This original cast member is making a surprise return in The Crown season 4

We may only just have finished watching the third season of hit Netflix show, The Crown, but naturally, out attention is already on the upcoming fourth season and what we can expect to see.

Well, what if we told you one of the show’s original stars is making a surprise return for season four?

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As fans will know, filming for the fourth season, which like season three will see Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth II, has already kicked off. But according to reports, Claire Foy, who portrayed Her Majesty in the first two seasons has been spotted on the set of season four too. So, what exactly does this mean?

Obviously, the two will not be starring in the show together. However, Claire will apparently make brief cameos in the upcoming season as she appears in flashbacks of the Queen’s 21st Birthday speech, while Olivia will continue her reign for one more season. As we reported last week, she will then pass the baton on to Imelda Staunton for the fifth part of the award-winning drama.

Earlier this year, Netflix confirmed the ongoing rumour that Gillian Anderson will play Margaret Thatcher in the next season, a role which the star says she’s ‘relishing exploring’.

Back in April, it was also revealed that Emma Corrin, who some may recognise from a guest role in ITV’s Grantchester, was ‘beyond excited and honoured to be joining The Crown for as Princess Diana.

‘I have been glued to the show since the first episode and to think I’m now joining this incredibly talented acting family is just surreal,’ she said. ‘Princess Diana was an icon, and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring.’

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Back in March, The Telegraph reported that Netflix were on the hunt for ‘a mesmerising new young star with extraordinary range’ to play Princess Diana between the ages of 18-22. The official job description read: ‘She has to play charming comedy, flirt and social exhibitionist on the world stage, desperate and lonely self-harmer at her lowest ebb and the kind of psychological intensity of Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby.’

Not a tough gig then, eh?

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Gillian and Emma will join Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, who has taken on the role of Princess Margaret from Vanessa Kirby and Tobias Menzies, who has succeeded Matt Smith as Prince Phillip when the series reached the late 1970s.

Margaret Thatcher, who was Britian’s first female Prime Minister, held her position from 1979 til 1990 which is why it is safe to say that Gillian won’t be joining the show until the fourth season.

The rest of the information is still limited, but as the show is based on real-life events – which have of course been dramatised for our entertainment – it is slightly easier to guess the upcoming storylines.

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For example, if the third season looks at the years between 1964-1970, history tells us that this is the period when the Queen cultivates her steadiest relationship with soon-to-be Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who served as head of the British government during this time.

Additionally, it should also feature the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean, the birth of Prince Edward (March 1964), and Prince Charles’ (who will be played by The Durrells star Josh O’Connor) movement into the public eye following his coronation as the Prince of Wales in 1969.