The Crown is entering an extremely tumultuous period for the royal family in the highly-anticipated fifth season, which will drop on November 9. The first season 5 trailer shows the collapse of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage in the early 1990s. Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki transform into the former royal couple, taking over for Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin.
“In light of the events of the last 12 months, perhaps I have more to reflect on than most,” Queen Elizabeth says at the start of the trailer, as the UK news claims that the royal family “is in genuine crisis” due to “Royal Scandals.”
“I don’t think it’s my behavior that is threatening it’s survival,” Queen Elizabeth says, before telling her son Charles, “You as future King have a duty.” Diana, meanwhile, is struggling with her life in the spotlight. “People will never understand how it’s really been for me,” she says. “I never stood a chance.”
We also get a glimpse at Charles’ romance with his now-wife Camilla Parker Bowles and Diana’s infamous interview with BBC journalist Martin Bashir. Charles tells Diana, “Remember the one condition, the one rule: You remain loyal to this family,” to which Diana responds, “You mean silent?” Charles doesn’t even disagree with her. “It’s a system, for better or for worse. We’re all stuck in it,” he says.
The 1990s tested Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the royal family like never before. Prince Charles and Princess Diana separated in 1992. That same year, Diana: Her True Story, was released and pulled back the curtain on Diana’s struggles and the drama inside the royal family.
Diana’s infamous Panorama interview was broadcast in 1995. The couple’s divorce was finalized in early 1996. A year later, Princess Diana tragically lost her life in a car accident in Paris. During the 1990s, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s marriage also came to an end.
Imelda Staunton will be the third actress to play Queen Elizabeth II. The role was previously played by Claire Foy and Olivia Colman. Jonathan Pryce will play Prince Philip. Additional cast members included Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Jonny Lee Miller as John Major, Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles, Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne, James Murray as Prince Andrew, Sam Woolf as Prince Edwardand Khalid Abdullah as Dodi Fayed.
Now that the show has entered the 1990s, Prince William and Prince Harry will become more of a focus. Dominic’s own son, Senan Westwill play Prince William in season 5.
After the fifth season, The Crown will return for a sixth and final season. Season 6 started filming in August 2022. “It will be as tumultuous as it gets, I think,” Dominic told Deadline in June 2022. Princess Diana’s devastating death and its profound impact on the royal family and the world will not be explored until the final season.