Season five and six of The Crown will see Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter and Tobias Menzies leave the production and an intake of new actors take over the reign(s). See what we did there?
As is the custom for Peter Morgan's award-winning, big budget Netflix show chronicling the lives of the British royal family, the actors are replaced every two seasons so as to reflect the ages and likenesses of the royals as we move through the decades.
Season one and two saw Claire Foy and Matt Smith play the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh before passing the baton to Colman and Menzies. Season three then introduced us to Princess Anne (Erin Doherty), Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor), Camilla Parker-Bowles (Emerald Fennell) while season four presented actor Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and the formidable Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher, as we see the UK in the 1970s and 1980s.
With season four expected to drop in the Autumn (find out everything about the next series here), there are already mutterings about to what we can expect from season five, the penultimate series of the show.
Here's everything we know about The Crown season 5:
What will happen in The Crown season 5?
Considering that season 4 of the show will focus on the 1970s and 1980s, including Thatcher's premiership, the wedding between Diana and Charles and the birth of Prince William and Prince Harry, we can assume that season 5 of the show will pick up towards the latter end of the decade and continue into the 1990s.
The 1990s were a turbulent decade for the royal family, with the Queen famously referring to 1992 as her 'annus horribilis' due to the breakdown of the marriages of three of her children, Diana and Charles, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson and Princess Anne and Mark Phillips, as well as a fire at Windsor Castle. Public opinion about the royal family was particularly low as the decade progressed, especially during the aftermath of the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997.
It's not known if the season will enter the new millennium. The Queen celebrated her golden jubilee in 2002 but also experienced heartbreak when her mother and sister, Princess Margaret died just weeks apart.
Who is the cast of The Crown cast season 5?
The lead role of the Queen will be played by Imelda Staunton, it was confirmed earlier this year. The actor - best known for portraying Professor Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films, but also for Vera Drake and Shakespeare In Love - said she was a fan of the show and she was 'genuinely honoured' to be taking The Crown to 'its conclusion'.
Following in the footsteps of Vanessa Kirby and Bonham Carter, Princess Margaret will be played by Lesley Manville, who has worked with Staunton on various projects including Vera Drake as well as awards-nominated films like Phantom Thread and TV series including Save Me and Mum.
Now, it's been revealed that Prince Philip will be played by Jonathan Pryce - who most recently was nominated for an Oscar for The Two Popes. The 73 year old is mostly recognised for his roles in theatre (including many a Shakespeare production), Pirates of The Caribbean and historical TV dramas like Wolf Hall.
On Sunday (August 16th), Netflix announced that they had also found their Princess Diana for the final seasons of the series in Australian actress, Elizabeth Debicki. Best known for her part as Jordan Baker in Baz Luhrman's The Great Gatsby, the actor said it was a 'true privilege' to be portraying the Princess of Wales.
'Princess Diana's spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many,' Debicki said in a statement.
Elizabeth Debicki will play Princess Diana in the final two seasons of The Crown (Seasons 5 and 6). pic.twitter.com/Z3CjHuJ56B— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) August 16, 2020
Considering Prime Minister Thatcher did not resign until 1992, it's likely Anderson will continue to feature for the first part of the season at least.
Will there be a sixth season of The Crown?
Originally the answer was no, with Morgan coinciding his announcement of Staunton as the Queen by saying he would cut The Crown at season five.
However, in July, the acclaimed writer appeared to change his mind when Netflix announced there would be a sixth season.
However, while fans wondered if this meant recent royal events like royal weddings, Meghan Markle's introduction to the family and the subsequent decision of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to become financially independent from the monarchy, plus Prince Andrews' friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, would be covered, Morgan shut down speculation pretty quickly.
'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,' Morgan said, per The Hollywood Reporter.
'To be clear, season six will not bring us any closer to present day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.'
We'll continue to update this page as more information, cast announcements and trailers for The Crown season five are released!
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