We Finally Have an Official Look at the New Charles and Diana in 'The Crown'

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Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

The Crown will last much longer than we previously thought. Despite earlier announcements saying the show's fifth season would be its last, Netflix has confirmed that the series will continue past Season 5. The biggest issue, however, is that because of coronavirus-related delays, fans will have to wait longer than usual for it to return.

Yet, even with the postponements, Netflix has already begun announcing members of the new royal cast. (Like Claire Foy and Matt Smith of Seasons 1 and 2, Olivia Colman and co. will be replaced by new actors for Seasons 5 and 6 to reflect the passage of time.) Here's what we know about the next installment of The Crown, who'll be in it, and when to expect it.

Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West portray Princess Diana and Prince Charles in new official images.

In new official stills from the fifth season of The Crown, fans now have a first look at Elizabeth Debicki in her portrayal of Princess Diana and Dominic West as Prince Charles. In the two images, Debicki is lying down on a sofa with a subtle smirk on her face, while West is clad in a signature Prince Charles-esque brown suit and a concerned disposition.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Claudia Harrison embodies Princess Anne on set.

A new Princess Anne is officially in the picture. Actress Claudia Harrison was photographed on set in costume as Princess Anne while filming a scene with her costar and onscreen mother, Imelda Staunton. In the new images, Harrison is seen wearing a classic Anne uniform including a casual navy parka, oversized sunglasses, a hair scarf, and her signature bouffant hairstyle.

Photo credit: Splash News
Photo credit: Splash News

Imelda Staunton bears a striking resemblance to Queen Elizabeth.

Netflix released a first look at Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, and we had to do a double take. In the new still from the upcoming fifth season, Staunton is dressed as the reigning monarch in a pale-yellow dress and sporting the royal's signature coiffed curls.

Photo credit: Photo Credit: Alex Bailey - Netflix
Photo credit: Photo Credit: Alex Bailey - Netflix

Days later, photos surfaced of Staunton filming on set, further revealing her striking transformation into the queen. Below, she is seen on a boat in a green-and-turquoise look and matching hat, channeling the monarch's signature style.

Photo credit: Splash News
Photo credit: Splash News

The Crown Season 5 starts filming in July, but won't premiere until 2022.

Production for the fifth season will kick off in July, Variety confirmed with The Crown's producers. Filming will take place at the usual Elstree Studios, just north of London, and is expected to abide by strict COVID-19 protocols, even as lockdown measures in the United Kingdom begin to ease up.

With production beginning this summer, Season 5 likely won't arrive to Netflix until 2022, Deadline previously reported. The delay wasn't caused by the coronavirus pandemic, however. Apparently, the break was planned all along.

After Season 4 debuted last fall, fans will have to wait more than a year for the next installment. Of course, this isn't the first time The Crown has taken a long break; there was a two-year wait between Seasons 2 and 3 too.

This won't be the final season after all.

Although Netflix announced in January 2020 that The Crown's fifth season would be its last, months later, the streamer confirmed that the series would in fact get one more chapter.

"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," Peter Morgan said in a statement.

And with Season 6 slated to bring the story into the early 2000s, per Variety, that means Season 5 could cover the late '90s; but that's yet to be confirmed.

The Crown was meant to last for six seasons from the start. After the show first debuted, Netflix's head of content, Ted Sarandos, said in 2016, "The idea is to do this over six decades, in six seasons presumably, and make the whole show over eight to 10 years."

Sarandos's plan seemed to be further solidified in October 2019, when show creator Peter Morgan signed a massive overall deal with Netflix. Sources had told Deadline that the agreement would include two more seasons of The Crown following Season 4. After all the back and forth, we're back to Plan A.

Imelda Staunton will portray the queen.

Just as the cast was updated after the first two seasons, the show is doing the same by the time it arrives to Season 5. Netflix confirmed that, after Olivia Colman's tenure as Queen Elizabeth II, Harry Potter alum Imelda Staunton will take over.

Though the streaming company first shut down the rumors in November 2019, it later confirmed the news two months later. Staunton said in a statement, "I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion."

Photo credit: Dave J Hogan - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dave J Hogan - Getty Images

Lesley Manville will play Princess Margaret.

Taking over for Helena Bonham Carter, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Princess Margaret, Lesley Manville will transform into the queen's younger sister for The Crown's final season. An Oscar nominee for her supporting role in 2017's Phantom Thread, the British actress has credits that include Love Life, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, The Queen, and Another Year.

"I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret," Manville said of the regal role. "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."

Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

Jonathan Pryce will portray Prince Philip.

Pryce will carry on the role of the Duke of Edinburgh after Tobias Menzies, joining Staunton and Manville in a powerhouse lead trio for The Crown's final two seasons. While viewers may most recently recognize the actor for his Oscar-nominated performance in The Two Popes, fans of Game of Thrones (remember the High Sparrow?), The Wife, Tomorrow Never Dies, Evita, and The Pirates of the Caribbean may are also familiar with the seasoned Welsh star.

Photo credit: Jon Kopaloff - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jon Kopaloff - Getty Images

Elizabeth Debicki will play Princess Diana.

It's been announced that Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki will be taking over the role of Princess Diana from Emma Corrin. Debicki will play the Princess of Wales in the final two seasons of The Crown.

While Corrin was a relative unknown when she was hired to play the iconic princess, Debicki has already been making a name for herself in Hollywood with roles in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Great Gatsby, Widows, The Night Manager, and both Peter Rabbit movies. She was most recently seen in Christopher Nolan's Tenet.

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

Dominic West is reportedly in talks to play Prince Charles.

West, known for his roles in The Wire and The Affair, is in "late-stage discussions" to star as the Prince of Wales, but the deal isn't official yet, sources have told Variety and Deadline. If the deal goes through, West would play Charles for The Crown's final two seasons, starring opposite Debicki as Princess Diana. He'll follow Josh O'Connor in the role.

Photo credit: Michael Kovac - Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael Kovac - Getty Images

Jonny Lee Miller will play Prime Minister John Major.

Following Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher in Season 4, Jonny Lee Miller will play the prime minister role in Season 5 as John Major, who led the United Kingdom from 1990 to 1997. Previously, the actor starred in series like Elementary (as Sherlock Holmes) and Dexter, and films like Trainspotting and Æon Flux.

The storyline reportedly includes Princess Diana's famous interview.

Deadline reported that Season 5 will cover Princess Diana's bombshell interview with the BBC program Panorama, where she discussed the fallout of her marriage to Prince Charles, his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, and her feeling unsupported by the royal institution. "There were three of us in this marriage" is her famous line from the sit-down.

In recent months, the 1997 interview, conducted by BBC journalist Martin Bashir, has come under fire as an investigation confirmed that unethical practices were used to secure Diana's participation.

Watch this space for updates.

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