The Crown has found its Princess Diana. Netflix recently announced that Elizabeth Debicki will play Princess Diana, Princess of Wales in seasons 5 and 6 of The Crown.
Elizabeth’s Acting Credits
The 29-year-old Australian actress’ is known for her work in The Night Manager series, The Great Gatsby, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Widows. Elizabeth’s next big screen role is in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming movie, Tenet.
Elizabeth was fresh out of drama school when she auditioned for The Great Gatsby. She also won acclaim in the 2016 BBC drama, The Night Manager, starring opposite Tom Hiddleston in the adaptation of John le Carré’s novel.
“It is my true privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series”
Elizabeth will be taking over the role from newcomer, Emma Corrin who plays the iconic royal in the fourth season of the Netflix show.
“Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many,” Debicki said in a statement. “It is my true privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one.”
“Elizabeth had that perfect combination of megawatt star quality and vulnerability”
Insiders of the show revealed that The Crown’s creators were quite impressed with Elizabeth’s ‘star quality’ as she beat out a number of big names for the coveted role. The insider further revealed, “Season 5 and 6 will see Diana emerging as an effortless icon with superstar quality but yet still retaining that fragility. The role requires a fearless actor to bring truth to this beloved yet complex icon. Elizabeth had that perfect combination of megawatt star quality and vulnerability.”
According to reports, Debicki was an instant hit with the producers. “When Elizabeth walked into the room producers were immediately struck by a sheer force of personality and energy.” Debicki’s resemblance to the Princess of Wales was also an additional factor that landed her the role. “Having the acting ability to tackle such a challenging role. And the obvious similarities between Elizabeth and Diana, in terms of appearance also made her a natural choice. They knew they had found the perfect Diana for the final chapters of The Crown.”
Awards and Accolades
The aussie actress has proven to be quite versatile in her work. She won an AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her work in “The Great Gatsby“. She also starred in the Sydney Theatre Company’s “The Maids” with Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert. Which garnered her a nomination for Best Female Actress in a Supporting Role in a Play at the 14th Helpmann Awards.
Debicki will be one of the few non-English actors featured in the series, following John Lithgow’s role as Winston Churchill.
The Final Two Seasons
The hit Netflix series has followed the royal family through several time periods. Starting in the late 1940s and early 1950s with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s marriage and early careers. Season 3, released in 2019, jumped forward in time to the 1960s and 1970s, replacing the cast with older actors. The Crown has followed a rotating cast during its entire run. The show updates cast members every two seasons to illustrate that the royal family, like all of us, are aging.
Debicki will be joined by other notable actors in the final two seasons of the royal drama, which is expected to cover the 1990s and early 2000s. Namely, Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce and Lesley Manville.
In January, at the beginning of the year, it was announced that the role of Queen Elizabeth II would be played by Imelda Staunton for the final episodes of the show. The part is currently portrayed by Olivia Colman, who played the Monarch for seasons 3 and 4. Earlier this year in July, it was announced that Staunton would be joined in the cast by Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret. Lesley will be taking over from Helena Bonham-Carter, who played the role in season 3 and 4.
Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip
In a statement shared on social media by Netflix, Jonathan said, “I am delighted to be working with Netflix again. The positive experience I had making “The Two Popes” has given me the confidence to tackle the daunting prospect of portraying Prince Philip. To be doing so with Peter Morgan in the company of Imelda [Staunton] and Lesley [Manville] will be a joy.”
Princess Diana, who was born in 1961, will be introduced in the upcoming fourth season with actress, Emma Corrin. Emma’s casting was announced in April 2019, with The Crown’s creator, Peter Morgan calling her ‘a brilliant talent who immediately captivated us when she came in for the part of Diana Spencer.’ She will eventually be replaced by Debicki herself in seasons 5 and 6.
Season 4 is set to premiere later this year. The long-awaited fourth series of the Netflix show will document Diana’s meeting and eventual marriage to Prince Charles. Along with the births and early years of Prince William and Prince Harry. The fifth installment is thought to begin in the early nineties and end in the early noughties. Season 5 won’t be premiering until the year 2022. It will presumably portray Diana’s divorce from Prince Charles and her tragic death in 1997.
The sixth and final season
Peter Morgan and Netflix had, at one point, planned to end the popular British royal drama after season 5. However, Morgan decided to switch gears when he realized that the show could use a 6th and final season.
“As we started to discuss the story-lines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons,” he said in a statement, last month. “To be clear, series 6 will not bring us any closer to present-day. It will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.”
Elizabeth Debicki isn’t the only one set to portray the Princess of Wales on screen. Twilight actress, Kristen Stewart has been roped in to play Princess Diana in an upcoming movie called, “Spencer.”