‘The Crown’: Why Josh O’Connor Doesn’t Think Fans Will Like Prince Charles in Season 4

Season 3 of The Crown premiered on Netflix on Nov. 17, 2019. The newest season of the show covers the royal family from 1964 to 1977. Josh O’Connor earned rave reviews for his portrayal of Prince Charles, with many fans and critics citing how the actor managed to elicit sympathy for his character. While fans felt bad for Prince Charles in this past season of The Crown, O’Connor does not think that sympathy will last in season 4.

Prince Charles The Crown
Josh O’Connor | Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Season 4 will show Prince Charles and Princess Diana

Season 4 of The Crown is even more anticipated than season 3. Why? Because it’s The Season With Princess Diana. Because of this, O’Connor does not think fans will feel sorry for his character anymore.

“People should come away from it feeling sympathy and sorry for Charles partly because I think they should—and that means I’ve done my job well—but also because I know what’s coming in season 4. I want them to feel sorry for him now because things might change,” O’Connor said in an interview with Newsweek.

Over the years, Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage broke down. Prince Charles resumed his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles in 1986. Princess Diana later began an affair with Major James Hewitt.

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The couple divorced in 1996. Princess Diana tragically died in a car accident a year later, and Prince Charles went on to marry Parker Bowles in 2005, making her the Duchess of Cornwall.

Season 4 of The Crown will take place during the 1980s. While Parker Bowles was introduced in season 3, Princess Diana was not. Because season 4 will show the drama behind Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage, O’Connor does not expect the sympathy from season 3 to carry over.

Josh O’Connor finds his character relatable

As an actor, O’Connor worked to find common ground with the fictional version of Prince Charles. In season 3 of The Crown, Prince Charles is depicted as the black sheep of the royal family. He is also more emotional and does not fit the masculine image that is expected of him.

“My family and I are very different from the royal family, but I think I’ve always been interested in the topic of masculinity and the struggles of masculinity, and I have sympathy for his inability or lack of support of his to engage his family with his feelings,” O’Connor told Newsweek.

A crucial scene in The Crown shows how much the fictionalized Prince Charles differs from members of his family. When Prince Charles returns from Wales, no one stays up to welcome him back. He asks to see his mother, and when he does she tells him she is disappointed in the amount of emotion he showed in his first speech as the Prince of Wales.

“I have a beating heart, a character. A will of my own. … Mummy, I have a voice,” he pleads with her, tears in his eyes.

“Let me let you in on a secret. No one wants to hear it,” Queen Elizabeth II says coldly.

The actor did not know much about Prince Charles before watching ‘The Crown’

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, O’Connor admitted he did not know much about the royal family before joining the cast of The Crown.

“I’m just not that bothered, basically,” he said.

After portraying Prince Charles in the TV show, O’Connor now has a more concrete opinion of him.

“In my eyes, he’s a really good man in terms of the real person. He’s lived a long life and played an incredible role in the royal family as the Prince of Wales. He’s been praised hugely for his work in Wales and for the environment. And also he’s been a pretty good father to Prince William and Prince Harry, who I think are turning out pretty amazingly,” O’Connor told Newsweek.

He continued, “I really hope that the show will help warm people to Prince Charles. I’m gonna be biased—I don’t know how people will react to him in the show—but certainly, I look at him and I think he’s a good guy and he’s done an incredible job.”