Enjoying Princess Anne On 'The Crown' used to be "Surreal" For Erin Doherty

27

As The Crown moves into the 1960s and ’70s with Season 3, the characters are changing along with the times. That includes Queen Elizabeth’s children, who were just kids during the first two seasons. Now, Josh O’Connor has taken on the role of Prince Charles, while Anne Doherty plays Princess Anne — who, without spoiling anything, is quite the scene-stealer in Season 3.

As reported by Town Country, The Crown‘s third season spans from 1964 to 1977, during which time Princess Anne would have been between 14 and 27 years old. Per The Telegraph, Anne will first appear in Season 3 when she’s in her late teens, meaning Doherty — who is 27 herself — will have to play younger at first, and then older than her real age during The Crown Season 4.

About Playing
Play is a range of voluntary, intrinsically motivated activities done for recreational pleasure and enjoyment. Play is commonly associated with children and juvenile-level activities, but play occurs at any life stage, and among other higher-functioning animals as well, most notably mammals.
Many prominent researchers in the field of psychology, including Melanie Klein, Jean Piaget, William James, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Lev Vygotsky have viewed play as confined to the human species, believing play was important for human development and using different research methods to prove their theories.
Play is often interpreted as frivolous; yet the player can be intently focused on their objective, particularly when play is structured and goal-oriented, as in a game. Accordingly, play can range from relaxed, free-spirited and spontaneous through frivolous to planned or even compulsive. Play is not just a pastime activity; it has the potential to serve as an important tool in numerous aspects of daily life for adolescents, adults, and cognitively advanced non-human species (such as primates). Not only does play promote and aid in physical development (such as hand-eye coordination), but it also aids in cognitive development and social skills, and can even act as a stepping stone into the world of integration, which can be a very stressful process. Play is something that most children partake in, but the way play is executed is different between cultures and the way that children engage with play varies universally.

Playing Princess Anne On 'The Crown' Was "Surreal" For Erin Doherty

About Princess
Princess is a regal rank and the feminine equivalent of prince (from Latin princeps, meaning principal citizen). Most often, the term has been used for the consort of a prince, or for the daughter of a king or prince.

When asked by The Telegraph which events from Anne’s life will be depicted in the show, Doherty played coy, saying, “You know what happens to Anne. It’s not hard to guess.” This could mean, for instance, Anne’s 1973 wedding, the time she stood up to a kidnapper in 1974, or her time competing as an equestrian in the 1976 Olympics. But according to Doherty, what makes The Crown‘s characters “so fascinating” is the way series creator Peter Morgan “focuses on stories which might not have been the headlines everyone remembers.”

As for Doherty, she’s not new to acting, but having come from a theater background, is rather new to TV. Her previous onscreen credits include an episode of Call the Midwife (which starred fellow new Crown actor Emerald Fennel, who plays a young Duchess Camilla) and a TV version of Les Misérables (which featured Josh O’Connor, who plays Prince Charles).

Playing Princess Anne On 'The Crown' Was "Surreal" For Erin Doherty

Doherty told the Telegraph that she’s found filming for The Crown “surreal,” as have her roommates, who can’t believe she gets to see co-star Olivia Colman (Queen Elizabeth II) all the time. “I obviously can’t tell her that they love her in Fleabag every day, that would be weird,” she said.

Though Doherty didn’t know much about Princess Anne going into the show, she told The Italian Rêve that she tried to use this to her benefit and found it freeing as an actor. However, she did do research on Anne’s accent and mannerisms, and also found a way to relate to what the princess went through as she transitioned to public royal duties.

“I literally put myself in her shoes and responded as I would,” Doherty said, “because I don’t think she’s prepared at all, and that comes through her conversations that you’ll see throughout the series with her family … she’s questioning why she has to live a life this way.”

Erin Doherty as Princess Anne on 'The Crown'Des Willie/Netflix

Starring on The Crown could lead to Doherty relating to Princess Anne in another way, because it’s propelling her into the public eye, too. She told the Telegraph in her October interview that at that point, she hadn’t even done a red carpet event yet, but added, “What I hope is that you’ll still be able to see me [even when I’m dressed up on the red carpet] and I’ll look back and think this whole experience was amazing and fun, not a surreal period of my life that I didn’t really live in.”