The Crown Season 5: Everything We Know About It

Few shows have captivated audiences around the world like Netflix's The Crown. From its dynamite first season and its extraordinary premiere cast of Claire Foy and Matt Smith to its "act two" cast of Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown has kept audiences on its toes.

When the fourth season of The Crown dropped on Netflix in 2020, it seemed like everyone and their mother watched it. The season was met with immense anticipation, as it was the first time that the Princess Diana storyline had made its way to the screen. Additionally, viewers were enthralled by the captivating performance of Emma Corrin — who captured the innocence and emotional pain of Diana Spencer perfectly — as well as the drama of Princess Margaret's personal life, and the political rift between Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. To put it simply, the fourth season was a smash hit and immediately left its viewers wanting more. 

So when is The Crown set to return? Who will be in the cast and when will shooting take place? How many more seasons will there be? Wonder no more, here's everything we know about The Crown Season 5.

Season 5 won't be the last season of The Crown

You can breathe a huge sigh of relief, because there won't just be one more season of The Crown, but two. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show's creator, Peter Morgan, announced in early 2020 that The Crown would end after season 5, as that was the roadmap that he'd initially presented to Netflix. But after a few months (and a lot of manifesting on our part), Morgan backtracked and announced that The Crown would have two more seasons, "allow[ing] him to cover the same period of time in greater depth." 

Additionally, Morgan himself was a bit surprised about the show's success. "I don't want you to think that I was audacious enough to go somewhere and ask for a six-season pitch," he revealed. "I really never imagined that, and barely imagined it getting recommissioned to even do the middle-aged, as it were, part. But it just seems to have worked out." And we are very glad that it did because The Crown season 4 was one of the few rays of sunshine in the very dark year that was 2020.

Queen Elizabeth will be recast in season 5 of The Crown

Every two seasons, The Crown's cast is replaced to accomplish the time jump effect. As such, the role of Queen Elizabeth is set to be recast for season 5. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the role of the monarch — played by Olivia Colman in seasons 3 and 4 — will be replaced by Imelda Staunton. For those of you who need a role in order to identify an actress, here it is: Staunton played the loathed Hogwarts professor Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films. "I am genuinely honored to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion," Staunton said in a statement. 

As for the previous actress in the role of the Queen, Colman joked at a press conference in 2020 that "no one's going to remember" her and Claire Foy after Staunton takes on the role. "God, it's amazing. I mean, almost, I wish she wasn't quite as good," Colman said. "If she calls me, I'll be so excited. But then what would you say to Imelda Staunton? 'Uh, good luck. The wig's itchy.'"

The Crown's timeline is reportedly set to include in the early 2000s in season 5

Each season of The Crown covers roughly a decade of the royal family's drama. But season 5 and 6 of the show might look a little different, based on what the show's creator Peter Morgan said about the upcoming episodes. 

As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, the course of the fifth season began to shift as the plots started to unfold. "As we started to discuss the storylines for [season 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," Morgan said. So unlike the previous seasons that have included larger time jumps, the fifth and sixth seasons will "simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail," according to Morgan. 

As far as when the series will end, Morgan said that The Crown's final conclusion will leave about ten years in between the show and reality. "You need at least a decade, in my view, to separate yourself from the events that you're writing about," he added.

Viewers could see cameo performances from previous actors in season 5 of The Crown

Fans of The Crown have seen some amazing actors grace their screens in some of the iconic royal family roles. From Claire Foy to Matt Smith to Josh O'Connor, the cast of The Crown is like the gift that keeps on giving. 

Additionally, viewers have had to say goodbye to some of their beloved actors every two seasons, so was a huge shock when Foy made a cameo appearance in The Crown's fourth season as part of a flashback scene. And from comments made by Olivia Colman and Peter Morgan at a Q&A, the possibility of seeing previous seasons' actors in the new episodes of the show isn't out of the question. "Maybe there'll be some sort of dream sequence," Colman said during the virtual premiere of the show's fourth season (via The Hollywood Reporter). "Yes, that sounds like a really good idea," Morgan replied. "I don't know yet. I'm toying with a couple of ideas... I'll see what I can do." 

Here's hoping that we see a couple more appearances from the season 3 and season 4 casts during season 5 of The Crown!

Queen Elizabeth's worst year on record is most likely to be included in season 5 of The Crown

Since season 4 of The Crown wrapped up in 1990, it's possible that Queen Elizabeth's "worst year" will be included in the fifth season. According to Vogue, some monumental events took place that rocked the entire royal family. 

The year was 1992, and it was marked by not one, not two, but three royal divorces. That's right, three of the Queen's four children got divorced: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson split, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips' divorce was finalized, and most famously, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially separated. For a family that's obsessed with maintaining their image, this wasn't the look they were going for. 

That's not all, either, as the palace literally caught on fire in 1992. Yep. There was a fire at Windsor Castle "which eventually led to the Queen paying tax on her income and opening Buckingham Palace to the public to help fund the restoration." Ouch. As such, the Queen labeled 1992 her "annus horribilis" during her speech on the anniversary of her coronation. We're curious to see how this year will be depicted on The Crown.

Actress Lesley Manville is taking over this iconic role in season 5 of The Crown

Along with the role of Queen Elizabeth, the character of Princess Margaret will also be recast for the fifth season of The Crown. Played by famed actress Helena Bonham Carter in seasons 3 and 4, the Queen will be replaced by Oscar-nominated actress Lesley Manville, who's known for her amazing performances in films such as Phantom Thread. "I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret," Manville said, as noted by Harper's Bazaar. "The baton is being passed on from two formidable actresses and I really don't want to let the side down." She added that acting alongside her "dear friend Imelda Staunton" is going to be delightful.

How does Bonham Carter feel about her successor? She said that she's eagerly waiting for a call from Manville about the role. "It's like handing a baton. It's like a relay race, but it never comes back," she explained (via The Hollywood Reporter). "But I want to hand her my cigarette holder and say, 'Good luck with this.'" Bonham Carter also said she'd love to meet for tea with Manville and Vanessa Kirby.

Fans of Game of Thrones will recognize this actor joining the fifth season of The Crown

Early fans of The Crown, we imagine, are still crushing on the first actor to play Prince Philip, Matt Smith (just look at him). After seasons 1 and 2, Smith was replaced by Tobias Menzies, who carried the middle-aged Prince Philip into the '80s with a powerful performance. And for seasons 5 and 6, the role will be handed to Jonathan Pryce, a fine actor and a great choice for the part. 

As noted by Harper's Bazaar, Pryce is not only an Oscar-nominated actor for his performance in Netflix's film The Two Popes, but he's also starred in some blockbuster productions including Game of Thrones and Pirates of the Caribbean; he's sure to bring the same power to his character in The Crown. "The positive experience I had making The Two Popes has given me the confidence to tackle the daunting prospect of playing Prince Philip," Pryce said, as noted by Vogue. One thing's for sure — the many scenes with Pryce and Imelda Staunton that are sure to come in season 5 will be amazing.

You'll need to have some patience, because season 5 of The Crown isn't set to stream until 2022

It looks like we're going to have to wait a long time before we can lay our eyes on the fifth season of The Crown. According to Deadline, Left Bank Pictures is not set to start filming season five until June of 2021, meaning that there's literally no way that it could be edited and released within the year. 

So why the delay? Well actually, The Crown is right on schedule. "The filming break has always been part of The Crown's production schedule and is not related to the coronavirus pandemic," Deadline reported. "Although sources acknowledged that the hiatus has been helpfully timed." 

Not only did the break come at an auspicious time, but the grandness and scale of The Crown's production needs time and space to get established. And given the precedent, the gap in production makes sense. Two years passed between the second and third season of The Crown, giving ample time for the replaced cast to settle into their roles. Finally, the sixth season will begin production in 2022, thus bringing the show to a close.

Prince Charles' character will be recast in season 5 of The Crown

Raise your hand if you've been personally victimized by Prince Charles' character in The Crown. 

Actor Josh O'Connor will be replaced for the show's fifth and sixth seasons, and while the deal is not yet sealed, "late-stage discussions" are heavily in favor of Dominic West, as noted by Variety. West is widely known for his role in The Affair, and it seems like he'll be a great fit for the character. 

While West's casting is not confirmed, O'Connor chatted with The Hollywood Reporter about the role. "On the whole, I think it is a privilege to play these parts and to be part of this show," he shared. "We've got the likes of Claire Foy and Matt Smith and Vanessa Kirby before us, and we've been lucky enough to be among the Olivia Colmans, the Helena Bonham Carters, the Tobias Menzies [after us]." 

O'Connor also had some advice for the incoming cast of The Crown. "Enjoy every minute of it because it's a real pleasure to be part of The Crown."

Breakout star Emma Corrin won't be returning to season 5 of The Crown

The fourth season of The Crown was truly made incredible by Emma Corrin's performance as Princess Diana. Her complete transformation into the character as well as her embodiment of the Princess's persona was truly inspired. So it will come as a bit of a disappointment to know that Corrin will not be rejoining the cast of The Crown in seasons 5 and 6, as she's being replaced by Elizabeth Debicki, who will take Princess Diana to the end. 

So who is Debicki? People will know her from films such as The Great Gatsby and Tenet. Plus, as she (like Corrin) really looks like Princess Diana, she seems like a great choice for the role. "Princess Diana's spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many," Debicki said in a statement after the casting choice was announced, as noted by Harper's Bazaar. "It is my true privilege and honor to be joining this masterful series, which had me absolutely hooked from episode one." One thing's for sure, Corrin has left some big shoes to fill.

Will viewers see the tragic death of Princess Diana in season 5 of The Crown?

This is going to be the part of The Crown that might be too brutal to watch. Given that the fifth and sixth seasons, according to creator Peter Morgan, are going to dive deep into the stories of the royal family in the '90s and early 2000s, it's likely that viewers will see the tragic death of Princess Diana. According to Vogue, both the 1996 divorce of Prince Charles and Diana and the 1997 car accident that took Diana's life will most likely be in season 5 — and honestly, we don't know if we're emotionally prepared for it. 

This won't be the first time that Morgan has written about the death of the princess and the subsequent outcry; Morgan wrote the screenplay for the 2006 film The Queen, in which Queen Elizabeth (played by Helen Mirren) dealt with the accident and the public backlash. 

Time will tell how The Crown goes about depicting that awful day in August 1997, but as it won't be Morgan's first time handling the sensitive topic, we're sure that it'll be treated with grace and respect.

Season 5 of The Crown will most likely not include these royal family moments

Given the timeline of The Crown that's been announced by Peter Morgan, it's likely that some royal scandals won't be included. So what tea won't be spilled? For starters, the shocking exit of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from the royal family. According the BBC, Harry and Meghan stepped back from their roles — and did so before discussing it with other family members. "The BBC understands no other royal — including the Queen or Prince William — was consulted before the statement and Buckingham Palace is 'disappointed,'" the outlet reported. Still, we would've loved to see Morgan's take on such a scandal. 

What else will most likely not be included? The 2020 scandal involving Prince Andrew and his association with Jeffrey Epstein (although viewers with an eagle eye for drama may have noticed that the fourth season of The Crown included some choice words on Andrew's part about an underage girl). 

So, unless there are nods here and there in seasons 5 and 6, it's likely that some royal scandals won't be included. Unless there's an epilogue. Or we beg for season seven.

These tragic events will most likely be included in season 5 of The Crown

The royal family went through it in the early 2000s. To that end, the deaths of both Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother are likely to be included in season 5 The Crown, as noted by Vogue. Margaret died in February 2002 at age 71 after suffering from a series of strokes. As reported by The New York Times at the time, "As she grew older, the princess lived less in the public eye."

Margaret's death was followed by the death of the Queen Mother, who passed away in March 2002 at the age of 101. Described as the "grande dame of the British royal family and the country's most beloved symbol of courage and self-sacrifice" by The New York Times, the death of the Queen Mother was incredibly significant. 

Did anything good happen for the royals in 2002 that could be included in The Crown? Yes, the Queen's Golden Jubilee — marking her 50th anniversary of ascending to the throne — took place. It's sure to be a jam-packed fifth season, that's for sure!

Will viewers see a young Prince William and Kate Middleton meet in season 5 of The Crown?

Of all the storylines that fans are dying to see in season 5 of The Crown, it's the early relationship between Prince William and Kate Middleton people are curious about. According Vogue, William's "first encounter" with Kate was in 2001 when they were students at the University of St. Andrews. If The Crown does take us through to the early 2010s, viewers could be in for some great William/Kate moments — like when they moved in together (via Hello!), when they were spotted on a skiing trip, and when they were photographed together after their graduation (via Elle). 

Any royal family fan knows that William and Kate briefly broke up in 2007, with William dancing around questions about their relationship whenever it was brought up. The pair, of course, reconciled and announced their engagement two years later; Kate wore the iconic blue sapphire ring that belonged to William's mother, Princess Diana. So it's safe to say that The Crown has a lot of early 2000s content to work with, and time will tell if the William/Kate storyline is included. We really hope it is.