Set to cover the late 70’s and early 80’s, series four will introduce Conservative politician Margaret Thatcher, who moves into No. 10 in 1979, as well as Diana Spencer – Prince Charles’ first wife and the ‘People’s Princess’.
While the trailer was just two-minutes long, it gave quite a few hints as to what we should expect to see in the upcoming series – so we’ve broken it down for you.
Thatcher and The Queen
In this full-length trailer, we’re given a first-look at the Queen and new Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s fractured relationship – although despite their initial frostiness, the short clip draws similarities between the characters – a theme that creator Peter Morgan hinted would be running throughout the upcoming series.
“We are the same age after all – just six months between us,” Thatcher informs Her Majesty, who asks: “Oh? And who is the senior?” Thatcher replies: “I am.”
While the Queen appears to disapprove of Thatcher’s policy implementations (“It’s a dangerous game to make enemies left, right and centre”), we’re shown how they’re both isolated as women at the top, constantly facing opposition from their numerous male colleagues – a similarity that we’re bound to see explored in series four.
“Two women running the shop – that’s the last thing this country needs,” we hear Prince Charles telling Queen Elizabeth II, who quips back: “Maybe that’s precisely what this country needs.”
Margaret Thatcher’s controversial time in office
Judging by the trailer, season four hasn’t shied away from Margaret Thatcher’s divisive years in No. 10 and the neoliberal, conservative ideals she implemented whilst in power.
“My goal is to change this country from being dependent to being self-reliant, and I think in that I am succeeding,” Thatcher tells the Queen, who is quick to point out the “joblessness”, “recession” and “crises” that are happening under the prime minister’s leadership.
As we’re shown footage of long queues at job centres, mass protests, civil disruption and a brief shot of the Falklands War, we can expect season four to dive deeply into the Iron Lady’s 11 years in office.
Charles and Diana’s courtship and marriage
The latter half of season four’s jam-packed trailer gives fans a glimpse at the beginnings of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer’s (Emma Corrin) relationship, which seems to come about after a 30-something Charles starts to feel pressure to find himself a suitable wife.
“Your duty is the choice of a woman the people will love as Princess,” we hear Charles being told, “And in due course, as Queen.”
As well as the media frenzy around the pair’s engagement and their momentous wedding day in 1981, we’re likely to see the royal couple’s first Royal Tour of Australia and New Zealand with a newborn Prince William in 1983 (as hinted by shots of the Sydney Opera House and footage of Diana in a pink suit, similar to an outfit worn by the Princess of Wales whilst visiting Perth) and their meeting with representatives of the Maori people.
We also see Diana, dressed in white, dancing on a stage in front of a large audience – a scene which mirrors the Princess of Wales’ performance at the Royal opera House in 1985, which she planned to surprise Charles.
Trouble in paradise
Despite the marriage’s promising start, we watch as Charles and Diana’s relationship faces pressure from the Prince of Wales’ family, who appear unsure of his new wife.
“All I want is to be loved, it’s all any of us want from you,” an emotional Diana is seen telling a stone-facing Queen Elizabeth II, before Charles appears to shout at one of his relatives: “What does one have to do to get some kindness in this family?”
Throughout season four, we’re likely to see the tension rise as it all becomes too overwhelming for Diana, whose free-spirited nature clashes with her in-laws.
“In time, she will give up her fight and bend,” the Queen Mother is heard saying, before the Queen chips in: “And if she doesn’t bend, then what then?” “She will break,” Princess Margaret responds.
In the last few explosive moments, we watch as Charles and Diana fiercely argue and attend red carpet events before Diana throws a bouquet of flowers onto the floor of their grand residence – if these scenes are indicative of what’s to come, season four will undoubtedly be a highly dramatic look at the characters’ fraught relationship.
Princess Margaret struggles
Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter) appears just a few times in the trailer, but from those brief moments, it’s very clear that she’s not very happy.
“How many times can this family make the same mistake, paying the consequences each time,” she says, possibly referring to Charles and Diana’s relationship and hinting that she’s still very bitter about her forbidden romance with Peter Townsend (as seen in season one).
We later see Margaret suspended under water before solemnly walking on the beach. It’s possible that season four will explore the Countess of Snowdon’s health problems, which begin in the late 70’s when she’s diagnosed with pneumonia and later has part of her lung removed due to her smoking habit.
Charles and Camilla
While it’s not completely clear from the trailer, as the shot is just a few seconds long, but the clip appears to show Camilla Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennell) kissing Charles whilst they’re sat in their car.
According to Charles’s authorised biography, the two begin an affair in 1986 – therefore, season four may likely explore their relationship and the fallout from it.