It took The Crown four seasons, but Netflix’s most prestigious show is finally firing on all cylinders. It took the series a while to build up an audience. The first two seasons only brought in a few million viewers, but with the new "Netflix Top 10," fans can see that The Crown‘s new season has shot to the top of the charts, and if the buzz is anything to go by, it’ll be there a while yet. Naturally, fans are wondering how much longer the show will continue. The good news is The Crown Season 5 is already in the works.
The Crown is quite possibly the most ambitious show in Netflix history. Conceived as a six-season, 60-year historical dramatization of the UK’s current ruling monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, the original plan was to go from 1948 to 2012. In the last year or so, that plan has been altered slightly to cover from 1948 to the turn of the millennium. But the ambition remains the same: Telling the story of the Second Elizabethan Age before it draws to an end.
With two more seasons to go, fans still have a lot more of The Crown to look forward to. Here’s everything fans currently know about the next season.
‘The Crown’ Season 5 Renewal News
Unlike almost every other show on TV (or Netflix), The Crown doesn’t need renewal news. The series was greenlit for all six seasons, 60 episodes, sight unseen, back in 2014 when Netflix first announced the series.
The Crown was the first show in history given a full six season order out of the gate. (Other shows may plan to run six or seven seasons but aren’t guaranteed them.) The Crown‘s creator, Peter Morgan, considered not using all six seasons at one point and ending with Season 5. But in the end, he went ahead with using all the episodes allotted.
‘The Crown’ Season 5 Cast
Rather than have one cast and age them up via makeup (or digital CGI), the show would recast the series, nose to tail, every two years. Seasons 1-2 would have Elizabeth, Philip, and Margaret in the 20-30s. Season 3-4 would have the same set recast for their 40-50s while adding in Charles, Anne, Camilla, and Diana in the 20-30s. The final two seasons would have Elizabeth, Philip, and Margaret in their 60s, Charles, Anne, Camilla, and Diana in their 40s, and the next generation as teens.
Season 5, therefore, is the beginning of a whole new cast. Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter) will take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II, Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones) steps into the part of Philip, and Lesley Manville (The Phantom Thread) is the final Margaret.
As of this writing, the next generation is still being cast. The only role confirmed so far is Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki (Tenet). Rumor has it Dominic West (The Wire) will take over Charles’s role, but that has not been confirmed. There is no word on who will play Anne, Camilla, Andrew, Fergie, or Edward. Nor has there been an announcement of who will play Will and Harry.
‘The Crown’ Season 5 Plot Details
Things will change from the way the show has conducted itself over the first four seasons. Up until now, every season has covered ~10 years of Elizabeth’s reign. Season 1 took viewers through the 50s, Season 2 through the 60s, Season 3 through the 70s, and Season 4 through the 80s.
But Season 5 and 6 will slow things down. Despite there being quite a bit of drama for the royal family in the 21st century, Morgan has decided these events are still too recent. One cannot write about with the dispassion required when taking the long view of history. So instead, the final two seasons will both cover the 1990s, with Season 5 covering Charles and Diana’s divorce and Season 6 dedicated to Diana’s passing and the fallout experienced by the royal family in her wake.
‘The Crown’ Season 5 Theories
Though history is an excellent guide to what fans can expect, there’s still a lot from which Morgan can pick and choose. The show zagged before when viewers thought it would zig. For example, fans assumed Season 3 would cover Anne’s wedding and her Olympic competitions; instead, it chose to dramatize Edward VIII’s passing.
For instance, Morgan has already said that he will not touch "Tampongate" in Season 5, even though it was a famous incident during the divorce proceedings. That makes it an open question of what parts of the 1990s will make it into the series. Will he bring back Townsend, who passed in 1995, and Margaret’s final trip to see him? Will it cover Elizabeth II’s address to the US Congress after the Gulf War? Will it show the egg-throwing incident during Elizabeth’s visit to Germany?
Or will The Crown Season 5 be all divorce all the time? Both Princess Anne and Prince Andrew divorced their spouses in the early 1990s as well, so there’s plenty to go around.
‘The Crown’ Season 5 Premiere Date
The Crown accidentally took a year off between Season 2 and 3 due to the difficulties of recasting such a large ensemble. It skipped airing altogether in 2018 and then filmed Seasons 3 and 4 back to back to make up for it.
This time, having already done this once, the show has built the gap year into its plans. Filming for Season 5 is not scheduled to begin until June of 2021, and then both Seasons 5 and 6 will film back to back. Netflix plans to debut Season 5 in late 2022, with Season 6 to follow in 2023.
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