The Crown season 5—everything we know so far about the cast, plot and more

The Crown season 5 will see new cast members taking centre stage in the hit drama

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown
(Image credit: photo: Sophia Mutevelian / ©Netflix / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

The Crown season 5 has reportedly started filming and fans are eager to see the hit drama's brilliant new cast members bringing the Royal Family to life.

The Crown season 5 is sure to have all the magnificent costumes, shocking scenes and stand-out performances fans have come to expect. From the moment it landed, viewers have been hooked, with many speculating on how accurate The Crown really is

The most recent series saw events edge ever closer to the present day, focusing on Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage. It’s understood that The Crown won't continue past season 6, with some claiming show creator Peter Morgan wishes to leave sufficient time between modern-day events and their fictionalized re-telling.

But whilst we might not see Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton on screen, as The Crown moves forward into the 1990s, there is still plenty of heartbreak, romance and drama yet to come. Though some expressed concerns about fans mistaking fictional events for fact, suggesting The Crown should have a fictional warning, it's said that some members of the Royal Family have seen The Crown

Now, almost seven months after season 4 premiered on Netflix, we’re preparing to delve back into the world of British royalty. But when is season 5 of The Crown coming out and who has joined the star-studded cast?

When is season 5 of The Crown coming out?

The Crown season 5 official release date has not yet been announced, though production is understood to have started. Earlier this year, Variety claimed that production on The Crown season 5 was set to start in July and if the recent reports are anything to go by, this seems to be on track. 

The publication claimed that cameras hope to start rolling then under strict COVID-19 protocols, while the Radio Times previously alleged that the royal drama was reportedly always due to take a production hiatus between seasons 4 and 5 and has suggested season 5 will not be released until 2022. 

If this turns out to be true, it could mean that whilst the precise release date for next year remains unknown, The Crown's return might not be so far away after all.

Will there be a The Crown season 6?  

Though the wait for The Crown season 5 to debut might prove challenging for fans as they re-watch their favorite past episodes, there's a huge reward for this patience coming in the future. Last year Netflix confirmed that there would not only be a The Crown season 5, but also a season 6 to round off the drama. 

"News from the palace: we can confirm there will be a sixth (and final) season of @TheCrownNetflix, in addition to the previously announced five!" they Tweeted excitedly, before going on to share more detail from show creator Peter Morgan.

“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,” Peter’s statement declared.

So while we might have to be patient as we wait for The Crown season 5 to land on Netflix, it seems we’ll have plenty more drama to enjoy long after we’ve raced through to the series finale.

Who's joined The Crown season 5 cast?  

Just as viewers have come to expect based on previous seasons, The Crown season 5 cast will be dramatically different from that of season 4 as the Royal Family members reach different life stages. Never is this more noticeable than in the casting of the major royal figures, including the Queen, Prince Philip and Princess Margaret, who have all been there from the very beginning. 

In the earlier seasons, Doctor Who star Matt Smith played Prince Philip, before the role was taken over by Tobias Menzies. However, from The Crown season 5, Game of Thrones actor Jonathan Pryce will be taking up the mantel as the Duke of Edinburgh. 

Actor Jonathan Pryce attends SAG-AFTRA Foundation Presents Career Retrospective

(Image credit: Photo by Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Olivier Award-winner Lesley Manville will be taking over as Princess Margaret in The Crown season 5. She will directly follow on from Helena Bonham Carter, who added her voice to calls for The Crown to have a fictional warning, as well as Vanessa Kirby, who played Margaret in seasons 1-2. 

And though Gillian Anderson was praised for her performance in The Crown season 4, it's unlikely that Margaret Thatcher will appear in The Crown series 5.

The Crown (TV series), season 4: Emma Corrin as Diana, Princess of Wales

(Image credit: Dom Slike / Alamy Stock Photo)

Emma Corrin also won huge praise for her portrayal of Princess Diana in The Crown season 4 but Princess Diana in season 5 of The Crown will be played by Elizabeth Debicki. Viewers have recently seen the very first photo of Elizabeth as Princess Diana, leaving many fans disappointed by the grainy nature of the photographs. 

The Great Gatsby star was spotted on set at Ardverikie Estate in Scotland—a stand-in for the Queen's Scottish home, Balmoral Castle. Here Elizabeth was walking alongside two young actors who appear to be playing Prince William and Prince Harry. Though with months to go until we see Elizabeth's Diana on-screen, there are sure to be many more exciting snaps to come. 

Given how prominent Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage was in season 4, it’s perhaps only expected that many fans will be speculating on who will be playing Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in season 5. Olivia Williams has reportedly been cast as the future Duchess of Cornwall, whilst Dominic West is rumored to be playing Prince Charles, though this has not yet been confirmed. 

And after speculation that The Crown producers were struggling to find an actor to play Prince Andrew, it's since been said that James Murray is set to play the Queen's third child in season 5. The Sun reports that the Cutting It actor will portray Prince Andrew opposite Emma Laird Craig as Sarah Ferguson. 

While Trainspotting star Jonny Lee Miller has joined The Crown as John Major, causing quite the stir amongst royal fans. John Major succeeded Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister and remained in this position until 1997, the same year that Princess Diana tragically passed away. 

Who will play Queen Elizabeth in The Crown season 5?

We might have got used to Oscar-winning actor, Olivia Colman, as Queen Elizabeth II, but from The Crown season 5, there’s a new Queen in town. Imelda Staunton, perhaps best known for her role as Professor Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film adaptation, is stepping into Olivia's shoes. 

Olivia Colman previously issued a warning to Imelda about her itchy wig prior to filming and Imelda will be the third actor to take on this iconic role, following on from Olivia and Claire Foy.

THE CROWN Netflix TV series with Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth in series 3

(Image credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)

According to The Hollywood Reporter after being cast as Queen Elizabeth II, a delighted Imelda revealed she has “loved watching The Crown from the very start”, before going on to praise her predecessors.

“As an actor, it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan’s scripts. I am genuinely honored to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion,” she declared.

And she certainly looks the part, as Netflix have recently given fans their first glimpse at Imelda playing the Queen

Taking to Instagram, Netflix shared a picture of Imelda immaculately dressed in what looks to be a primrose yellow blouse as she portrays Queen Elizabeth. The streaming giant captioned the sneak peak simply, "An early glimpse of our new Queen Elizabeth II, Imelda Staunton."

And fans were quick to comment their delight, with one excitedly writing, "SHE'S PERFECT I CANNOT BELIEVE IT".

"She'll totally nail this role", another declared, while someone else echoed this sentiment, responding, "Hair and wardrobe on point❤️". 

What plot points will The Crown season 5 cover? 

It’s not been confirmed exactly what period of history The Crown season 5 will cover. The Crown season 4 came to an end in 1990, following Margaret Thatcher’s resignation and it’s thought that The Crown season 5 will likely move forward into the 90s, during the period when John Major was Prime Minister. The early 90s would certainly make for some dramatic storylines, with the Queen herself describing 1992 as her “annus horribilis” (horrible year). 

It was then that her only daughter Princess Anne and her husband Captain Mark Phillips got divorced and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York also split. In November 1992, a fire also broke out at Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle On Fire November 1992

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

And while 1992 was definitely a challenging year, things did not get easier as the 90s progressed. Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced and her shocking panorama interview aired in 1995. Two years later in 1997, the Princess of Wales tragically passed away. It’s not known whether The Crown season 5 will cover this devastating time, though it’s thought likely that if it does not, The Crown season 6 might.

What does the Royal Family think of The Crown?

As reported by The Sun, royal biographer Robert Lacey has previously suggested that the Queen herself isn’t a committed watcher of The Crown. He supposedly claimed that "whenever any of them are asked about The Crown, they always deny watching it. And that may be because imagination can convey a truth that the facts themselves cannot.”

The Queen herself has never officially spoken out to give her opinion or address the events shown in The Crown. Though according to Hello! magazine, her granddaughter Princess Eugenie has previously described the drama as being "filmed beautifully” when she watched it. 

Princess Eugenie attends a Christmas Day church service at Sandringham on December 25, 2016 in King's Lynn, England

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

It's not known what the Royal Family might make of the upcoming season 5. And until an official synopsis is released, fans will also just have to wait and see exactly what The Crown season 5 might cover. Though for anyone that just can’t wait that long, catching up on the recent Kate and William anniversary documentary could be a good option for the meantime. 

And if you want something non-royal related—but equally explosive—find out how to watch Married at First Sight Australia and how to watch Gossip Girl online via our TV guides.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!