When nominations were announced in July, the Netflix drama earned a total of 11 nods, following closely behind Ted Lasso, which scored the most nominations with 13. Corrin, 25, and O’Connor, 31 — who play the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles, respectively — are each up for their first-ever Emmy Awards for their leading roles.
“This is amazing! Thank you to the Academy for this tremendous send-off,” O’Connor, whose role will be taken over by Dominic West on the upcoming fifth season, said in a statement of his nomination. “It has been such an honor to be a part of this beautiful family for the past three years and to share this recognition today with Emma, Olivia [Colman], Gillian [Anderson], Helena [Bonham-Carter], Emerald [Fennell], Tobias [Menzies], Peter Morgan and the entire cast and crew of The Crown just means the world.”
The My Policeman star, for their part, celebrated her nomination alongside Colman, 47, also up for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for playing Queen Elizabeth II.
“It’s an unbelievable honour to be nominated in this category alongside you and such other wonderfully talented actors,” Corrin noted in a statement. “This nomination only exists because of Josh and all my family on The Crown. Every part of my involvement in telling this story has felt like a dream I don’t want to wake up from – I’m so happy and so honoured by the recognition. Thank you!”
On Sunday, O’Connor took home the win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Colman beat out Corrin in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category. Jessica Hobbs won Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series and Morgan, 58, accepted the award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series before The Crown was announced as the Outstanding Drama Series winner. The series also received four trophies at the Creative Arts Emmys earlier this month, including Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series.
Earlier this year, Corrin won Best Actress in a Drama Series at the 2021 Critics’ Choice Television Awards and Best Actress in a Television Series Drama at the 2021 Golden Globes. While accepting the first Golden Globe of their career in February, Corrin gave a special shout-out to the late Princess of Wales.
“Most of all, thank you so much to Diana,” the Misbehaviour star said at the time. “You have taught me compassion and empathy beyond any measure that I could ever imagine.”
Ahead of the 73rd annual Emmy Awards on Sunday, Corrin admitted it’s been “so weird” to be known for playing an already iconic historical figure.
“We’re in the middle of the sea, and there are guys floating toward me calling out, ‘Oh, Lady Di!'” they told The New York Times in August, reminiscing on a fan encounter while on vacation in Spain. “Those moments still feel very strange. So maybe it will never really sink in. And that’s maybe quite a good thing because it could be very overwhelming.”
Season 5 of The Crown is currently in the works — but fans won’t be seeing Corrin on their screens again. Instead, Elizabeth Debicki will be portraying Diana, who died in 1997 after a Paris car crash.
“I feel so happy to have done the arc of her life that I did, but for me it feels like a very closed chapter,” Corrin told the outlet. “I went into it knowing I wouldn’t continue. I saw the picture of Elizabeth, and I just think she looks absolutely brilliant. And then there were our photos side by side, and I felt really special — almost like a sort of sister feeling that there’s this continued likeness.”
Though their experience on the critically acclaimed drama has been memorable, Corrin is ready to say goodbye to the character.
“I’m grateful that I don’t have to [continue until Diana’s death] because I know how attached I feel to the person I played,” they explained. “I feel very protective over her.”
Scroll down to see Corrin and more of The Crown cast on the 2021 Emmys red carpet: