The Crown season five is not far away, with the highly anticipated 2022 return of the Netflix show set to be the most dramatic yet.
With a new cast coming onboard to reflect the passing of time and iconic first look photographs released by the week, the fifth season of The Crown is all anyone can talk about.
From the star-studded cast and production snaps to release dates and expected storylines, here's everything we know so far about The Crown season five...
The Crown season five release date
The Crown season five is not far away, with the release date announced as 9 November 2022.
The Crown season five production photographs
Photographs from the filming of The Crown season five have been leaked online this summer. The first look at Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana unsurprisingly went viral, showing the actress on set with two young boys, thought to be the actors playing William and Harry.
It is the recent photographs of Johnny Lee Miller, the actor playing Prime Minister John Major, that have got the world talking the most recently with the actor looking unrecognisable. He is set to star in all ten of the episodes in The Crown season five.
The Crown season five cast
The Crown season five will feature a completely new cast, with the actors replaced every two seasons to reflect the passing of time.
Leading the star-studded cast for the final two seasons are Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret. Also coming onboard are Dominic West as Prince Charles, Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana and Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles.
Among the other notable cast members are Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne, James Murray as Prince Andrew and Jonny Lee Miller as Prime Minister John Major.
Who will play the Queen in The Crown season five?
The third Queen Elizabeth II will be Imelda Staunton, stepping into Claire Foy and Olivia Colman's shoes.
Who will play Princess Diana in The Crown season five?
The Crown's Princess Diana will be played by Elizabeth Debicki for season five but not season six, with the coming season set to include the tragic death of the Princess of Wales. Debicki will be following on from Emma Corrin, who played the role in season four to much acclaim.
Who will play Camilla in The Crown season five?
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will play a bigger role in season five and six, with Olivia Williams taking on the role. Season four saw Camilla's first appearance in The Crown, played by Emerald Fennell.
"One day they’re going to want Camilla," Fennell famously once told her agent. "Will you make sure that I get to go in?"
Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle be in The Crown season five?
Prince Harry will appear in season five but there will be no Meghan Markle character yet. His brother Prince William will be in The Crown as well, but Kate Middleton will not make an appearance either. It is thought that The Crown season five will cover the 1990s, so while we will see a young Harry and Wills, their future wives will not make an appearance. In fact, while a Kate Middleton has been cast for season six, we may never see a Meghan Markle in the Netflix show according to The Crown's 20 year rule.
The Crown season five first looks
The Crown's official Instagram account has given us two first looks at the fifth season.
The first was a photograph of Imelda Staunton as The Crown's Her Majesty, captioned: "An early glimpse of our new Queen Elizabeth II, Imelda Staunton."
The second glimpse of The Crown season five gave us a look at Prince Charles and Princess Diana for the season ahead.
"Our new Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki)," The Crown captioned the upload.
The Crown season five storylines
The Crown season five is set to cover some controversial storylines.
Three divorces are set to unfold in season five, with the show reenacting the separations of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips and Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Other key events set to be reenacted are the Windsor Castle fire, Princess Diana's death and Tony Blair becoming Prime Minister.
A particularly controversial storyline that is set to unfold in season five is reportedly Prince Philip’s friendship with aristocrat Penny Brabourne.
"This is a relationship which naturally raised a few eyebrows and sparked quite a few whispers, but Philip and Penny maintained they were just friends," a source explained to The Sun.
Opening up about the decision to cast Natascha McElhone, the source continued: "The makers of The Crown believe it is a relationship worthy of exploring and casting a veteran actor like Natascha is a reflection of how high profile the role is."
Will The Crown season five depict the Martin Bashir/ Princess Diana interview?
The Crown will recreate Princess Diana's infamous Panorama interview with Martin Bashir in season five according to sources via The Telegraph. Not only will the show reportedly recreate the iconic 1995 interview, it is though that The Crown will also cover the 'deceitful' way that it was obtained.
"It has all been written," a source told The Telegraph. "Scripts are already out there. Peter works very closely with the historical research team who spent weeks poring over the Panorama stuff.
"This was a year ago. The team were doing the most incredible research and they've got it all in there - the build-up to the interview, how Bashir effectively groomed the Princess, the interview itself and the aftermath are all factored in over more than one episode."
What has the cast said about The Crown season five?
Imelda Staunton on playing the Queen in The Crown season five...
"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."
Elizabeth Debicki on playing Princess Diana in The Crown season five...
"Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many. It is my true privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one."
Jonathan Pryce on playing Prince Philip in The Crown season five...
"I am delighted to be working with Netflix again. The positive experience I had making The Two Popes has given me the confidence to tackle the daunting prospect of portraying Prince Philip. To be doing so with Peter Morgan in the company of Imelda and Lesley will be a joy."
Lesley Manville on playing Princess Margaret in The Crown season five...
"I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret. The baton is being passed on from two formidable actresses and I really don’t want to let the side down. Furthermore, to play siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy."
The Crown season five trailer
A trailer for The Crown season five has just been released, and it promises to be the most dramatic yet.
How many seasons of The Crown will there be in total?
The Crown will span six seasons, with the actors recast every two seasons to reflect the passing of time.
Was the sixth season of The Crown cancelled?
It was reported last year that the sixth season had been cancelled and that the fifth instalment would be The Crown's final season.
"The first three seasons of The Crown defined an era, and I know the upcoming fourth season will build further on that success," announced Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix. "It's a stunning example of award-winning entertainment, created in the UK and loved by millions of fans around the world."
She continued: "I fully support Peter Morgan's creative decision and am excited to see how he, Imelda Staunton and the cast and crew of season five, bring this landmark series to a fitting and spectacular end."
Now however, the Netflix show has seemingly done a U-turn, adding an additional season of The Crown and announcing that the show's schedule will revert back to the original six season plan.
"News from the palace: we can confirm there will be a sixth (and final) season of The Crown, in addition to the previously announced five!', announced the streaming platform.
"Writer/creator Peter Morgan: 'As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, 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.' So to summarise - we'll have one more season with Queen Olivia Colman, before she passes the crown to Imelda Staunton. We're just half way through! Lovely."
Do the royal family watch The Crown?
Some members of the royal family are reported to have seen The Crown, most notably the late Queen who apparently gave it a stamp of approval. Matt Smith reported however that the late Prince Philip did not watch the show.
Smith revealed how a close friend that's prominent in the film industry was at a dinner with the royals when Prince Philip asked him, "What do you do? Are you involved in this Crown thing?" At the end of the meal the friend in question reportedly asked, "Philip, I’m just wondering, because I have some friends who made The Crown, have you watched any?’ To which the Duke of Edinburgh is rumoured to have stopped, glowered and replied, ‘Don’t be ridiculous."
King Charles is also reported not to be a fan, particularly after the portrayal of his marriage to Princess Diana in season four, with his team reportedly concerned for the King's popularity.
In fact, the backlash got so loud after season four that Clarence House's official social media platforms had to disable their comments. Camilla, Queen Consort's take on The Crown however is a different matter, with the royal said to enjoy the show.
Prince William is also reportedly upset at the show, feeling that "both his parents are being exploited and being presented in a false, simplistic way to make money".
"Edward and Sophie love The Crown," a senior royal source has explained of the Earl and Countess of Wessex a few years back. "It has been a longstanding arrangement that they drive to Windsor at the weekend to join the Queen for an informal supper while watching TV or a film. They have a Netflix account and urged her to watch it with them."
The source continued: "Happily, she really liked it, although obviously there were some depictions of events that she found too heavily dramatised."
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York is said to have loved The Crown, even offering to advise on production.
What has the royal family said about The Crown?
While most royal family members have remained tight-lipped about their portrayal, a few of them have spoken out about their thoughts on the show.
Prince Harry on The Crown...
"They don’t pretend to be news. It’s fiction. … But it’s loosely based on the truth. It gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle, what the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that. I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife, or myself."
Princess Eugenie on The Crown...
"It is filmed beautifully. The music is wonderful, the story is beautiful. You feel very proud to watch it. I can’t speak for everyone, but that’s how I felt when I watched it."
Meghan Markle on The Crown...
"I’ve watched some of it."
Mike Tindall on The Crown...
"I only got about halfway through season three, so I started watching season three last night and then I'll catch up. But I've seen it all over the place, and on these popular midday TV shows. I'm quite intrigued to see where they go with it because obviously, it's an era people are fascinated with. It's getting to more things that people know about, isn't it, and have opinions about — so that's where it gets difficult. It's a drama, so it's going to be made to be a bit of a drama."
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, on The Crown...
"I thought it was filmed beautifully. The cinematography was excellent. I loved the way they put my wedding in as well."
Princess Anne on The Crown...
"The actress was talking about how long it took them to do their hair like I did, and I'm thinking, 'How could you possibly take that long?' I mean, it takes me 10 or 15 minutes."
Earl Charles Spencer on The Crown...
"The worry for me is that people see a program like that and they forget that it is fiction. They assume, especially foreigners, I find Americans tell me they have watched The Crown as if they have taken a history lesson. Well, they haven’t."
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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