British Royal Family

What to expect from The Crown's fifth season: The good, the bad and the controversial

The award-winning drama series will tackle a scandalous TV event in season five.

By Maddison Leach
The Crown burst onto Netflix in 2016 and has continued to be one of the biggest shows on the streaming platform ever since.
With four hugely successful seasons already under its belt, the show is set to reach new heights with its dramatic fifth season set in the 1990s.
Though the newest season of the royal drama isn't set to hit our TVs until late 2022, fans have already started digging up details of what the season will entail.
Season five will see another casting shakeup as a number of new actors take over big name royal roles, including British icon Imelda Staunton as the Queen and Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana.
Speaking of Diana, her marriage breakdown and subsequent divorce from Prince Charles will be a major plot point in the new season.
Most recently, an insider told The Sun that a dramatised version of Diana's infamous 1995 Panorama interview will also be included in the show.
It was during that televied interview with disgraced reporter Martin Bashir that Diana uttered the famous line: "There were three of us in this marriage…it was a bit crowded."
Meanwhile, creator Peter Morgan has already revealed plans for a sixth season of the show, confirming speculation to the Hollywood Reporter in July.
"As we started to discuss the storylines for series five, 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," he said.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves! Before speculating about season six of The Crown, let's look at everything we know about season five.

Season five will include Diana's infamous Panorama interview

In 1995, Princess Diana spoke with Panorama about her most personal details. (Getty)
The new season is set to feature a dramatised version of the controversial 1995 TV interview, a source telling The Sun: "The Crown's creators see the interview as the keystone moment in series five.
"To the writers, the stormy marriage between Charles and Di led up to her outpouring on Panorama, and the aftermath of that decision defined her final months.
"They are making a huge investment in that. The Crown has a track record of delving into areas of the Royal Family's history they'd rather be left alone."
The interview, which saw Diana share details of her marriage breakdown publicly, sent shockwaves across the UK when it aired over 25 years ago.
It was embroiled in another controversy earlier this year when it was revealed that journalist Martin Bashir used fake statements to gain access to the royal.
Both Prince William and Prince Harry spoke out against the interview this year, the Duke of Cambridge going so far as to say it "should never be aired again".

The season will detail Charles and Diana's marriage breakdown

Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially divorced in 1996. (Getty)
Photos from the set of The Crown suggest the new season will shine a spotlight on Charles and Diana's final years and months together before they officially divorced in 1996.
The pictures show Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West costumed as the former royal couple, posing on the deck of a yacht.The Crown stars appear to be recreating a moment from an infamous trip their real-life counterparts took to Italy in 1991.
The holiday marked the Prince and Princess of Wales' tenth wedding anniversary, though Diana had already spoken publicly about being unhappy in her marriage by that time.
She and Charles would announce their separation just a few months after the trip.

Elizabeth Debicki will play Princess Diana

Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki will play the late Princess of Wales. (Netflix/Getty)
Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki has taken over the iconic role from Emma Corrin, who advised her in an interview with Vulture to "Make it [the role] your own... And always trust the script."
As for Debicki's approach to the monumental role, she told The Mirror: "It's a dream role.
"She [Diana] is such a remarkable human being and she really does still live in the hearts of so many people.
"I'm overwhelmed, I'm terrified and I'm excited. I can't wait to start."

Imelda Staunton will play The Queen

Screen and stage star Imelda Staunton will step into the role of Queen Elizabeth II. (Netflix/Getty)
British acting icon Imelda Staunton, who played Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter film series, will be taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth II after Olivia Coleman.
Having watched she show from the start of its run in 2016, she told the Hollywood Reporter that it was "a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman" in the role before her."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," she said in a recent interview on the BBC radio show Woman's Hour, via Variety.
"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."

Dominic West will play Prince Charles

The Wire actor Dominic West will play Prince Charles. (Netflix/Getty)
The role of Prince Charles has passed from Josh O'Connor to Dominic West, best known for his performances in The Wire and The Affair.
Though Dominic hasn't said much about the new royal role, Josh said he was ready to hand over the role before Dominic was even confirmed to be playing Charles in season five."You know there have been a hundred people who have played Richard II before you and there are going to be a hundred others who play him after you," he told the Radio Times.
"It somewhat takes away the pressure to pass it [the role of Charles] on, and I'm sure whoever takes over from me will do a terrific job.
"It's lovely to have had a chance to play him."

We could see Diana's iconic revenge dress

Diana donned this Christina Stambolian dress on the very evening that her husband admitted to adultery in a TV interview. (Getty)
The world seemed to stop when the Princess of Wales arrived at a Vanity Fair party on November 20, 1994 in this tiny Christina Stambolian dress.
Dubbed her "revenge dress", she wore the frock - which flew in the face of many royal fashion rules - on the very evening that Charles admitted to adultery in a TV interview.
Given that season five of the crown will cover the pair's relationship until at least 1995 (when Diana gave her own infamous TV interview) fans were thought this show-stopping fashion moment would be recreated in the show - and they were right!
In early November, photos emerged from the set of the fifth season showing Elizabeth Debicki in a replica of the iconic "revenge dress" and it sent the internet into a spin.
The Crown's costume department have already paid homage to a number of Diana's most memorable outfits on the drama, including her wedding dress.

Season five may include Diana's death

Princess Diana's 1997 death will reportedly feature. (Getty)
There is speculation that season five of The Crown could end with Diana's tragic death in 1997.
The Princess of Wales was killed in a horror car crash in Paris, as she was being driven across the city with partner Dodi Fayed.
Variety has already confirmed that The Kite Runner's Khalid Abdalla has been cast as Fayed and will appear in season five, but the extent of his involvement is currently unknown.
Deadline reports that season six of the show will end in the "early 2000s", though it's unclear if the season will include major events from the late 1990s or if it will exclusively cover royal drama from 200 onwards.

There will be at least one more season of The Crown

Since its start in 2016, The Crown has become one of Netflix's biggest shows. (Getty)
Showrunner Peter Morgan originally planned for there to be six seasons of The Crown, before announcing his dramatic decision to cut the show down to five seasons.
He told the Hollywood Reporter in 2020: "At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop."
Fans were heartbroken, but fortunately he has since changed his mind and confirmed there will be six seasons of the hit royal drama.
Cindy Holland, Netflix's VP of original content confirmed this year: "The Crown keeps raising the bar with each new season.
"We can't wait for audiences to see the upcoming fourth season, and we're proud to support Peter's vision and the phenomenal cast and crew for a sixth and final season."

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