Emma Corrin opens up about playing Princess Diana in 'The Crown': 'I feel I’ve got to know Diana like you would a friend'

By Heather Cichowski

Emma Corrin is set to play Princess Diana in season four of Netflix's The Crown, which will be returning on Nov. 15!

Ahead of the show's highly anticipated release, the actress graced the October 2020 issue of British Vogue and opened up in an interview about what it was like to portray the Princess of Wales. Emma portrays the late People's Princess at the start of her royal life and at the beginning of her relationship with Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor).

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Introducing @EmmaLouiseCorrin, the young British actor on the October 2020 cover of #BritishVogue. Tasked with playing Diana, Princess of Wales in the new season of @NetflixUK’s #TheCrown, she speaks to @GilesHattersley about everything from landing the role of a lifetime (and keeping it secret) to befriending #HelenaBonhamCarter. Click the link in bio for the style tips she learnt from #PrincessDiana and see the full story in the new issue, on newsstands and available for digital download Friday 11 September. #EmmaCorrin wears an @OscarDeLaRenta gown, @LouboutinWorld shoes and @ChaumetOfficial jewellery. Photographed by @CharlotteMWales and styled by @PoppyKain, with hair by @SamMcKnight1, make-up by @TheValGarland, nails by @AdamSlee_ and set design by @AliceKpk.

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Emma's casting as Princess Diana was announced in April 2019, but of course, the actress knew about it before then. She revealed she kept the role quiet – and even her friends didn't know!

“I didn’t tell anyone for a while,” the 24-year-old admitted about the need for secrecy. “I love my mates, but I think it would have got out.”

Emma Corrin will portray Diana in the upcoming season of The Crown. Photo: © David M. Benett/Getty Images

But when the news was finally revealed to all, Emma stated that her friends sweetly created a tribute for her in relation to the role.

"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?!'"

In preparation for the role, the British actress met with Diana’s private secretary Patrick Jephson.

She opened up to British Vogue about the connection she feels with Diana.

"I feel I've got to know Diana like you would a friend," she said. "I know that sounds really weird, but I get a great sense of companionship from her."

Diana and Charles announced their engagement in 1981 and were married the same year. Photo: © Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Emma previously opened up to Wonderland about how she told her mom about the lead up to snagging the role.

"I talked to my mum a lot about it," she stated. "I was doing my finals [at Cambridge University]. I was stressed on the phone like, 'I don’t know what's happening!'"

She said when she was offered the part of Diana it "it felt like a proposal" and "it was the best moment of my life."

When Emma was announced as part of the new cast, the Grantchester actress took to Instagram to share the exciting news.

"I have been glued to the show and to think I'm now joining this incredibly talented acting family is surreal," she wrote. "Princess Diana was an icon and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To explore her through Peter Morgan's writing is the most exceptional opportunity and I will strive to do her justice!"

MORE: These are the top three royal events Hello! Canada readers want to see covered on 'The Crown'

Besides Emma as Diana, season four of The Crown also introduces Gillian Anderson as late former U.K. Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. We were given glimpses of the two new additions during the 33-second teaser trailer for the upcoming season.

Much of season three's cast will return including Josh, Olivia Colman as the Queen, Tobias Menzies playing Prince Philip, and Emerald Fennell portraying Camilla Parker Bowles.

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