'The Crown' Season Five Trailer Is Finally Here

'The Crown' Season Five Trailer Is Finally Here

"The Royal Family is in genuine crisis," the new trailer for Season Five of The Crown states. It's a statement true to both the events featured in the next installment in the series, set in the '90s, and today. But after much delay, Season Five of the historical drama will land on Netflix on November 9, just two months after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. It will also be the first season to release since Prince Phillip's death in April 2021.

In the new Netflix trailer, the series provides glimpses of defining moments in the royal family's lives, including the catastrophic fire at Windsor Castle, Prince Charles's affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles, and Princess Diana's troublesome relationship with the press. "People will never understand how it's really been for me," says Elizabeth Debicki, who takes over acting duties for Diana from Season Four's Emma Corrin. It should be another controversial season for the royal drama, especially as the series gets closer and closer to events that occurred in more recent memory. (Season Six has even paused production entirely following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.)

Earlier this week, acclaimed actress Judi Dench wrote an open letter to The Times UK suggesting that the series include a disclaimer for being "cruelly unjust" in its depiction of the royal family. "The closer the drama comes to our present times, the more freely it seems willing to blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism," Dench wrote. "Despite this week stating publicly that The Crown has always been a 'fictionalized drama,' the program makers have resisted all calls for them to carry a disclaimer at the start of each episode. The time has come for Netflix to reconsider." In response, a spokesperson from the streaming service reiterated that they have "no plans, and see no need, to add a disclaimer."

The Crown Season Four curtain closed on a Britain in which Margaret Thatcher is struggling against growing threats to her power, while Charles and Diana's marriage continues to unravel publicly. It was the end to a batch of episodes that proved well worth the years-long wait, each of them richer with gripping interpersonal and emotional drama than some of their more politically-focused predecessors. It made the forthcoming wait for Season Five of the acclaimed Netflix original series, which will follow the royal family into the late 1990s and early 2000s, all the more tedious. Here’s everything we know about the upcoming season so far.

Who is in the cast for Season Five of The Crown?

It feels like just yesterday we had to give a little royal wave goodbye to Claire Foy as the Queen in The Crown, but just like that, the sun has also set on Olivia Coleman’s take on the role. At the close of Season Four, the actress passed Queen Elizabeth's crown to Imelda Staunton for the final two seasons of Netflix's beloved historical drama.

queen elizabeth
Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II.Netflix

But with a new era of The Crown comes a new batch of hurdles. "I think my sort of extra challenge, as if I needed it, is that I’m now doing the Queen that we’re a little more familiar with," Staunton told People. "With Claire Foy, it was almost history, and now I’m playing one that people could say 'she doesn’t do that,' 'she’s not like that,' and that’s my personal bête noire."

In a video from the set, Staunton sat behind Queen Elizabeth's desk, where she paid tribute to Colman and Foy for paving the way.

Also joining the cast is Elizabeth Debecki as Princess Diana, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Dominic West as Prince Charles, Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne, and Jonny Lee Miller as Prime Minister Jonathan Major, who led the United Kingdom from 1990-1997. Oddly enough, it sounds like there will be two Dianas moving forward. Debicki will step into the role for Seasons Five and Six, but because of Emma Corrin's massive popularity, it is rumored that she will be returning for flashbacks. (Turns out all Dianas are popular.)

Early photos from the Scotland set of The Crown, snagged by People, reveal Debicki in character, walking outdoors with the new actors playing her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. Debicki was sporting one of Princess Diana's favorite looks: jeans and a chic, oversized blazer. More on-set photos show her in a replica of an iconic floral dress worn by Princess Di, flanked by West and two young actors as their sons. In these images, we see the royals prepping to board a private flight. Still more photos show Debicki in another fashion-forward outfit; in this scene, Princess Diana is hounded by paparazzi as she heads for her car, hiding her face with a newspaper.

mandatory credit photo by peter jollyshutterstock 12248832fardverikie lodge which doubles as balmoral for filming of netflix series the crown actors who are playing princess diana, william and harry were spotted in the grounds on wednesday 4th august 2021'the crown' tv show on set filming, ardverikie estate, kinloch laggan, scotland   05 aug 2021
Peter Jolly/Shutterstock

"Princess Diana's spirit, her words, and her actions live in the hearts of so many. It is my true privilege and [honor] to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one," Debicki said in a statement when her casting was announced.

The Crown has also cast Natascha McElhone as Penny Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, who became close friends with the royals after she married Norton Knatchbull the 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma (the grandson of Lord Mountbatten, who was Prince Philip's uncle). Knatchbull and Prince Philip bonded over their shared love of carriage driving and ultimately became very close friends. Knatchbull was the only non-family member at the Prince's small, Covid-restricted funeral, save for his personal secretary. Household staff nicknamed her "And Also," because whenever Prince Philip listed guests who were to be invited to a royal function, he would end the list with, "And also Penny."

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West as Prince Charles.Netflix
princess diana
Debicki as Princess Diana.Netflix

The Prince's close personal friendship with Knatchbull, who was 32 years his junior, often raised eyebrows. Knatchbull was known by British tabloids as Prince Philip's "keeper of secrets," while Caroline Graham of Mail on Sunday described her as "the second most important woman in the Duke of Edinburgh's life." A source told The Sun, “The highly personal relationship is unlikely to be welcomed as a storyline by the Queen or the rest of the Royal Family.”

There's another royal watching The Crown closely: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, who revealed to Town & Country that she has offered her services to the show as a royal advisor. Ferguson wrote to executive producer Andy Harries, saying, "Why can't I help my character?" Harries declined the offer, but Ferguson won't stop watching The Crown. In an interview on ITV's Love Your Weekend, Ferguson said, "I long to know who's going to play me." She also opened up about her decades-long battle with how tabloids and popular culture have depicted her, saying, "Every day they either write something I've either done or said, and I haven't. You can't argue with it, so you just get on with it."

While the show had initially declared that Season Five would be its last, creator Peter Morgan announced in July that the final cast would get two seasons, just like the previous casts. As he told Deadline: “As we started to discuss the storylines for series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story, we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons. To be clear, series 6 will not bring us any closer to present—it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.”

When will Season Five of The Crown be released?

Season Five will begin airing on Netflix November 9, 2022. We would have had to wait this long with or without the pandemic, though. “It's a normal schedule for us because what happens is, as you've noticed, we filmed The Crown in two-season chunks, so we had Claire Foy for two seasons, we've now got Olivia Colman for two seasons,” said Peter Morgan. "And there was a gap year in there in which I frantically do a draft of all the scripts, and then I rewrite the scripts and polish the scripts after that—but at least we have a roadmap of where we're going for the two seasons. And I said that there was no way that I could possibly do that and be show-running the seasons if they were in production. You do need a gap year to get ahead with the writing.”

Eyes are also looking ahead to Season Six, which sources close to creator Peter Morgan told Variety stopped production following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Not much is known about Season Six yet, but news of the production pause comes on the heels of two major castings: 16-year-old Rufus Kampa will play Prince Harry and 21-year-old Ed McVey will play Prince William, suggesting that Season Six plans to explore the aftermath of Princess Diana's death.

What will Season Five of The Crown cover?

Season Five is expected to cover the Queen's "annus horribilis" year in 1992, when the royal family faced numerous scandals, including the separation of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the report of an affair between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, the publication of topless sunbathing photos of Duchess Sarah Ferguson, and Windsor Castle fire.

The season will also touch on Princess Diana's life in the media, including her bombshell BBC Panorama interview, which has come back into the news following recent revelations about reporter Martin Bashir's deceptions. Furthermore, royal biographer Andrew Morton, who published Diana: Her True Story in 1992, promises that Season Five will cover his process of reporting the groundbreaking biography, which involved drawing on secret tapes recorded by the princess.

Seasons Five and Six will follow the Royal drama from the 1990s to the early 2000s. This is a period that spans the ruin of three royal marriages—Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, and Prince Charles all got divorced in this stretch of time. In regards to Princess Diana’s tragic 1997 death in a Paris car crash, and possibly the 2002 death of Princess Margaret, we can expect those to be covered in the sixth season of the show.

Though some of the most dramatic years of the British monarchy have been and are still yet to be developed on screen, the series will not, however, arrive anywhere near present day or cover any recent news, such as Prince Andrew’s connection to Jeffrey Epstein or Prince Harry and Meghan Markle giving up their royal titles. As creator Peter Morgan told The Hollywood Reporter:

I'm much more comfortable writing about things that happened at least 20 years ago. I sort of have in my head a 20-year rule. That is enough time and enough distance to really understand something, to understand its role, to understand its position, to understand its relevance. Often things that appear absolutely wildly important today are instantly forgotten, and other things have a habit of sticking around and proving to be historically very relevant and long-lasting. I don't know where in the scheme of things Prince Andrew or indeed Meghan Markle or Harry will ever appear. We won't know, and you need time to stop something being journalistic. And so I don't want to write about them because to write about them would instantly make it journalistic. And there are plenty of journalists already writing about them. To be a dramatist, I think you need perspective and you need to also allow for the opportunity for metaphor.”

And now, back to aimlessly scrolling Netflix until November.

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