"More than anything else I wear in the series, it’s so … It’s her,” Corrin says of the special outfit

By Phil Boucher
September 07, 2020 04:46 PM
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Emma Corrin is opening up about playing Princess Diana in Season 4 of The Crown – and what it’s like to step out in that wedding dress.

“The Emanuels, who designed the original, gave us the patterns, and then it was made for me,” Corrin, 24, tells the October edition of British Vogue.

“We were filming the scene when you first see her in the wedding dress — I think it was Lancaster House in London — and I had a team of about 10 people helping me put it on, because it’s massive.

“I walked out and everyone went completely silent. More than anything else I wear in the series, it’s so … It’s her.”

Emma Corrin for British Vogue.
Charlotte Wales
Charlotte Wales

A trailer released in August has already given fans a tantalizing glimpse of Corrin in the replica of Diana's iconic silk gown as she prepares to marry Prince Charles in the 1981 royal wedding.

"Something as important as the monarchy simply cannot be allowed to fail," Olivia Colman's Queen Elizabeth narrates over shots of the monarch on horseback and a glimpse of actress Gillian Anderson as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Attention then switches to Diana, played by Corrin, as she's hounded by paparazzi and fans. In the final shot from the teaser, Diana can be seen from the back in her wedding gown slowly walking toward a door.

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“I didn’t tell anyone for a while,” Corrin tells British Vogue about landing the plumb role of Prince William and Prince Harry's late mother in the royal drama, which hits Netflix on November 15.

“I love my mates, but I think it would have got out,” she adds.

Unfortunately for Corrin, she began acting so strangely that her best friends guessed she'd landed the royal role anyway — and set about crafting a special gift to celebrate.

“My friends from school did this incredible thing, where they made me a scrapbook filled with all of the screenshots from our group WhatsApp, where I have said, ‘Oh my God, guys, I’ve been invited to read.’ Or a random conversation we’d had four years ago when I said, ‘Isn’t Diana amazing!’ ” Corrin told the magazine.

Season 4 of The Crown will pick up the tumultuous royal story in the late 1970s and focus on Queen Elizabeth's strained relationship with Prime Minister Thatcher as well as the ill-fated romance of Charles and Diana.

Corrin recreate many of the late royal's most memorable looks, as she's thrust into the global spotlight and evolves from unknown Lady Diana Spencer into the most famous bride in the world — something that has had quite an effect on Corrin in real life.

“I feel I’ve got to know Diana like you would a friend,” Corrin tells British Vogue. “I know that sounds really weird, but I get a great sense of companionship from her.

"I suppose, over time, you kind of start to patch together a sense of empathy and a sense of understanding," she adds. "I love figuring people out.”

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles

Corrin isn't the only member of The Crown to feel the pressure of recreating such a famous moment in royal history.

Josh O'Connor, who plays Prince Charles, has admitted that he has also struggled to get to grips with the relationship between Charles and Diana and the thorny question of whether he ever truly loved her.

We all have a set position on the dynamic between Charles and Diana,” he told Screen International in July. “It’s been great to have the ability to either fight against that or, at times, acknowledge it and also to challenge any question of, ‘Did he ever love her?' "

"Personally I think he must have done," he added. "There’s a wealth of layers and richness to Charles and Diana, and I loved seeking that out.”

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Plans for Season 5 of the hit Netflix drama are already underway, with Olivia Colman set to be replaced by Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth and Jonathan Pryce following in the footsteps of Matt Smith and Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip.

The show's producers have also cast Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, with Australian star Elizabeth Debicki picking up the designer heels from Corrin to play Diana in both Seasons 5 and 6.

“Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many," Debicki, 29, whose credits include roles in The Night Manager and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, said in an August 16 statement.

"It is my true privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one.”

The full cover story featuring Corrin in the October issue of British Vogue is available via digital download and on newsstands September 11.