If you’re as much of a royal-lover as I am, you no doubt binge-watched Season Four of The Crown in a mere 48 hours. Immediately after I watched it all the way through, I treated myself by going back and really deep-diving into my favorite scenes—and, of course, my favorite outfits. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait to see Princess Diana’s Revenge Dress until Season Five, but Di did wear another black dress that was over-the-top gorgeous, and honestly? It was a total Marilyn moment.
Whether or not you think Emma Corrin looks like Princess Diana (I personally think her jawline is distractingly different, but that’s another story. I mean, she isn’t claiming to be her clone!), you’ll have to concede that she did an excellent job bringing the beloved royal to life in the series. She emulated the late princess’ voice, mannerisms and expressions to a T all season long, perfectly showcasing just how much little Diana grew up as her life changed around her at lightning speed.
Just as Corrin nailed the role, costume designer Amy Roberts positively mastered the costuming. We first see Diana in childish cardigans and shades of pale yellow, then her signature bright blue dresses, and finally—when she is at the height of her struggles, dealing with bulimia and crushed at Charles and Camilla’s affair—she ends the series in black.
Pouting in a family portrait, Princess Diana wears a black halter-neck gown with suit-style lapels, and with her hair just a little too tamed, I can’t help but feel like Corrin was serving more Marilyn than Diana. TBH, the hair is borderline Farrah Fawcett-esque! Diana’s strands were always coiffed in a similarly fluffy way, but on Corrin, something gets lost in translation. Does she look painfully stunning? Yes. Does she look like Princess Di? Meh. I spent the whole season trying to see it, but this scene really solidified the Marilyn vibes for me.
In an interview with Bustle, Roberts reveals that putting Diana in a black dress in Season Four’s final scene was her way of foreshadowing the Revenge Dress to come in Season Five. The Revenge Dress, for anyone who might not recognize its unofficial title, was the ultimate LBD, designed by Christina Stambolian and worn by the princess to attend a Vanity Fair fundraising gala. It was the same night the news broke of Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles, and by looking hot and strutting her stuff as the press snapped pics, Diana won the public’s hearts and had everyone saying, “Why the hell would he cheat on her?!”
Funnily enough, Princess Di was supposed to wear a different dress that evening, but because her look had been leaked to the press, she decided to give the Stambolian pick a go. At least, that’s the story we’ve been told. Maybe she changed up her ensemble because she knew the curve-hugging LBD would be the perfect dress to show the world that she was doing just fine (thriving, in fact!) despite the news. It was the original “I’m good luv, enjoy” flex!
According to Roberts, the sexy silhouette wasn’t the only thing about the dress that turned heads. In an interview with Bustle, Roberts says the choice to wear all black was also telling. “It was absolute defiance, because [the royal family doesn’t] like you to wear black—Charles never liked Diana to wear black,” she shared.
Perhaps the black dress The Crown‘s Princess Di wears is meant to send Charles a warning. When I saw it, I got Marilyn vibes, but maybe Charles saw something else: a red flag in black dress form.