At the virtual premiere for Netflix’s fourth season of The Crown—it premieres Sunday, November 15—Olivia Colman described the first time she saw Emma Corrin in costume as Princess Diana: “It’s like the real person had walked in the room.”
In total, 80 individual pieces were made for Corrin as she transformed from a shy schoolteacher named Lady Diana Spencer to the Princess of Wales, style icon. “When we first see Diana this season, she’s dressed as this crazy fairy in leaves,” says Emmy award-winning costume designer Amy Roberts. “Compare that to the last time we see her this season, and it couldn’t be more different.”
A total of 400 costumes were made or purchased for the new season of The Crown, but Roberts knows fans mostly want to see Diana’s looks. To prepare, Roberts says she absorbed every visual reference of Diana she could find “to understand what she’s about, who she is, and how she finds her way.” Then, she says, she threw them all way and didn’t look at the pictures again.
While some of Diana’s looks this season are almost exact replicas, many were simply a nod to the princess’s style. “Obviously the wedding dress and the engagement suit and key moments like that [are included],” Roberts says. “But what’s so great about The Crown is that it’s a mixture of accuracy and naturalism mixed with stylized glamour.”
Here, we rounded up some of Princess Diana’s most memorable looks from 1980 through 1989—when much of The Crown’s fourth season takes place—to compare with the outfits you see on the series. Prepare to be dazzled. We certainly were.
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