Who should play Diana in The Crown?
Who should join Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter as Diana in The Crown season three? Our wishlist
To keep up with the ageing monarchs as the story rushes on from the 40s, 50s and 60s into the 70s and 80s, slightly older faces are being drafted in to replace the youthful bloom of the young Queen Elizabeth II and her family.
The news that Olivia Colman would be replacing Claire Foy for season three caused nearly as much excitement as the announcement that Helena Bonham Carter would be stepping into Vanessa Kirby's shoes as Princess Margaret.
It's rumoured that Lady Di will make her first appearance in The Crown towards the end of season three, and will occupy the majority of the storyline for seasons four and five.
And so now, the real question is: who will be joining Helena Bonham Carter and Olivia Colman next series and taking on the role of Princess Diana? We need someone who can play posh – obviously – with charm, charisma and friendliness, but she's also going to need a large dollop of something challenging, rebellious and little bit naughty. Ideally with apricot skin, doe eyes and fluffy blonde hair.
Come join us on the imaginary casting couch.
Out the gate with a bit of a rogue choice here, but we've just seen Olivia Cooke in the up-coming production of ITV's Vanity Fair where she was mesmerising as the self-confident, free-spirited Becky Sharp. Sure, Cooke would need to rock blonde hair and maybe even blue eye contact lenses, but if she can pull that look off we'd have the perfect People's Princess.
We know from her turn on Game of Thrones that Sophie Turner is the master of playing a woman from a powerful family. She knows how to portray a strong internal sense of self, who can weather any storm and battle away at her insecurities. Add a few smiles and a couple of pussy-bow blouses, and we've got ourselves a potential Diana.
There's so much about Emma Watson that would make her perfect as Diana in The Crown. For starters, she can sympathise with the crushing pressure of international fame since entering the spotlight at the age of 11 in Harry Potter. She's dedicated herself to charity work – like Diana – and also comes across as very charming, and the perfect English Rose. She would have to dye her hair though.
Want your Diana naughty and a little bit mad? Introducing Cara Delevingne, who would certainly bring about that mesmerising, photogenic Diana quality (it's easy to believe that the crowds would be looking at Delevingne's Diana over Prince Charles when the Royal couple do visits) as well as Diana's free-spirit. Delevingne would have to stop sticking her tongue out at every possible opportunity, but the model turned actress seemed to muddle through Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets alright.
Awwwww. Lilly James. Would the young Hollywood sweetheart be capable of being on screen without a corset? From Cinderella to Romeo and Juliet, Downton Abbey to War and Peace, Baby Driver toThe Darkest Hour the young actress is adept at playing emotionally fraught sweethearts with a little bit of something extra. She'd bring a wide-eyed sensibility and innate sweetness to our Diana.
Another absolute cutie – wee Saoirse would bring all the kooky, rebellious, loveliness evident in The Grand Budapest Hotel and Lady Bird and likely give us an endearing, sympathetic Diana.
With the launch of the police cop drama Collateral back in February, we know that Carey Mulligan can play almost anything. But a charming blend of coolness, kindness and strength in the face of adversity have epitomised many of the characters she's played, from Never Let Me Go to Suffragette.
Let us remind ourselves, Diana was only 19 years old when she got married. So perhaps we should be looking for a young fresh face and a name that maybe you won't recognise at first: enter Hermoine Corfield. Having said that, this actress wow-ed in The Halcyon on ITV and has been in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and Star Wars: The Last Jedi so she's hardly a total novice. The Crown season one took in some biggish names and made them superstars – like Vanessa Kirby and even Claire Foy arguably – and might well look to perform the same magic with at least one character in season three. We'd be chuffed to see Corfield and her big, Diana-like eyes in the role.
Garai's Emma on the BBC was the most fire-y and satisfyingly rambunctious. Garai gives her girls lots of grit, and a personality to be reckoned with. Diana may have been young, naive, and struggling with eating disorders, but she was also a singularly impressive woman. We'd like to see what Garai – owner of big eyes and strong will power – could bring to the role.
She wouldn't perhaps be our first choice to play Diana, but Keira Knightley has already played one of Diana's relatives: Georgiana the Duchess of Devonshire. Not only were the two women related (Diana being a distant relative), they both lead remarkably similar lives being, as they were, brave, brash women married to men whose affections lay elsewhere. Keira played Georgiana to a tee – so would no doubt do a magnificent job of Diana too.
Last, but not least, Elizabeth Debicki who was luminous and sexy in The Night Manager. We um-ed and ah-ed about suggesting her, because she is actually Australian, but she looks so similar to Princess Di, and carries herself with such serenity and fortitude, we felt it would be remiss to leave her off our dream list.