The Crown season 4: charting the fashion evolution of Princess Diana

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This exclusive video takes us behind the scenes with the costume designers of Netflix’s The Crown.

The Crown’s fourth season has, as predicted, become Netflix’s most-streamed TV show since its release earlier this month.

In this installment of the royal drama, we see Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and her family do their best to safeguard the line of succession by securing an appropriate bride for Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor). And it isn’t long before their gaze falls upon young Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin), who provides a much-needed fairytale to unite the British people.

As we all know too well, though, hers is a fairytale destined to end in heartbreak and tragedy.

Of course, many of us remember the real Princess Diana as a fashion icon. However, the version of Diana that Corrin portrays in this season of The Crown is just embarking on her personal style journey. 

Naïve and uncertain, and only just out of high school, Corrin’s Diana first appears on screen in an array of “bright, woolen, almost home-knitted jumpers”.

As the episodes progress, though, Diana is “pulled into the royal world and an increasingly toxic marriage.”

“By the end, you leave her and she’s really found her voice in her clothing,” explains Corrin, in an exclusive The Crown featurette from Netflix.

“This is the Diana that’s becoming the Versace Diana,” explains costume designer Amy Roberts, who creates the royal drama’s iconic costumes alongside her daughter, Sid.

“What’s interesting about her is your first image of her, and your final image [in the so-called ‘revenge dress’].”

In the featurette, Roberts explores the visual journeys of several other key characters as they navigate 1980s fashion, including Gillian Anderson’s Margaret Thatcher.

“Whether you like her politics or not,” notes Roberts, “she was quite phenomenal, [wearing] extraordinary outfits [that were] hugely feminine.”

“[When] she wants to declare war, all weakness is gone… both she and the Queen have Launer bags, but hers is slightly bigger. It’s more like a briefcase. And we’ve gone for this very patriotic red, white and blue, too. 

This was a militaristic moment.”

You can find out more about costume designer Amy Roberts’ vision for Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher, and Princess Margaret’s costumes via the exclusive video above.

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Images: Netflix

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.