'The Crown': What will happen in season four? Everything we know so far

By Heather Cichowski, with files from Zach Harper

The Crown season four has a release date! The hit Netflix show about the Royal Family will be returning on Nov. 15! The streaming service made the announcement on Aug. 20 with a short teaser trailerof the next instalment.

Here's everything we know about the fourth season of The Crown so far:

Who will star?

Season four of The Crown will bring back many familiar faces from season three, including Olivia Colman playing the Queen and Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip. Viewers will also see the returns of Helena Bonham Carter (Princess Margaret), Marion Bailey (the Queen Mother), Josh O'Connor (Prince Charles), Erin Doherty (Princess Anne), and Emerald Fennell (Camilla Shand, later Camilla Parker Bowles).

Season four introduces two highly anticipated characters, Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and 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 for the upcoming season.

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

"I have been glued to the show since the first episode and to think I’m now joining this incredibly talented acting family is just surreal," Emma said in her casting announcement in 2019.

"Princess Diana was an icon, and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To be given the chance to explore her through Peter Morgan’s writing is the most exceptional opportunity, and I will strive to do her justice!”

Gillian's involvement in The Crownwas officially confirmed on the TV show's Twitter in September 2019. The announcement also confirmed season four was in production.

The cast and crew of season three of The Crown at AFI Fest: The Crown & Peter Morgan Tribute at TCL Chinese Theatre on Nov. 16, 2019 in Hollywood. Photo: © Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Netflix

Angus Imrie will also take on the role of Prince Edward in season four. The actor, who appeared in Fleabag, joined the cast to portray the Queen's youngest son, according to Harper's Bazaar.

Who will make guest appearances?

Claire Foy, who portrayed Her Majesty on season one and two of The Crown, will also make a cameo this season!

The actress was spotted filming earlier this year, and reports say Claire will be seen in a flashback scene set in 1947. It will depict the future monarch making her famous radio broadcast in South Africa that coincided with her 21st birthday.

What stories will be covered?

Naturally, a lot of the plot of the new season is being kept under wraps to avoid spoiling things for viewers. We do know season four will pick up in the very late '70s/early '80s, to go along with the events that took place in season three. The upcoming season is expected to go late into the 1980s, with reports indicating season five will focus on the 1990's.

The fourth season of The Crown will delve into Charles and Diana's romance and wedding. The preview already showed Emma in a striking likeness of Diana's iconic wedding gown. It will also look at Diana's transition into the Royal Family and the impact she had on the world.

It was reported earlier that a baby Prince William would be featured in the series and a young Prince Harry will also be seen. Photos taken during filming appeared to show an Easter egg hunt at Buckingham Palace circa 1984, ahead Harry's birth.

Princess Diana's iconic wedding dress will be an unmissable fashion moment in the new series. Photo: © Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Other photos from production showed the cast filming in Spain to recreate Charles, Diana and Prince William's 1983 royal tour of Australia. William was just nine months old at the time, and it was Diana's first overseas royal tour.

More shots from filming captured Emma recreating the late Princess of Wales's flight on the Concorde in 1989.

MORE: 'The Crown': Netflix drops first trailer and reveals release date for season four

Josh has previously spoken about how this new season could "bring a shift" and change people's perception of his character.

"I don't want to give anything away, but I'll say that hopefully, people will feel sorry for Charles in season three, and then, maybe, we'll change that in season four," he said to Town & Country while discussing the third series.

Princess Diana, the Queen Mother and a young Prince Harry and Prince William at 1989 Trooping the Colour. Photo: © Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Another big part of the fourth season will likely be Margaret Thatcher taking office. Season three centred on Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Margaret served as prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979-1990. The preview for The Crown's new season introduced Margaret and hinted at her relationship with the Queen.

To correspond to that, the hit royal show will likely cover the Falklands War, the 1984-1985 miners' strike and apartheid in South Africa. Reports also indicate Michael Fagan's break-in of Buckingham Palace will be featured.

Watch this space for further details about The Crown season four as well as news about season five and season six.

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