Season five and six of The Crown will see Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter and Tobias Menzies leave the production and an intake of new actors take over the reign(s). See what we did there?
As is the custom for Peter Morgan's award-winning, big budget Netflix show chronicling the lives of the British royal family, the actors are replaced every two seasons so as to reflect the ages and likenesses of the royals as we progress through the decades.
Season one and two saw Claire Foy and Matt Smith play the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh before passing the baton to Colman and Menzies. Season three then introduced us to Princess Anne (Erin Doherty), Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor), Camilla Parker-Bowles (Emerald Fennell) while season four presented actor Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and the formidable Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher, as we see the UK depicted in the 1970s and 1980s.
With season four having dropped to rave reviews in the Autumn of 2020 - and sweeping up during the 2021 awards season - there are already mutterings about to what we can expect from season five (now, the penultimate series of the show since a season 6 was confirmed last year).
Here's everything we know about The Crown season 5:
What will happen in The Crown season 5?
Considering that season 4 of the show focussed on the 1970s and 1980s, including Thatcher's premiership, the wedding between Diana and Charles and the birth of Prince William and Prince Harry, we can assume that season 5 will pick up towards the latter end of the decade or the start of the early 1990s.
The 1990s were a turbulent decade for the royal family, with the Queen famously referring to 1992 as her 'annus horribilis' due to the breakdown of the marriages of three of her children, Diana and Charles, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson and Princess Anne and Mark Phillips, as well as a fire at Windsor Castle. Public opinion about the royal family was particularly low as the decade progressed, especially during the aftermath of the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997.
It's not known if the season will enter the new millennium. The Queen celebrated her golden jubilee in 2002 but also experienced heartbreak when her mother and sister, Princess Margaret died just weeks apart.
The Telegraph reports Prince William has spoken privately about the series' alleged intention to portray Princess Diana's 1995 interview with journalist Martin Bashir. While the Duke of Cambridge has previously said the interview should never be aired again, a source has told the publication he is 'frustrated' that The Crown may go against his wishes.
'[The Duke's] words [on the interview] still stand,' the source told the Telegraph.
Earlier this year an independent investigation found that the interview was obtained by presenting the late Princess Diana with fake documents. Mr Bashir has denied wrongdoing.
Following the findings, Prince William said in a statement: 'It is welcome that the BBC accepts Lord Dyson’s findings in full - which are extremely concerning - that BBC employees lied and used fake documents to obtain the interview with my mother, [and] made lurid and false claims about the Royal Family which played on her fears and fuelled paranoia.
Amid reports Netflix plans to dramatise the interview in season five of The Crown, a spokesman for the BBC has since said: 'The BBC has said it has no intention of showing the interview again. We have had no interaction on this specific issue with Netflix.'
Netflix declined to comment in response Variety query about the alleged plans to portray the interview. ELLE UK has reached out to Netflix for comment.
Who are the cast of The Crown season 5?
The lead role of the Queen will be played by Imelda Staunton, it was confirmed earlier this year. The actor - best known for portraying Professor Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films, but also for Vera Drake and Shakespeare In Love - said she was a fan of the show and 'genuinely honoured' to be taking The Crown to 'its conclusion'.
In July 2021, the show presented the first look picture as Staunton as the British monarch and, we have to say, the resemblance is uncanny:
On August 2, it was confirmed that the new cast had begun filming for season 5 as Staunton and some other characters were spotted in production. The 65-year-old was photographed in the Scottish village of Macduff on board a boat designed to look like a royal yacht.
While it's not known exactly what scene The Crown were filming, Staunton's nautical setting and outfit looks rather like this picture of the Queen on board the QE2 in Southampton in 1990:
The 'royal yacht' which was spotted during filming in Scotland also bore similarity to HMY Britannia, the yacht the Queen boarded (she's seen at the front in yellow in this picture) from Heysham Port in Lancashire in August, 1989:
Following in the footsteps of Vanessa Kirby and Bonham Carter, Princess Margaret will be played by Lesley Manville, who has worked with Staunton on various projects including Vera Drake as well as awards-nominated films like Phantom Thread and TV series including Save Me and Mum.
Now, it's been revealed that Prince Philip will be played by Jonathan Pryce - who most recently was nominated for an Oscar for The Two Popes. The 73 year old is mostly recognised for his roles in theatre (including many a Shakespeare production), Pirates of The Caribbean and historical TV dramas like Wolf Hall and starring opposite Glenn Close in The Wife..
In August, Netflix announced that they had also found their Princess Diana for the final seasons of the series in Australian actress, Elizabeth Debicki. Best known for her part as Jordan Baker in Baz Luhrman's The Great Gatsby, the actor said it was a 'true privilege' to be portraying the Princess of Wales.
Elizabeth Debicki will play Princess Diana in the final two seasons of The Crown (Seasons 5 and 6). pic.twitter.com/Z3CjHuJ56B
— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) August 16, 2020
'Princess Diana's spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many,' Debicki said in a statement.
On August 17, Netflix released the first-look pictures of Debicki as Princess Diana, where the Australian actress sports the late Princesses' very familiar early-1990s hairstyle.
Prince Charles will be portrayed by The Affair's Dominic West. During a recent interview, O'Connor was asked about what advice he'd impart to The Crown's next Prince Of Wales when he name-dropped West.
'The reason I wanted to be an actor is to play different people,' the Golden Globe winner told GQ Hype. 'Playing that character has brought me a lot of joy. But it’s lovely to come away and go, "Great. Now hand it over to Dominic West."... if Dominic West came to me asking me for advice, I’d laugh him off. I’d be like, "Dom! You’re Dominic West!"'
While previewing the first look at Princess Diana in season five, Netflix also showed West as Prince Charles:
Considering Prime Minister Thatcher did not resign until 1992, it's likely Anderson will continue to feature for the first part of the season at least.
The Prime Minister that took over from Thatcher in 1992 was John Major, and in June it was confirmed that actor Jonny Lee Miller - best known for his role as Sick Boy in Trainspotting (and for celebrity news hounds, he was also married to Angelina Jolie and the pair remain good friends) - will take on this role.
Will there be a sixth season of The Crown?
Originally the answer was no, with Morgan coinciding his announcement of Staunton as the Queen by saying he would cut The Crown at season five.
However, in July, the acclaimed writer appeared to change his mind when Netflix announced there would be a sixth season.
While fans wondered if this meant recent royal events like royal weddings, Meghan Markle's introduction to the family and the subsequent decision of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to become financially independent from the monarchy, plus Prince Andrews' friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, would be covered, Morgan shut down speculation pretty quickly.
'As we started to discuss the storylines for series five, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story, we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons,' Morgan said, per The Hollywood Reporter.
'To be clear, season six will not bring us any closer to present day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.'
When will The Crown Season 5 be released on Netflix?
Netflix has shared an announcement from the set of The Crown courtesy of Staunton who introduces herself as Queen Elizabeth in the clip.
In the clip, Staunton pays tribute to the previous two actors - Olivia Colman and Claire Foy - who played the Queen in the hit series.
'I will do my upmost to maintain the very high standard that they set, she says before adding that her stomach is 'doing somersaults' at the though of taking on the famous role.
'On behalf of the cast and crew, we look forward to bringing you the next season of The Crown in November 2022,' the actor says.
On April 7, Variety reported that the fifth season would begin production in the UK in July 2021.
We'll continue to update this page as more information, cast announcements and trailers for The Crown season five are released.
You Might Also Like