The fascinating women at the center of ‘The Crown’s’ new season


(CNN)The fourth season of “The Crown” premiered on Sunday and audiences were introduced to a slew of new characters drawn from the pages of history, including Princess Diana and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The Netflix drama — which is based on real-life events but not entirely factual — follows the lives of the British royal family from the death of King George VI in 1952, when Queen Elizabeth II takes the throne.

Here are some facts that you should know about the iconic women while watching the new season:

Princess Diana

    • The late Princess Diana was born on July 1, 1961, in Sandringham in a home close to the royal estate in which the Windsors spent much of their time, according to the royal household website.
    • Diana had two older sisters, Sarah and Jane, and a younger brother, Charles. Sarah and Prince Charles briefly dated in the late 1970s and Sarah eventually set her younger sister up with the royal heir.
    • Diana worked as a nanny and a kindergarten teacher shortly before she married Prince Charles in 1981.
    • Diana was only 20 when she married Charles — he was 32.
    • Diana shared details about her life with British biographer Andrew Morton who in 1992 published “Diana: Her True Story” which details her bulimia and suicide attempts during the 1980s.
    • Diana became the first royal bride to omit the promise to “obey” her husband in her wedding vows. Both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle followed their late mother-law’s lead by leaving the words out of their vows.
    • Diana played a major role in changing the perception of HIV/Aids in the mid-1980s after being photographed shaking the hand of a man suffering with the disease without gloves.
    • Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997, along with her then-boyfriend Dodi Fayed. Diana’s two children, Prince William and Prince Harry have been vocal in their blaming of the paparazzi for their mother’s death.

      Margaret Thatcher

      • Margaret Thatcher was the first woman to serve as British prime minister. She also became the longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century after nearly 12 years in the job
      • Thatcher was given her nickname, the “Iron Lady,” by Soviet journalists after a 1976 speech in which she condemned communism.
      • Thatcher worked as a food scientist before entering politics. She had graduated from Oxford University in 1947 with a chemistry degree.
      • She married wealthy industrialist Denis Thatcher in 1951 and gave birth to twins Carol and Mark in 1953, according to a biography in Britannica.
      • Thatcher’s relationship with Queen Elizabeth II has been portrayed in the media as “frosty,” but Thatcher seems to contradict this in her memoir saying, “I always found the Queen’s attitude toward the work of government absolutely correct … stories of clashes between ‘two powerful women’ were just too good not to make up.”
      • Thatcher survived an attempted assassination in 1984 when the Irish Republican Army bombed a hotel where she and other top government officials were assembled.
      • Thatcher died of a stroke in London at the age of 87 on April 8, 2013.