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The Crown’s royal tour to 1983 Australia in season four

Fans of The Crown are devouring the fourth season of the glitzy royal drama, entranced by the ups and (mostly) downs of Charles and Diana’s complicated relationship.From their bizarre initial meeting – nothing says ‘possible future Queen’ like a forest sprite costume – and the first flushes of romance to Charles’ contempt and Diana’s loneliness,…

Fans of The Crown are devouring the fourth season of the glitzy royal drama, entranced by the ups and (mostly) downs of Charles and Diana’s complicated relationship.

From their bizarre initial meeting – nothing says ‘possible future Queen’ like a forest sprite costume – and the first flushes of romance to Charles’ contempt and Diana’s loneliness, it’s an emotional journey worthy of the show’s slick production values and enormous budget.

It is what fans of The Crown have been waiting for since its first season started the Windsor story in 1947.

But for Australians, this new season will have special significance because almost an entire episode is set here, with the couple greeted by thunderous crowds eager to meet the new Princess during the 1983 royal tour.

After landing in Darwin, the royal couple made their way around the country, and Charles, according to The Crown, did a little bodyboarding at Bondi Beach.

Meanwhile, Diana had a little light flirtation with some lifeguards at a photocall.

While scenes with the Sydney Opera House and Uluru in the background suggest the production was filmed on location here, the Australian scenes were actually filmed in Spain, primarily around Malaga and Almeria.

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Of course, the episode is not just an excuse to recreate Diana’s most iconic outfits from that six-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, there’s an emotional arc to the chapter too, as Charles and Diana’s marriage becomes increasingly fraught despite a few tender moments and a glimmer of hope in the mid-stretch.

Then there’s Richard Roxburgh’s performance as Bob Hawke, a role he’s previously played in a TV biopic of the former PM. In the episode, Roxburgh’s Hawke viewed the upcoming tour as potentially the turning point for the republican movement, hoping the Australian people will be unimpressed by Charles and choose self-determination over the monarchy.

Back in England, Prince Philip even moans about how “important” Australia is to the monarchy and that they shouldn’t have sent the “B team” to shore up support.

Hawke, a known republican in real life, would not get the break from the crown he hoped for after Diana wowed crowds and reinvigorated the public’s love affair with the British royals.

A love affair that remains to this day – there’s nothing we love more than to be acknowledged by our imperial masters, even in a dramatised TV show.

The Crown fans are certainly enjoying it:

The Crown season four is streaming now on Netflix

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