The Crown season 5: Netflix release date, trailer, cast with Imelda Staunton - which 90s events does it cover?

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The Crown is returning for Season 5 in November 2022, with Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce, and Elizabeth Debicki playing key roles in the royal drama

The Crown, Netflix’s most popular original drama, is set to return for its fifth season on Wednesday 9 November.

The new series will star Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Phillip, and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana. It’s set to cover a number of key events from the 1990s, from Diana’s interview with Martin Bashir to the election of Tony Blair.

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Here’s everything you need to know about The Crown season 5.

What is it about?

The Crown is a lavish period drama charting the life of Queen Elizabeth II. It positions the Queen as a still point in a fast-changing nation, and asks how the unique life of a monarch impacts the person beneath the symbol - suggesting that the pressure of the crown hollows people out and leaves them fundamentally estranged from the world and each other.

Season 5 will trace the Queen’s life into the 90s, with Imelda Staunton taking over from Olivia Colman (and, before her, Claire Foy) as Queen Elizabeth.

Which historical events will it cover?

The Crown season 5 will trace the Queen’s life through the 1990s. Some significant events in the Queen’s life in the 1990s include three of her children getting divorced (which the Queen described as her ‘annus horribilis’), while events of global significance include the Maastricht Treaty and Hong Kong’s independence.

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Obviously the most significant event of the 1990s in royal life was the death of Princess Diana in 1997. Khalid Abdalla has been cast as Dodi Fayed, Diana’s partner in 1997 who died in the same car crash, and Season 5 will chart their initial meeting; however, filming reports from Season 6, which is in production currently, suggest that the crash itself won’t be seen until then.

Who is in the cast?

Imelda Staunton as the Queen in the mid 1990s in The Crown season 5 (Credit: Alex Bailey)Imelda Staunton as the Queen in the mid 1990s in The Crown season 5 (Credit: Alex Bailey)
Imelda Staunton as the Queen in the mid 1990s in The Crown season 5 (Credit: Alex Bailey) | Alex Bailey

Imelda Staunton is playing Queen Elizabeth II, taking over the role from Olivia Colman. Staunton is best-known for appearing in films like Pride, Vera Drake, and Shakespeare in Love, and of course also played Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films.

Jonathan Pryce is playing Prince Phillip, taking over the role from Tobias Menzies. On television, Pryce is best known for playing the High Sparrow in Game of Thrones and Thomas Wolsey in Wolf Hall, while you might also recognise him from films like Brazil, Tomorrow Never Dies, and The Two Popes. He also recently appeared in Apple TV+ spy drama Slow Horses.

Lesley Manville is playing Princess Margaret, taking over the role from Helena Bonham Carter. Manville starred alongside Staunton in Vera Drake, and has appeared in films like Phantom Thread and Maleficent. She can next be seen in the BBC One crime drama Sherwood.

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Elizabeth Debicki is playing Princess Diana, taking over the role from Emma Corrin. Debicki is best known for appearing in John le Carre spy drama The Night Manager across from Tom Hiddleston, and in Christopher Nolan’s film Tenet.

Other notable cast members include Dominic West (Ten Percent) as Prince Charles, James Murray (Primeval) as Prince Andrew, Bertie Carvel (Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell) as Tony Blair, and Johnny Lee Miller (Elementary) as John Major. Prasanna Puwanarajah (also of Ten Percent) will play the BBC journalist Martin Bashir, who was responsible for a significant (and later controversial) interview with Diana.

Who writes and directs The Crown season 5?

Peter Morgan will once again write every episode of The Crown season 5, as he has done in previous years. Outside of The Crown, Morgan has written the Tony Blair films The Queen, The Deal, and The Special Relationship, as well as the movie Frost/Nixon.

Directors for season 5 of The Crown are yet to be announced, though it’s likely that directors from previous seasons Benjamin Caron (Sherlock), Julian Jarrold (A Royal Night Out), and Jessica Hobbs (Broadchurch) will contribute again.

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Is there a trailer?

Yes, there is! A full trailer for The Crown Series 5 was released by Netflix on Thursday 20 October, about two hours after Liz Truss resigned. You can watch it right here.

Not a full one, but Netflix have released this brief teaser - it shows a few shots of Dominic West as Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, preparing for TV interviews.

When might The Crown season 5 be released?

Netflix confirmed that Season 5 would arrive on Wednesday 9 November 2022 during its Tudum event.

As ever, all episodes will be available at once as part of a box set.

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Is The Crown season 5 going to be the final season of The Crown?

No, it won’t be – a sixth season of The Crown is currently in development. The sixth season – which will likely cover the death of Prince Margaret and end with the beginning of the Iraq war – is intended to be the final season of The Crown.

Interestingly, in January 2020 Peter Morgan announced that his plans had changed and The Crown would end after five seasons rather than the originally proposed six; in July 2020, it was announced that a sixth season was indeed going to happen.

Is Netflix making a spinoff of The Crown?

In April 2022, it was reported by The Daily Mail – though not officially confirmed by Netflix – that a number of prospective spinoffs and prequels to The Crown had entered early development.

It’s been suggested that a spinoff of The Crown would begin with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, and lead up to the abdication crisis in 1936, itself only a few years before The Crown season 1 began.

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Why should I watch The Crown?

Because it’s the best argument for a republic on television at the moment. (I’m being flippant, but only slightly – it’s certainly not a straightforwardly flattering depiction of the Royals, giving them hollow inner lives and arguing that the pressures of Monarchy have made them cold, unfeeling, and monstrous.)

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