Say what you will about the Royals, but The Crown is one popular TV show. It has swept awards ceremonies for years and audiences are so keen on it that they made the UK Government nervous about its presentation of facts.
The fourth season of The Crown debuted on Netflix in November of 2020, and it’s been an agonisingly long wait for a new season to hit our screens. Now, the day has arrived, Season 5 of The Crown is here.
Check out the first official trailer below.
Has The Crown paused production?
Following the confirmation of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, it was reported by Deadline that The Crown would pause production out of respect for the family. Filming was also cancelled on the day of the Queen’s funeral.
Folks who are eagerly awaiting Season 5 of The Crown need not worry, however. The pause will only impact Season 6 of the series, which is said to cover the years following Diana’s death.
Where did Season 4 end?
The fourth season of The Crown wrapped up in 1990 with Margaret Thatcher’s resignation as Prime Minister. As well as a frosty Christmas a Balmoral, where the Queen and Prince Philip grow tired of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage problems.
The Queen tells Charles to focus on his royal duty, while Philip warns Diana of the consequences should her marriage fail.
What time period will Season 5 cover?
Picking up where the fourth season left off, Season 5 of The Crown will explore the ’90s.
(Potential spoilers ahead, but also this is history, so catch up).
The ’90s were particularly tumultuous for the Queen and there will be many incidents to cover in the show. In 1992, she made a speech on the 40th anniversary of her ascension, describing that year as her “annus horribilis”.
She saw the breakdown of three of her children’s marriages: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson in March, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips in April, and then Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s separation was announced in December.
It was also the year of a fire at Windsor Castle, which led to the Queen paying tax on her income when she opened up Buckingham Palace to the public to fund the restoration.
From the trailer, the show will also cover Princess Diana’s bombshell interview with the BBC’s Panorama. In the interview, Diana discussed the breakdown of her marriage and Charles’, his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, and the fact she felt unsupported by The Firm.
As always, there will also be a range of new prime ministers to run through such as John Major and Tony Blair, and there will be a few deaths in the royal family as well.
The upcoming season of The Crown will also have to cover Princess Diana’s tragic death at some point, which occurred in 1997. Creator, Peter Morgan, has said he envisions The Crown ending in the early 2000s, so it’s possible Diana’s death may be tackled at the end of Season 5 or early in the next season.
Cast updates you need to know about
Just like the royal family, The Crown also has a line of succession. Seasons 5 and 6 of the show will see new actors take on these iconic figures, just as actors changed between Seasons 2 and 3.
Playing Queen Elizabeth II is Imelda Staunton, who you may recognise from Harry Potter and Downton Abbey. She’ll take over the role from Olivia Colman, who took over from Claire Foy.
The first photo of Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II has been released and we honestly had to do a double-take looking at it. Wearing a pale yellow dress and the monarch’s signature curls, the actress bears a striking resemblance to the Queen.
“As an actor, it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to [series creator] Peter Morgan’s scripts,” the actress said in a statement after her role was announced.
“I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion.”
Emma Corrin, who just nabbed a Golden Globe for her performance as Diana, will be replaced by Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki (Tenet, The Great Gatsby). And Dominic West (The Affair), has been confirmed in the role of Prince Charles.
Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread) will take over for Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret. Jonathon Pryce (The Two Popes) will play Prince Philip in Seasons 5 and 6, and Olivia Williams is playing the role of Camilla Parker Bowles.
Prime Minister John Major, who led the UK from 1990 to 1997, will be played by Elementary actor Jonny Lee Miller.
It’s been reported that Khalid Abdalla will play Dodi Fayed, a film producer and Princess Diana’s boyfriend in 1997.
Emily in Paris actress Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu will also apparently be playing Monique Ritz, aka the widow of The Ritz hotel owner. This is notable as The Ritz is where Diana spent her last night before her tragic accident, so it seems like we’ll definitely be seeing these events in Season 5.
Netflix has released its first official look at the cast at work in Season 5 of The Crown with a series of photos on set. Check out the snaps below.
— Netflix ANZ (@NetflixANZ) October 17, 2022
Most recently, Netflix has shared a featurette with actors from Season 5 of The Crown discussing their characters with Peter Morgan (writer and creator) and Suzanne Mackie (executive producer) of the series.
What are the reviews saying about the new season?
Unfortunately, things aren’t looking the best for the new season of The Crown as it debuted to a 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Vanity Fair wrote that “The Crown remains a shamefully enveloping watch, but its pretension and self-seriousness are suddenly all the more glaring.”
The Wrap had high praise for Elizabeth Debicki, saying “it’s Elizabeth Debicki who steals the show as Diana. Equipped with the perfect doe-eyes, heavily lined in kohl, to play the late princess, she embodies the fragility and determination of a woman at her wit’s end.”
The Guardian had some more critical things to say, writing: “Its cast is cartoonish, the plot is packed with dull speeches and multiple episodes could have been binned entirely. The royal drama has never been less relevant.”
The Crown Season 5 release date
Last year was a sad one without The Crown, but Netflix confirmed at its Tudum fan event that Season 5 would premiere on November 9, 2022. The new season will drop at midnight in the US so expect to see it at 7:00 pm AEDT.
— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) September 24, 2022
The long period between seasons was apparently due to a scheduled filming break, but the pandemic probably didn’t help things either. The Crown took a similar filming break between Seasons 2 and 3.
The silver lining here is that The Crown is getting one season more than we originally expected. The show was originally meant to end with its fifth season, but Peter Morgan changed his mind and decided to flesh the story out into another season. Season 6 will be the show’s last.
When it does premiere, you can catch Season 5 of The Crown on Netflix.
In the interim, you can get more Royal insight with The Crown: The Official Podcast.
This article on The Crown Season 5 has been updated since its original publish date.