After the momentous success of The Crown‘s fourth season, Netflix’s royal drama has now garnered views from 73 million households since it first streamed in 2016.
And naturally, the season hiatus has left fans curious—and eager—for the next instalment.
For those who are late to The Crown bandwagon, the show chronicles Queen Elizabeth II and her family’s life from the year of her marriage to Prince Philip in 1947, moving into the end of the 20th century.
And thus far, the Netflix original has showcased five decades of the queen’s life, having most recently documented Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ tumultuous marriage in the ’80s. But of course, fans are desperate to know what they can expect from another season of royal drama—and who could blame them?
Season 5 is set to uncover one of the most significant decades for the British royals in modern history, with Netflix sharing the first trailer in October 2022. In it, Imelda Staunton (who plays the Queen) poignantly states: “In light of the events of the last 12 months, perhaps I have more to reflect on than most.”
The trailer then reveals several major plot points from the new season, including Diana’s explosive BBC interview, Charles’ affair with Camilla and more.
What Is The Plot Of The Crown Season 5?
If season four’s finale had you itching to witness what came next for Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s dissolving marriage, then you’re not alone.
Set to spotlight the 1990s, The Crown’s fifth season will follow the now-late Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Charles, Camilla and Princess Diana, while also following the next generation of royals as teenagers.
Focusing on Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s divorce, show creator Peter Morgan and his writers have a plethora of real-life moments to draw inspiration from. However, he’s already revealed that he plans to steer clear of the infamous “Tampongate” affair that happened in 1989. Speaking of the incident, Josh O’Connor—who played Prince Charles in season four—opened up about his role in the removal of the moment from the series.
“When they offered me the role, one of my first questions was—I say ‘questions’, I think it was pretty much a statement—’We are not doing the tampon phone call,'” O’Connor recalls.
“Pre-The Crown, I had made many independent films and television shows where there’s a lot of nudity and slightly dodgy characters, and this was my one chance for my parent’s to see something with no shame. And there was no way that I was going to scuffle that by talking about tampons on Netflix. So, that was out.“
“So, unfortunately, all of the fans of the ‘tampongate’ will be disappointed.”
Either way, even without this infamous moment, the series has endless content to work with, including the Wales’ final royal tour to Japan, Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York’s divorce, and of course, the cheating scandal that saw Princess Anne divorce her husband.
In October 2021, pap shots of the actors depicting Diana and Charles, Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West were leaked, revealing them filming in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Per the Daily Mail, the scenes are in fact set to depict the royal couple’s 1991 trip to Italy where they celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary. In the images, the actors are even dressed factually, with Debicki wearing a stunning floral dress much like one Diana wore when she visited Seville in 1992. See the outfit comparisons via Vanity Fair here.
In September 2022, Netflix dropped the first look at the new series with a short clip depicting Princess Diana nervously preparing to begin her interview, presumably the infamous Martin Bashir sit-down, which included the Princess’ bombshell statement: “There were three of us in the marriage”. Watch the full clip here.
Who Will Play Queen Elizabeth II In The Crown Season 5?
As for who will be filling Olivia Colman’s shoes, British actress Imelda Staunton will be taking on the role.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to confirm Imelda Staunton as Her Majesty The Queen for the fifth and final season, taking The Crown into the 21st century. Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman,” Morgan said of the announcement.
The show’s fifth season will see Imelda Staunton—known for her appearance as Professor Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter franchise—take on her most notable role yet. Talking about her casting, Staunton shared:
“I have loved watching The Crown from the very start. As an actor, it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan’s scripts. I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion.”
Who Has Been Cast In The Crown Season 5?
Alongside Staunton, Game of Thrones star and Oscar nominee Jonathan Pryce has been chosen as the new Prince Philip, following Tobias Menzies who played the role for the past two seasons.
But as for the biggest question of all—who will play Prince Andrew?—rumour has it, the streaming giant found it difficult to cast someone as the Prince, presumably due to his alleged friendship with convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, as per The Sun.
Netflix later denied claims that they’re “struggling” to fill the role and have claimed that its odd casting call through public outlets is a standard process.
“There is absolutely no struggle to cast any role for season 5 of The Crown, and it is normal practice for productions to advertise in Spotlight,” a representative for the series told Deadline.
It now looks like the actor who briefly appeared as Prince Andrew in season 4, James Murray will reprise his role as the Duke of York.
The rest of the starry lineup joining The Crown, includes Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Dominic West as Prince Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana.
Famous for her role as Sylvie Grateau on the Netflix show, Leroy-Beaulieu is set to play Monique Ritz, the widow of Charles Ritz, who sold his family’s iconic Paris hotel to Mohamed Al Fayed in 1979. It may not seem that influential, but that hotel was the same one where Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed (Mohamed’s son) spent their last night together, before they tragically died in a car accident in 1997.
Joining the all-star ensemble is Dominic West’s real life son Senan West, who is set to star as Prince William. As revealed by Variety, the role will mark 13-year-old Senan’s on-screen debut, appearing towards the end of the highly anticipated season.
This isn’t the first time West has starred opposite his offspring in a project, with his daughter Martha West portraying a minor character in the scandalous The Pursuit Of Love. West began a highly publicised extramarital affair with co-star Lily James after meeting on set of the limited-series.
In early 2022, Netflix revealed who will be playing the the love interests of Princess Diana following her divorce from Prince Charles. Humayun Saeed is set to play Dr. Hasmat Ahmad Khan, a British-Pakistani heart surgeon who dated Princess Diana in the 1990s.
Egyptian-British actor Khalid Abdalla will play Dodi Fayed, a film producer who dated Princess Diana and was killed in the same car crash that ended her life. The actor has previously starred in The Kite Runner.
Less than a month before its release, Netflix dropped the official character portraits featuring Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Dominic West as Prince Charles, Johnathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Imelda Staunton as the Queen, and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.
When Will The Crown Season 5 Be Released?
While there was speculation that the fifth season would be delayed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, Netflix has confirmed that the release date will go ahead on schedule—mark November 9, 2022 in your diaries!