'The Crown' season 5: When does it start? How to watch the new series

The Crown S5 (Netflix)
The Crown season 5 covers the 90s. (Netflix)

The Crown has finally made its much-anticipated return for season five, the most talked about instalment yet of the hit Netflix royal drama.

Here's all you need to know about watching the new series - including when it's on, who's playing the Queen, and what period of the Windsors' history we're up to.

When is The Crown season five on TV and how can you watch it?

Season five of the award-winning royal drama began streaming on Netflix on Wednesday, 9 November at 8am and is currently available to watch.

Read more: Everything new streaming on Netflix in November

You'll need a Netflix account to watch it, as it is made by and airing exclusively on the streaming service.

Viewers can also catch up on seasons one to four which are available on Netflix too.

Who plays the Queen in The Crown season 5?

Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown (Netflix)
Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown. (Netflix)

Each new time period of the late Queen Elizabeth II's life calls for a new actor, with Claire Foy the first to have taken on the role, followed by Olivia Colman.

Now, it's Imelda Staunton's turn to crown up and she told Radio Times it was a daunting prospect: “I knew it was a very heavy baton that was being passed over, so I had to try and match what had gone before.

Read more: Netflix adds disclaimer to The Crown trailer after Judi Dench criticism

“I didn’t want to let the whole thing down. I had to get over the shock of doing it and the fear.”

Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown S5. (Netflix)
Imelda Staunton admitted it was a daunting role. (Netflix)

Staunton was filming as the Queen on the day that she died, hearing the news when she got home from set, and added that she was "inconsolable" which had come as a surprise.

“I was very glad I wasn’t due to be working the next day. They couldn’t have filmed on this face," she said.

“The outpouring of grief took me by surprise and might not have been so acute for me had I not been playing her.”

Who has joined the cast for The Crown season 5?

The Crown season 5
The cast has had some major changes. (Netflix)

It's all change for the rest of the cast, too, as season five enters a new time period.

Aside from Staunton as the Queen, the key players are Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip (previously played by Matt Smith and Tobias Menzies), with Lesley Manville taking over as Princess Margaret from Helena Bonham-Carter and Vanessa Kirby before her.

Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki star as Charles and Diana in The Crown. (Netflix)
Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki star as Charles and Diana in The Crown. (Netflix)

Dominic West succeeds Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles, Elizabeth Debicki takes up the Princess Diana baton from Emma Corrin, and Olivia Williams follows Emerald Fennell as Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Read more: All the cast changes for The Crown season 5

Princess Anne is played by Claudia Harrison (previously Erin Doherty) and Jonny Lee Miller is the incoming Prime Minister as John Major after Gillian Anderson's turn as Margaret Thatcher.

What time period does The Crown season 5 cover?

Elizabeth Debicki in The Crown
Elizabeth Debicki will play Diana's Panorama interview scenes. (Netflix)

The new series covers roughly five years, starting with what the Queen called her "annus horribilis" in 1992 and stopping short of Princess Diana's death in 1997.

Viewers will see events from the year the Queen was talking about which included divorces, scandals and a palace fire.

Scenes were trailed in advance of the season landing on Netflix of Diana's infamous Panorama interview with Martin Bashir (although Netflix has promised it will not be recreated in full, following the Royal Family's requests the actual interview should never air again) and Princes William and Harry will be shown as school-age children navigating their parents' divorce.

In season five, viewers will also see more of Charles and Camilla's romance unfold, with details of their long relationship starting to be leaked to the press.

Is there a Crown season 6?

Yes, fans of The Crown will be pleased to know that a sixth season has been confirmed - although sadly, it will be the final instalment of the drama.

Season six will continue with the same cast in the main roles and will cover the death of Princess Diana in a 1997 car crash in Paris, although it isn't yet known what year the series will end with.

The Crown season 5 is now streaming on Netflix as of 9 November.

Watch: Imelda Staunton was 'inconsolable' when the Queen died