The Crown Season 5: Release date, cast and what’s expected to happen

 (Alex Bailey / Netflix)
(Alex Bailey / Netflix)

The Crown season five is very nearly here. After months of waiting, there are now just a couple of weeks left until the next season lands on our screens. So surely that must mean we’re finally allowed to get excited?

The forthcoming season promises to be an absolute cracker as it’s set to cover the tumultuous relationship between Princess Diana and King Charles in the final years before Diana’s death (painful stuff indeed).

Plus, the main cast has nearly all changed, and since the Queen’s death last month, there’s an added issue of how the show is going to be able to portray all of Charles’ relationship drama (which the Queen was undoubtedly pulled into) while also being respectful to our late monarch.

Here’s everything we know so far about the new 10-episode series.

Is there a release date?

Yes, the show will be landing on Netflix on November 9 – that’s really not long now.

Is there a trailer?

Not quite. A new teaser trailer was shared during Netflix’s Tudum (the site where the streaming site shares its updates) event several weeks ago, and it certainly set the tone for the coming season.

In the teaser Princess Diana and King Charles are both being prepared for interviews after announcing their separation. The clip zooms in on Diana’s face (and they’ve done a great job of making Elizabeth Debicki look just like the princess) while she is having her make-up done. A voice over the clip says, “This is becoming all-out war”.

Who is in the new cast?

There’s been a cast overhaul since season four, which is going to make for extremely exciting viewing. The stakes are high – after all, Olivia Coleman made such a good Queen. Plus, there are lots of questions such as how Debicki will play Princess Diana and how on earth Jonny Lee Miller will transform into John Major.

However, there was also a change of hands between the second and third series, when Olivia Colman replaced Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth and Tobias Menzies replaced Matt Smith as Prince Philip, and audiences very quickly got used to the new actors.

This time round, Imelda Staunton (who will always be Dolores Umbridge to an audience of a certain age) takes over the role of Queen Elizabeth, Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones) will play Prince Philip and Lesley Manville (Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris) will replace Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret.

Then, Dominic West will play Prince Charles, Marcia Warren (Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie) will play the Queen Mother, Olivia Williams (Counterpart) will play Camilla Parker Bowles and Claudia Harrison (The IT Crowd) will be Princess Anne.

Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana (Netflix)
Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana (Netflix)

What’s happened so far?

Season one started back in 1947, picking up at Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding. Each series tends to cover the events of adecade – season three, for example, covered the late Sixties and much of the Seventies.

Season four followed the lives of the royal family throughout the Eighties. Margaret Thatcher was in office and Britain was experiencing extreme turbulence with Unions raging against her new economic policies. In the Palace the relationship between Diana and Charles – who were newly married at the start of the season – was already becoming strained.

It all ended in an incredibly tense family Christmas get-together (like all seasonal family get-togethers, but much worse).

The way things were left didn’t bode well for season five, either. There are another two years, after all, until Charles and Diana divorce, so that’s another several episodes at least of marital misery, and then there’s all the fall-out. We know it ended in tragedy when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in 1997 and it’s not yet 100 per cent clear whether season five will run all the way up to the accident.

 (Keith Bernstein / Netflix)
(Keith Bernstein / Netflix)

What is expected to happen?

We know that season five is going to be a deep dive into Charles and Diana’s unhappy marriage. After that, we know very little else. The series will be covering the Nineties (though how much of it, we don’t know either) but there’s so much material the writers can choose from.

Much of national and international significance happened in the Nineties, and it was also a significant decade for the royals. In 1992 alone, the year the Queen described as an “annus horribilis”, the Prince and Princess of Wales were at loggerheads, part of Windsor Castle was damaged in a fire, Princess Anne divorced Mark Phillips and Prince Andrew separated from his wife Sarah Ferguson – and that’s just one year. All of this means season five is going to be absolutely jam-packed with drama.

Is there any more news?

Yes. Fans of The Crown were thrilled to find out that there will be a sixth season of the show, which will be the series’ last.

Then, in September, The Crown’s team announced that they had found their season six Prince William and Kate Middleton. Apparently, it was an exhausting and thorough casting process, but producers in the end chose new actors Rufus Kampa, Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy (Kampa and McVey will both play Prince William as he goes from being a teenager to being a young man).

The fifth series has apparently caused some anxiety in the Palace. The Telegraph reported a source who is a friend of King Charles saying that the drama was “exploitative”, adding, “What people forget is that there are real human beings and real lives at the heart of this.” And as we know, the series is going to focus on a particularly difficult time in the King’s past.

However, in March 2022, there were reports of thawing relations between the royals and the show, as Camilla Parker Bowles invited actor Emerald Fennell (who plays her in the show in seasons three and four) to an International Women’s Day reception. The Queen Consort said: “It is reassuring to know that if I should fall off my perch at any moment, my fictional alter ego is here to take over. So, Emerald, be prepared.”

The Crown Season 5 will premiere on Netflix on November 9.