Is season four of The Crown about to be the most devastating?
Welp, all signs are pointing in that direction. Following a series of pretty ominous teasers, Netflix has released the official trailer for the royal showdown and we recommend stocking up on Kleenex before giving it a watch.
Several seconds into the new clip, Gillian Anderson appears as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, one of the most polarizing political figures in the U.K.'s history. "Your Majesty, I think we have enough respect for one another personally to ask ourselves some of the bigger questions, woman to woman," she tells Olivia Colman's Queen Elizabeth II in a seconds-long exchange that proves the real-life figure was dead-set on asserting herself as a force to be reckoned with.
And though Thatcher lists all the reasons for which she believes she's successful as prime minister, the queen is quick to call out the "joblessness, recession, crises" that have arose under her reign. The clip promises a tense dynamic between these two. And, spoiler alert, we're pumped to see how, exactly, producers tackle the years that lead to Thatcher's actual resignation in November 1990.
That said, it's the devastating love (hate?) story between Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor) and Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) that takes center stage at the second half of the trailer. The clip finds Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies) reminding Charles of his obligation to the crown: "One day, dear boy, you shall be king. Your duty now is the choice of a woman the people will love as a princess, and in due course, as queen."
We then see Corrin step into the glamorous role of Diana, posing for the paparazzi and walking around Buckingham Palace in a replica of the iconic David and Elizabeth Emanuel wedding gown she wore to get married in. Perhaps the most painful look at what's to come is evidenced in a voiceover from Corrin's Diana, who tells Queen Elizabeth II, "All I want is to be loved. It's all any of us want from you."
Talking about Diana in another scene, the Queen Mother (Marion Bailer) says, "In time, she will give up her fight and bend as they all do." Helena Bonham Carter's Princess Margaret chimes in, adding that if she doesn't bend, "she will break." Dark stuff.
Toward the end, we see dramatic glimpses at huge fights between Diana and Charles, his affair with Camila Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennel) and Thatcher's ultimate downfall.
Phew! Did you catch all that?
As the official Netflix description for season four says, the new season begins in the late 1970s through 1990, an "increasingly divided" time for the royal family. The cast also includes Erin Doherty as Princess Anne, Georgie Glen as Lady Fermoy, Tom Byrne as Prince Andrew, Angue Imrie as Prince Edward, Charles Dance as Lord Mountbatten, Stephen Boxer as Denis Thatcher, Rebecca Humphries as Carol Thatcher and Freddie Fox as Mark Thatcher.
Creator Peter Morgan opened up about the tense relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Thatcher.
"It was a commonly held piece of wisdom that the Queen and Thatcher didn't get on," he said. "I think there was probably a lot of respect. But they also had many differences, it was really fun exploring their differences and their similarities. I also get a chance to explore them both as mothers. Writing Thatcher and the Queen as mothers was probably an angle that no one has explored before. It yielded one of my favorite episodes in the season."
Allow us to gather ourselves to prepare for an unprecedented season of drama. Then, scroll down to get more details about what's to come in season four.
Season four of The Crown hits Netflix on Sunday, Nov. 15.