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Princess Diana's Bashful Face In "The Crown" Is Now A Meme

"Me on a Zoom call pretending I’m listening and not just looking at myself."

Posted on November 17, 2020, at 2:48 p.m. ET

Des Willie/Netflix

Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor) and Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) in The Crown.

The young prince and his new fiancé stand before the media's flashing cameras to announce their engagement.

"What can you tell us about the actual wedding?" a reporter asks.

"Well, we're not that far on yet, but for now we're delighted, really," the prince replies.

All the while, the coquettish young bride-to-be smiles politely, making eyes for the cameras.

The scene is from the just-released fourth season of The Crown, Netflix's prestige drama chronicling the lives of the British royal family. In this third episode, "Fairytale," Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor) asks Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) to marry him, although she quickly learns in the lead-up to their lavish royal wedding that the monarchy is not as glamorous as it appears.

The engagement announcement scene is a somewhat faithful re-creation of the real event in 1981, down to the costumes the two actors are wearing.

View this video on YouTube

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But since the latest season was released on Sunday, it's also swiftly become a meme.

In the scene, the camera lingers on Corrin's shy face as she emulates the slightly crooked and bashful smile Princess Diana was known for.

"She basically looks like a rabbit in the headlights," said Wayne David, a 39-year-old part-time DJ in south east London who only recently started the show after running out of things to watch on Netflix.

"Taking on the role of the most famous woman in the world must have been very daunting!" he said, praising Corrin's performance. "In those early scenes, you really are reminded of how young Diana was when she was thrust into the spotlight. I think she captured that perfectly."

David was so struck by the moment he tracked it down on the BBC and made a short screen recording.

"In isolation it really made me laugh for some reason," he said.

He then uploaded the clip to Twitter with a funny caption.

Me trying to decide what to have for dinner

The tweet itself got a respectable few hundred retweets, but the clip of Diana's expressive face was immediately shared by thousands of others on Twitter and racked up more than 2.5 million views in one day.

Many found it perfectly captured their own idiosyncrasies.

Me on a Zoom call pretending I’m listening and not just looking at myself

me on public transport thinking i’m the main character and everyone is interested in my mysterious past

Me trying to move objects by looking at them after watching Matilda

It really was versatile.

trying to catch the waiter’s eye when you’re ready to order food

me: “take a pic of me, but make it look candid” also me:

me pretending to pay attention when someone is explaining a board game

Maybe because it's a clip of a young princess, but the video was a big hit on Gay Twitter.

Me in the locker room in 9th grade pretending I was focusing on changing.

me “accidentally” going down the men’s underwear aisle of walmart as a kid

We're not sure yet if Corrin herself has seen the meme (a spokesperson for the show declined to comment), but we know she's been a bit overwhelmed by all the attention to her breakout performance.

She told GQ magazine she's particularly worried what Princes William and Harry think of her playing their mother.

"If I ever saw them at a party, I'd probably leave!" she said.

As for David, the London DJ who started the whole meme, he's feeling impressed it traveled so far, but royally peeved that other people made better jokes than he did.

"I’m very jealous seeing other people coming up with way funnier versions of the meme and getting loads more likes than mine did," he joked. "It’s like being back at school when someone would copy your work and make it better and get higher marks."

Of course, he found just the meme to express that unique emotion.

Me creating a successful meme then watching everyone else tweet much funnier versions of it

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