“The Crown” is gearing up for its next, hotly anticipated season.
Production on season 5 of the hit Netflix series is set to start in July, Variety has confirmed with the show’s producers. This season will feature a whole new cast of actors playing the iconic royals, with “Tenet” star Elizabeth Debicki starring as Princess Diana; Dominic West portraying Prince Charles; Imelda Staunton playing the Queen; and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.
Crew is now starting to trickle back into Elstree Studios, just north of London, where the bulk of the Left Bank-produced show is filmed, and cameras hope to start rolling under strict COVID-19 protocols. It’s hoped that, by July especially, the U.K. will be well on its way to recovering from the devastating impact of the pandemic. The country will begin to ease restrictions from April 12 following a third national lockdown that was put in place in January.
Filming across TV and film has continued throughout the pandemic, largely thanks to swift action taken early on by various industry orgs, such as the British Film Institute and producers’ trade body Pact.
“The Crown” wrapped season 4 filming early, ending production just ahead of the U.K.’s first lockdown in March 2020. Nonetheless, Sony-backed Left Bank was able to deliver the series on time for its smash November debut. The latest season, which saw the long-awaited arrival of Princess Diana (Emma Corrin), has revitalized the Peter Morgan-created series, drawing huge audiences and winning acclaim, including Golden Globes and SAG Awards this season.
Premiering in 2016, “The Crown” has followed the royal family through several time periods, starting in the late 1940s and early 1950s with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s marriage and early careers. Season 3, released in 2019, jumped forward in time to the 1960s and 1970s, replacing the cast with older actors. Season 4 followed the relationship between Princess Diana, who was born in 1961, and Prince Charles, while season 5 will delve into the early 1990s — a hugely turbulent period for the Royal Family.
Debicki, Staunton and others will comprise the final cast for the show, which — after some back and forth — is set to end with season 6, taking the series up to the early 2000s, meaning that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will never figure in the show.
Last month, in an interview with James Corden, Harry revealed that he had, in fact, seen “The Crown,” and spoke candidly about his impressions of the drama. “It’s fictional, but it’s loosely based on the truth. Of course it’s not strictly accurate; it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle is, the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that.
“I’m way more comfortable with ‘The Crown’ than I am seeing the stories written about my family, my wife, or myself,” the prince continued. “That is obviously fiction, take it how you will, but this is being reported on as fact because you are supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.”