In case the royal family’s present-day drama isn’t enough to quench your thirst, please turn your attention to Netflix’s The Crown. The show’s fourth season dropped on November 15 of last year, and it mainly focused on the early days of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s relationship and marriage—plus a bunch of political drama involving Margaret Thatcher. And trust: It left us wanting more. Fortunately, season 5 is coming—although please be advised that there will be an entire new cast! Which is somewhat sad news for those of us who are inexplicably attracted to Prince Charles. (NO, I DON’T HAVE TO EXPLAIN MYSELF!)
Here’s everything we know about The Crown season 5…and while, yes, this is technically a spoiler-free zone, please remember that this show is based on things that legit happened! In real life!
The (Brand! New!) Cast
Again, we’re getting an entire new group of actors in The Crown seasons 5 and 6, and most of them have already been cast. And we already have our first look at Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West as Charles and Diana.
Our new Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki). pic.twitter.com/2QIMOhY1dE— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) August 17, 2021
I mean…the resemblance is almost too much for me to handle. Here’s who we have for the rest of the cast:
Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth
Imelda Staunton will play Queen Elizabeth II in the fifth and final season of The Crown. pic.twitter.com/hUOob58A9p— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) January 31, 2020
Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret
Lesley Manville will play Princess Margaret in the fifth season of The Crown. pic.twitter.com/R5aZEBOW0t— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) July 2, 2020
Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip
Jonathan Pryce will play Prince Philip in the final two seasons of The Crown (Seasons 5 and 6), alongside Imelda Staunton and Lesley Manville. pic.twitter.com/zI7NotOfc4— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) August 13, 2020
Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Be in It?
Ha ha ha ha, no. And don’t get your hopes up for season 6 either because creator Peter Morgan basically has a 20-year rule:
“Meghan and Harry are in the middle of their journey, and I don’t know what their journey is or how it will end. One wishes some happiness, but 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.”
So…What Time Period Will Be Covered?
Each season of The Crown basically spans about a decade, and season 5 will likely take us from sometime in the early ’90s to the early aughts. And a LOT happened in that period.
Not only did Prince Andrew and Fergie split, but Princess Anne and her husband parted ways and Prince Charles and Princess Diana got divorced as well. Most significantly, though, is the tragic fact that Diana died in a car crash in 1997.
If you’ve seen The Queen, you might have an idea of how the show will handle Diana’s tragic death, since The Crown’s creator, Peter Morgan, wrote it.
Another thing to note: Both Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother passed away in 2002, which may also be included in season 5.
Will This Be the Final Season?
NOPE! For a moment there, Morgan said season 5 would be The Crown’s last hurrah, but he changed his mind and decided to extend the show—meaning this new cast gets two seasons just like everyone else.
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News from the palace: we can confirm there will be a sixth (and final) season of @TheCrownNetflix, in addition to the previously announced five!— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) July 9, 2020
Morgan 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.”
IMO, this implies the entire series will end around 2002, with the deaths of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother, but that’s purely me speculating.
When Is It Filming/Airing?
According to the Hollywood Reporter, season 5 is expected to begin filming in 2021 and won’t air on Netflix until 2022. So, yes, we have to wait more than a year between seasons. But Morgan told THR this would have been the case even if we weren’t still living through a pandemic:
“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. 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 road map 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 showrunning the seasons if they were in production. You do need a gap year to get ahead with the writing.”
In other words, we have a while. But good things come to those who wait—just ask Joe Biden.