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Here's When You Can Expect To See Princess Diana In 'The Crown'

The British Royal Family has always been an object of fascination to people all over the world — just look at the excitement around Prince Harry's recent engagement. But I'd argue that no royal has been more adored in recent memory than Princess Diana. So naturally people really want to know: when will Princess Diana be in The Crown? After all, she has to show up at some point, right? And, of course, that begs the question of who will be the lucky actress chosen to play the beautiful but doomed princess.

The Crown depicts the life of Queen Elizabeth II, starting with her father the king's death and her subsequent coronation. The show follows the sometimes extraordinary and sometimes mundane life of the royal, planning to continue throughout the span of her reign up to the present day. As the second season finishes up, the third season will presumably reach the 1970s, when little Prince Charles has grown up and met Princess Diana. Series creator and writer Peter Morgan has already revealed that the famous "people's princess" will appear in the later half of the third season in an interview with People magazine. This is definitely earlier than some people were expecting from the show, but it is not an unwelcome surprise.

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The Crown plans to continue for a total of six seasons, changing its cast to reflect the royal family as they age. Seasons 1 and 2 starred Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II and Matt Smith as her husband, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh. In the third season, Foy will be replaced by Olivia Colman, who you might recognize from Broadchurch and The Night Manager. On The Tonight Show, Foy said that Colman is "great," and promising, "You'll forget all about me and the rest of the cast." As for Smith's replacement, he told Seth Meyers on Late Night that he thinks he knows who the lucky actor is, but he's not allowed to say.

It's equally a mystery who will play Princess Diana, who married Prince Charles in a lavish royal wedding back in 1981. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the royal family knows that the marriage was hardly a happy one. Some stories allege that both parties regretted the marriage from the day of the wedding itself. The pair eventually divorced and Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles, with whom he'd had a love affair before Diana was even a part of the picture. And everyone knows of Diana's tragic death in a car accident in Paris in 1997.

However since Season 3 will likely cover the '70s and the princess is introduced so late, it's doubtful that the story of the troubled marriage will unfold until Season 4 and 5. Since it has also been announced that Parker-Bowles will appear in the third season, I'd venture to imagine that the season will only show the courtship and drama that started the relationship.

There have been no announcements yet as to who will play Prince Charles, Parker-Bowles, or Princess Diana. But obviously this doesn't stop anyone from guessing. Harper's Bazaar, for example, has a list speculating who would be perfect for the role of Princess of Wales. The predictions include big names like Rosamund Pike (who at 38 may be a bit too old to play 17-year-old Diana when she first meets Charles) and Carey Mulligan. Some lesser known names put forth by the outlet include Sarah Gadon and Rebecca Ferguson. Personally, I'm inclined to believe the role will go to a totally unknown entity. But whoever plays her, I can't wait to see how the show treats one of the world's most adored and admired royals ever to live.

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