Netflix has revealed the premiere date for “The Crown” Season 5 during its online Tudum fan event on Saturday. The dramatized series about the British Royal Family is set to return on Nov. 9 with an entirely new cast.
Imelda Staunton (“Harry Potter”) takes over from Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II while Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”) will play her husband, Prince Philip. Meanwhile Dominic West (“The Affair”) will play Prince Charles, Elizabeth Debicki (“Tenet”) will portray Princess Diana, Lesley Manville (“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”) joins as the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, and Jonny Lee Miller (“Elementary”) stars as Prime Minister John Major.
Season 5 is believed to cover the family throughout the 1990s.
Although the writers and producers, including creator Peter Morgan, have remained tight-lipped as ever regarding which real life events from the royals’ lives they plan to bring to the screen, the casting has given fans some clues to pore over.
Salim Daw has been cast to play billionaire department store owner Mohamed Al-Fayed, while Amir El-Masry has been cast as a younger Al-Fayed, suggesting the audience will be privy to some flashback scenes. Meanwhile, Khalid Abdalla will play Al- Fayed’s son Dodi, who tragically died in the same 1997 Parisian car crash that killed Princess Diana. The two were romantically linked at the time.
Humayun Saeed is set to join the ensemble cast as Dr. Hasnat Khan, a British-Pakistani heart surgeon with whom Diana had a secret two-year long relationship with.
Audiences will also see a glimpse of the young Prince William and Prince Harry, with Dominic West’s son Senan set to play William, and Teddy Hawley and Will Powell both portraying Harry at different ages.
Although the casting suggests Season 5 will cover the period up to and including Diana’s death, “The Crown” has always made innovative choices in terms of what scenes it actually re-enacts. In Season 4, the camera follows Emma Corrin (playing an 18 -year-old Diana) and Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles) getting ready for their wedding, giving the audiences glimpses of the couple in their finery, but it does not follow them down the aisle.
The 1990s was a turbulent time for the royals. The Queen famously called 1992 her “annus horribilis” after her only daughter, Princess Anne, got divorced and her sons Prince Charles and Prince Andrew both separated from their wives following a string of tabloid stories. That same year, Windsor Castle also suffered a catastrophic fire.
While already supremely popular with both viewers and critics, the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8 has spurred renewed interest in the series. According to data analytics firm Whip Media, the show’s UK viewership increased more than 800% following the Queen’s death, compared with the previous Friday-Sunday period.
See all the Netflix announcements from Saturday’s Tudum event here.