Who will be taking over as Princess Diana in The Crown season 5 and where have you seen her before?

The next The Crown Diana actress faces some dramatic storylines

Diana, Princess of Wales attends a fund raising gala dinner for the American Red Cross in Washington
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales took centre stage in The Crown season 4 but with the hit drama's new season soon to start filming, fans can't help wondering—who is the next The Crown Diana actress?

The Crown has captured the imaginations of viewers across the world since season 1, though it’s the most recent season which really got people talking. Since season 4 landed last year, some have expressed concerns that certain plot-points in the fictional drama series could be mistaken for fact. Though several of the show’s stars including Gillian Anderson have rejected calls for a historical disclaimer, many still can’t help wondering how accurate The Crown really is as they look ahead to the next season. 

Though more The Crown season 5’s cast, plot and release date information is expected to be unveiled over the coming months, it seems likely it will include even more instantly recognizable moments and figures as it moves forward towards the 90s. Season 4 followed the early years of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage and now a new actress is set to take over the iconic role of the Princess of Wales from season 5. 

But who is the next The Crown Diana and which historical moments will she be bringing to life? 

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Who is the next The Crown Diana actress and where have you seen her before? 

Whilst many die-hard The Crown fans were blown away by Emma Corrin’s acclaimed portrayal of the late Princess of Wales, the time has come for another equally talented actress to pick up her crown. Starting from season 5, The Crown Diana actress will be Elizabeth Debicki, as reported by The Guardian back in August 2020. 

“Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many”, the Australian actress stated. “It is my true privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one.”

Elizabeth Debicki attends "The Burnt Orange Heresy" photocall during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 07, 2019 in Venice, Italy

(Image credit: Photo by Daniele Venturelli/WireImage via Getty)

And it seems Elizabeth has really developed an understanding of Princess Diana’s character, describing her in a past interview with Gotham magazine as a “magical person”.

“She’s like a symbol—like a magical person,” Elizabeth shared. “I’m coming to understand more intimately how she existed and still exists very profoundly in collective consciousness.

“I think it’s amazing that from age 7, I would remember somebody who had no actual impact on my life as a child in Australia—and yet I was very aware of her presence in the world. I remember seeing her face on magazines. My mother was very aware of her, as I think a lot of women close to her age were. She really followed her quite intimately because she represented something extremely human and extremely symbolic.”

Elizabeth Debicki is perhaps best known for her role as Jed Marshall in the BBC drama The Night Manager. She has also appeared in Steve McQueen’s film Widows, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and Christopher Nolan's action thriller, Tenet.

What will The Crown’s Diana storylines be in season 5?   

It’s been reported that filming on The Crown season 5 is set to begin in July, so with the exact plotlines not yet confirmed, fans have been left to speculate about what Princess Diana’s story arc in the next season might potentially cover. The Crown season 4 ended with Margaret Thatcher’s resignation and so it’s thought that season 5 could move forward into the 90s. 

It was during this period that Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage sadly fell apart, with the couple going on to separate in 1992, a time described by the Queen as her ‘annus horribilis’, or ‘horrible year’.

Prince Charles And Princess Diana On Their Last Official Trip Together

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

Following this, Princess of Wales went on to give her shocking panorama interview in 1995, during which she spoke out about there being “three people” in her marriage, in an apparent reference to Camilla Parker Bowles. Prince Charles and Diana’s divorce was finalised in summer 1996 and she officially relinquished her HRH status.

Just a year later, Princess Diana tragically died in a car accident in Paris when Prince William was 15 and Prince Harry 12. Both brothers have since spoken out about their grief and how it’s shaped their lives, with Prince Harry recently revealing during his new Apple TV+ docuseries, The Me You Can't See, that he went on to turn to drugs and alcohol to "mask" pain. Though it’s not yet known whether The Crown season 5 will depict this truly devastating moment in the history of the Royal Family, it’s thought very likely that if it doesn’t, season 6 will.

The Prince of Wales with Prince William and Prince Harry outside Westminster Abbey at the funeral of Diana, The Princess of Wales on September 6, 1997

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Having confirmed that there will be a season 6 last year, The Crown's creator Peter Morgan also revealed that the show will not be taken any further to the present day, beyond the early 2000s. As reported by Deadline, Peter explained: “To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present-day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.”

If The Crown chooses to wait until the final season to show Princess Diana’s death, it would make for an incredibly poignant ending to the hit drama and would need enough episodes to ensure everything was depicted sensitively. So it could be that viewers would only see up to, or around, the point of Prince Charles and Diana’s divorce in season 5, which is itself another major moment in British royal history.

 Who is the current The Crown Diana actress?  

Though many people will be excited to see what kind of Princess Diana Elizabeth Debicki will be, there will also be those sorry to say goodbye to the current The Crown Diana actress, Emma Corrin. Emma stepped into the role from season 4 and truly made her mark on the hit drama series, though she has revealed she is “pleased” to pursue other projects now.

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in Netflix's The Crown

(Image credit: Des Willie/ Netflix)

In an interview with The Guardian, Emma explained that despite enjoying the role, she’s “also quite pleased to move on”, claiming that “industry loves to pigeonhole”.

Though she went on to reveal her her excitement at the idea of watching Elizabeth take up the mantle in season 5.

“I’m looking forward to it. Though I’m sad I only did one series, I always knew that was all I was signing on for, and I played her from 16 to 28. I took her from girl to woman, and I loved that arc”, she shared.

We can’t wait to see Elizabeth Debicki step into Emma Corrin’s shoes as she becomes the next The Crown Diana!

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in digital 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!