'The Crown' Season 5: Everything We Know

The bombshell fifth season just dropped on Netflix.

Imelda Staunton
(Image credit: Netflix)

On November 9, 2022, Netflix dropped the bombshell fifth season of The Crown. The second-to-last season marks the series' third and final cast change and showcases the modern royal family in all their '90s glory. The new season, which came out just months after the death of The Queen, has been met with controversy due to its subject matter: now-King Charles, played by Dominic West, is shown trying to usurp his mother the Queen, and the last years of Diana's life and marriage to Charles are also shown in detail, among other plot points.

Trailer

Here's the first trailer:

Peter Morgan recently reversed his previous announcement that the fifth season would be the show's last, confirming instead that he's sticking to his original plan to release six seasons.

Cast

Netflix began announcing the third and final group of royal lookalikes well before season four had even premiered. Imelda Staunton (opens in new tab), of Downton Abbey and Harry Potter fame, takes over from Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth; Game of Thrones alum Jonathan Pryce replaces Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip; Jonny Lee Miller will star as John Major; and Phantom Thread's Lesley Manville steps into Princess Margaret's (very fancy) shoes, following Helena Bonham Carter's cheeky take (opens in new tab) on the queen's younger sister.

Netflix also confirmed that Elizabeth Debicki, most recently seen in Christopher Nolan's Tenet, will play Princess Diana in the final two seasons of The Crown, taking over for Emma Corrin. Additionally, The Affair's Dominic West was cast to fill in for Josh O'Connor as an aged-up Prince Charles. Back in August, the streamer released the first pictures of the pair as their royal counterparts.

princess diana netflix the crown season 5

Actress Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana.

(Image credit: Netflix)

prince charles netflix dominic west

Dominic West as Prince Charles.

(Image credit: Netflix)

In the spring of 2022, Emily in Paris star Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu confirmed that she'd have a small role in The Crown season 5. "It was a very small thing but it was a lot of fun and I was so, so happy to be in it," she told You (opens in new tab). "Every episode is like a little film on its own. It’s crazily well written." 

Leroy-Beaulieu will play Monique Ritz, the widower of Charles Ritz—who inherited the Ritz hotel in Paris from her late husband, and later sold it to Mohamed Al Fayed. The Ritz hotel in Paris was where Princess Diana was staying with Al Fayed's son Dodi Fayed before they both died—a tragedy expected to be covered in the final season of The Crown.

What will this season cover?

The series' new cast has plenty of historical ground to cover. Past seasons have traversed anywhere from eight to 23 years, but when Morgan announced that he was tacking a sixth season back on to the show, he noted that the extra episodes "will not bring us any closer to present day—it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail," per (opens in new tab) The Hollywood Reporter. We do know that it will end well before Prince Harry's 2019 wedding to Meghan Markle and their subsequent so-called "Megxit" from the royal family, at the couple's request (opens in new tab).

Based on Morgan's very first pitch to Netflix, which proposed (opens in new tab) a 60-year timeline spread over just three seasons, as well as his recent statements (opens in new tab) that the final seasons will reach only to John Major and Tony Blair's terms as PM, The Crown could feasibly cover Elizabeth's reign through 2007.

The fifth season will cover the queen's relationship with Prime Minister John Major, her self-proclaimed "annus horribilis" of 1992 (including the ends of three of her children's marriages and the introduction of a government order requiring the royal family to pay income taxes). That time period also encompasses the final rocky years of Charles and Diana's marriage, including their 1992 separation and 1996 divorce. On a happier note, we'll get to see tween- and teenage Princes Harry and William, and plenty of incredible moments to sustain the current wave of '90s nostalgia (opens in new tab).

Andrea Park is a Chicago-based writer and reporter with a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the extended Kardashian-Jenner kingdom, early 2000s rom-coms and celebrity book club selections. She graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2017 and has also written for W, Brides, Glamour, Women's Health, People and more.