Why Emma Corrin Prefers Playing ‘Younger’ Princess Diana on ‘The Crown’

Emma Corrin plays a young Princess Diana on the Netflix original series, The Crown, and the actor wouldn’t have it any other way. 25 years old and largely unknown before taking on the role of the late British royal, Corrin doesn’t regret not being cast as an older version of Diana. 

Emma Corrin arrives at the premiere of 'Pennyworth'
Emma Corrin arrives at the premiere of Pennyworth | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

‘The Crown’ recasts roles

Unlike other TV shows and films that age actors with the help of hair and makeup, The Crown takes a different approach. The award-winning show recasts roles of British royals as the timeline moves up in Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. 

Claire Foy played the show’s first leader of the monarchy when it premiered in 2016. She won multiple awards for her portrayal in The Crown Seasons 1 and 2. After which Foy passed the crown to Academy Award winner, Olivia Colman, for seasons 3 and 4. 

Emma Corrin enjoyed creating ‘younger’ Princess Diana 

In a December 2020 interview with Vanity Fair Corrin explained why she prefers portraying Diana in her younger years as opposed to the later ones. 

“I actually love my plot line, because I have the biggest attachment to young Diana,” she said. “I love her so much—I think, to be honest, because the younger Diana was very undocumented. She was sort of mine to create.” 

Viewers got their first glimpse of Corrin as Diana during a scene on The Crown when she met Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) for the first time at her childhood home, Althorp House.


‘The Crown’ Season 4 Will Show Princess Diana’s Eating Disorder Because of Emma Corrin: ‘We Had To Actually Show It’

Corrin’s role found her portraying Diana during the 1980s before ending the season in 1990. Her scenes showed major moments during that time in the late royal’s life included Diana’s engagement to Charles, them as parents, and, of course, the slow breakdown of their marriage. 

Prepping for the role of Diana, Corrin read biographies on the late royal which were given to her by the producers of The Crown. In addition to learning about her personal life and time in the royal family, Corrin studied Diana’s mannerisms to get her voice and movements right on screen.

Elizabeth Debicki will play an older version of Princess Diana

Corrin has to now step aside for a new actor to replace her on The Crown. Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby) is set to play Diana in seasons 5 and 6, which will document the later years of her life. 

Corrin enjoyed playing a younger version of Diana and thinks her successor will have a similar experience playing a more mature Diana. 

“Elizabeth is going to have the best time,” she told Vanity Fair. “Because [in season four] you leave Diana as she is embarking on taking back her life. She starts living and fighting for herself and doing humanitarian work and traveling and really stepping into the role of the people’s princess. That will be a beautiful thing, because it will be the confident Diana.”

Fans of the series will have to wait until 2022 to see Debecki in The Crown Season 5. In the meantime, The Crown Seasons 1 – 4 are streaming on Netflix.