produced by Netflix, who rarely lets a show run past season three or four. And true enough, Peter Morgan himself confirmed earlier this year that The Crown's Netflix reign would end after the fifth season. That somber news was tempered by the announcements that Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) was set to step into the role of Queen Elizabeth for season five, and that Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones) would be playing Prince Philip to Her Royal Majesty. In perhaps an even more intriguing bit of casting, it recently broke that current not-quite-it-girl Elizabeth Debicki (TenetThe Great Gatsbu) would be portraying Princess Diana in the future, as well.

In a truly surprising turn of events, though, Peter Morgan announced in 2020 that, instead of ending with season five, the series will unexpectedly carry on for a sixth season on Netflix. Obviously, it's still far too early to  know to what aspects of the Queen's life Morgan will focus on in the upcoming seasons, but rest assured that Netflix is now officially set to keep viewers steeped in soul-piercing historical drama for years to come.