With only five days until the premiere of the new season of The Crown, there’s nothing else for Netflix to do except heighten our already high expectations for the upcoming episodes. After a trailer that promises a major crisis is coming to the Royal family, the streamer released a pair of videos that provided a closer look on two actors that will probably be this season’s MVPs, Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki.
Season 5 of The Crown is set to depict one of the most delicate moments in the history of the British monarchy: The very public divorce of Princess Diana of Wales (Debicki) and (then) Prince Charles (West). As there are two sides to every story, we’ll get to see throughout the episodes how each party behaves, but it’s pretty safe to say Diana had it the worst. In real life, the monarch became a media obsession, and her every move got scrutinized by paparazzi and news outlets. In the “becoming Diana” video, Debicki underscores this:
“Diana [was] the most photographed person in the world at the time. […] Obviously, as an actor, you open the portal and there’s this huge tsunami of information that comes at you. […] The way that Peter [Morgan, series creator] has written Diana’s journey this season… it’s the story of the disintegration and the inevitable breakdown of their marriage into divorce. One of the themes that we explore a lot is the isolation she experiences as a result of the marriage breaking down, and how she becomes removed from the rest of the family.”
The Crown Season 5 Also Chronicles Charles’ Personal Tragedy
On the other side, West as an actor had to find a way to stay true to his character and play someone who also had their share of tragedy. Season 5 will also chronicle Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles (Olivia Williams) – a romance he was forced to abandon due to his position.
“Charles is at the prime of his life, but at the depths of his tragedy, if I can call it that. And so he’s very low in spirits, but he’s very galvanizing and dynamic in terms of what he wants to do with his life and his role and for the monarchy. […] I have such deep sympathy for Charles, because he doesn’t get much thanks, and particularly when he’s standing next to Diana. […] The great tension that you see in this season is between this 1950s argument on the monarchy, and on public life, and on marriage. And the modern day and how they clash, and how Diana really represents the modern day and Charles is sort of caught between the two.”
Aside from Debicki and West, this season of The Crown also features Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne, Jonny Lee Miller as John Major, Salim Daw as Mohamed Al Fayed, and Khalid Abdalla as Dodi Fayed.
Netflix premieres Season 5 of The Crown on November 9. You can watch both clips for Diana and Charles below:
Check out the official synopsis for the season here:
As Queen Elizabeth II (Imelda Staunton) approaches the 40th anniversary of her accession, she reflects on a reign that has encompassed nine prime ministers, the advent of mass television and the twilight of the British Empire. Yet new challenges are on the horizon. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the transfer of sovereignty in Hong Kong signals a seismic shift in the international order presenting both obstacles and opportunities. Meanwhile, trouble is brewing closer to home. Prince Charles (Dominic West) pressures his mother to allow him to divorce Diana (Elizabeth Debicki), presenting a constitutional crisis of the monarchy. Rumours circulate as husband and wife are seen to live increasingly separate lives and, as media scrutiny intensifies, Diana decides to take control of her own narrative, breaking with family protocol to publish a book that undermines public support for Charles and exposes the cracks in the House of Windsor. Tensions are set to rise further, as Mohamed Al Fayed (Salim Daw) arrives on the scene. Driven by his desire for acceptance of the highest order, he harnesses his self-made wealth and power to try and earn him and his son Dodi (Khalid Abdalla) a seat at the royal table.