While we're still a good few years away from The Crown Season 5 arriving on our TV screens, we're already getting excited about what else is set to come from the brilliant Netflix royal drama. But the most important question is: who is going to be taking over from the season three and four cast? Here's everything else we know so far about The Crown season five, from the rumoured stars to release date and potential plot lines.
Who will star in The Crown season 5?
In line with previous seasons, The Crown season 5 will see the Queen and Prince Philip recast. On January 31st 2020, Netflix confirmed Imelda Staunton, who starred in Nanny McPhee and played Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter, would be taking over from Olivia Colman as the Queen.
Speaking about the role, Imelda said: "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."
News: Imelda Staunton (!) will play Queen Elizabeth II (!!) in the fifth and final season of The Crown (!!!) pic.twitter.com/WFD8x6vMMU— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) January 31, 2020
While show creator Peter Morgan added: "I’m absolutely thrilled to confirm Imelda Staunton as Her Majesty The Queen for the fifth and final season, taking The Crown into the 21st century. Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman."
Dame Helen Mirren was also thought to be in the running, but when asked if she would want the role, she replied: "I don’t think so. I think it’s more interesting when you see other portraits and it builds into a more interesting picture than just someone coming back."
The new Prince Philip has now also been cast, with Oscar-nominated Game of Thrones star Jonathan Pryce set to take over from Tobias Menzies in seasons 5 and 6, according to Deadline. The actor played the High Sparrow in Game Of Thrones and was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Pope Francis in The Two Popes.
Meanwhile, Lesley Manville has been cast as the Queen's younger sister Princess Margaret. "I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret," the Phantom Thread star shared. "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."
When will The Crown season 5 be released?
Netflix has revealed that the acclaimed period drama won't be returning for season 5 until 2022, as filming hasn't even started yet. The streaming service has confirmed via Deadline that Imelda Staunton's first series as Queen Elizabeth II won't begin production until June 2021, meaning a release date any time before late 2022 isn't on the cards.
According to the publication, the break was always part of The Crown's plan going forward and has nothing to do with the coronavirus putting production on hold.
This vaguely makes sense - season 1 was released in November 2016 and season 2 in December 2017, while The Crown season 3 came in November 2019. Following this pattern means The Crown season 4 should come in late 2020 (though no news yet), and we'll have to wait the extra year before meeting the new cast.
What will happen in The Crown season 5?
Season five will look at the lives and loves of the Royal Family in the 90s and into the 00s. The Queen's speech given on the 40th anniversary of her succession will no doubt be a key feature in the upcoming series.
"1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an 'Annus Horribilis'," she famously said.
The events of that year include the publication of Princess Diana's bombshell, tell-all book, Diana: Her True Story, which documented her marriage troubles with Prince Charles.
Prince Andrew also separated from Sarah Ferguson in March of 1992 and Princess Anne divorced Captain Mark Phillips.
The storyline will also inevitably include the passing of Diana, Princess of Wales - the late mother of Princes William and Harry – in a car accident in 1997.
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