Stars of The Crown to attend London premiere ahead of fifth series


Stars of The Crown will reunite for a star-studded London premiere event ahead of the launch of the eagerly anticipated fifth series.

New cast members including Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce, Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki will hit the red carpet ahead of their debuts in the hit Netflix series later this week.

The premiere will take place at the Royal Theatre in Drury Lane, central London, on Tuesday, with the release scheduled for Wednesday.

Staunton takes over from Olivia Colman as the Queen, alongside Pryce as the Duke of Edinburgh, with West and Debicki being handed the baton by Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin to become Charles and Diana.

Other new cast members include Lesley Manville, Olivia Williams, Claudia Harrison, James Murray, Salim Daw, Khalid Abdalla and Prasanna Puwanarajah, all of whom are expected at the London premiere.

The new series is set to cover storylines including Martin Bashir’s controversial Panorama interview with Diana and the subsequent media storm surrounding her relationship with Charles.

A young Prince William will be shown as a pupil at Eton, seeing his mother’s interview on TV, and Charles will reportedly be shown yelling and swearing in response to the broadcast.

Another storyline is expected to show Charles cutting short a holiday with Diana to host a secret meeting with Sir John Major at Highgrove in 1991 in which they discuss potentially ousting the Queen.

The series has already faced criticism from the likes of Dame Judi Dench and former prime ministers Sir John and Sir Tony Blair as a result of its plotlines.

Last month, Netflix put a disclaimer in the description of its YouTube trailer for the fifth series of The Crown, saying the production is a “fictional dramatisation” and “inspired by real events”.

But Dame Judi accused the show of verging on “crude sensationalism” in recent series, while Sir John said “fiction should not be paraded as fact”.

A spokesman for Sir Tony described another scene, in which Charles is reportedly shown trying to recruit the politician as an ally to protect his future, as “complete and utter rubbish”.

But The Crown’s new star, Australian actress Debicki, said the show’s audiences know it is “clearly fictional”.

Asked whether she felt defensive over the criticism, she told The Guardian: “I don’t really. I understand what the show is and what it’s trying to do.

“I also understand the reaction to it. I think this is a period of time that’s been told many times over and will continue to be told, and I know the degree of care and respect people enter into these stories with.”

Netflix’s hit royal drama will return on November 9.