'The Crown' Casts Its Princess Diana (Exclusive)

Emma Corrin-Princess Diana-Publicity-Getty-Split-H 2019
Faye Thomas; Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Following an extensive casting search, the Netflix drama The Crown has found its Diana Spencer.

Newcomer Emma Corrin has been tapped to take on the role of Lady Diana, the future Princess of Wales, in the series. In a change, the character will now be introduced in season four of the Netflix awards darling and not its upcoming third cycle.

"Emma is a brilliant talent who immediately captivated us when she came in for the part of Diana Spencer. As well as having the innocence and beauty of a young Diana, she also has, in abundance, the range and complexity to portray an extraordinary woman who went from anonymous teenager to becoming the most iconic woman of her generation," The Crown creator Peter Morgan said Tuesday in a statement.

Corrin will soon make her feature film debut in Misbehaviour, a historical drama that follows the story of a group of women from the Women's Liberation Movement seeking to disrupt the 1970 Miss World beauty competition, which took place in London. On the TV side, she will make her U.S. series-regular debut in Epix's Batman drama Pennyworth, the Warner Bros. TV-produced prequel about the life of butler Alfred Pennyworth.

"Beyond excited and honored to be joining The Crown for its fourth season," said Corrin. "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. 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!"

Corrin becomes the latest actress to join The Crown, which jumps forward in time with new stars playing the royals every two seasons. Season three — set to debut in late 2019 — will see Olivia Colman take over Claire Foy's role as Queen Elizabeth. Tobias Menzies will step into the role of Prince Philip, previously played by Matt Smith. And Helena Bonham Carter replaces Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret. Gillian Anderson and Emerald Fennell have also joined the series and will portray Margaret Thatcher and Camilla Parker Bowles, respectively, in seasons three and four.

The third season will focus on the Wilson era — the 1964-1970 and 1974-1976 terms of Prime Minister Howard Wilson — and the fourth will focus on Thatcher and Diana. The drama, whose sophomore run wrapped in December 2017, has already been renewed for seasons three and four. Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said the plan is for the series to run for six seasons total and cover the Queen's entire life. It's unclear when season four of The Crown will air.

Corrin is repped by the U.K.'s Waring and McKenna.