Now anticipating the fifth season of Netflix’s The Crown, it’s safe to say that these days we’re as hooked on the storylines in the hit series based on the British monarchy as we are the rumours and behind the scenes titbits that surround it.
As has been customary with previous seasons, season 5 will see a complete cast change to reflect the passing of time. So far we know that Imelda Staunton is set to play the Queen, Jonathan Pryce is cast as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana, Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles and Dominic West will play Prince Charles.
Lucky for us, we now have our first sneak peeks at Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana, Dominic West as Prince Charles and Imelda Staunton as the Queen, and we can’t quite believe the uncanny resemblance of all of them.
Josh O’Connor, who played Prince Charles in seasons 3 and 4, told GQ: ‘I absolutely loved it. But the reason I wanted to be an actor is to play different people,’ he said. ‘Playing that character has brought me a lot of joy. But it’s lovely to come away and go, “Great. Now hand it over to Dominic West”.’
Imelda Staunton was also spotted filming on a boat in Macduff, Scotland, at the beginning of August.
In September, some more snaps of Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana were released, as she stood alongside the actors portraying Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles on set.
Not only were we taken aback by her resemblance to Princess Diana, but that of the young princes, too!
— Elizabeth Debicki Source (@EdebickiSource) September 5, 2021
It has previously been reported that Fleabag‘s Andrew Scott (aka the ‘Hot Priest’) has been approached to play none other than former prime minister Tony Blair. Scott is just a year older than Blair was when he entered Downing Street in 1997 and it has been suggested he will be a key character in the next series of The Crown. How exciting!
Netflix shared the news that Jonny Lee Miller will be joining The Crown cast to play former Prime Minister John Major. The actor, who was previously married to Angelina Jolie, is known for his roles in Trainspotting, Elementary and Dexter.
Jonny Lee Miller will play John Major in the fifth season of The Crown. pic.twitter.com/woMcTQtUmb
— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) June 25, 2021
Netflix previously announced season 6 of The Crown would be the last, but let’s be honest, we were hoping it would continue and include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s relationship, as well as the beginnings of Prince Harry and Meghan’s romance. However, executive producer Suzanne Mackie has confirmed the show wouldn’t ever go beyond six seasons.
Speaking in an interview with Broadcast Now, she said: ‘Peter [Morgan, the show’s creator] has said it very articulately, that he simply can’t write something unless there has been time to gain a proper perspective.
‘And I think he’s always felt 10 years is the minimum amount of time that he can see something in a historical context, to allow him to really understand it. I don’t think he’ll deviate from that.’
Suzanne continued: ‘We all know these stories, but what Peter does so brilliantly is get underneath that, and understand the landscape in a more nuanced, complex, surprising way. The minute he starts trying to do that sooner, it will inevitably feel contrived or artificial. So, although this has been an absolute career highlight for me, it will absolutely be time to move on.’
Peter Morgan has also spoken on the topic himself. ‘I just think you get so much more interesting [with time],’ he told The Hollywood Reporter. ‘[20 years] is enough time and enough distance to really understand something, to understand its role, to understand its position, to understand its relevance.’
Earlier this year, The Crown‘s production designer, Martin Childs, revealed how he researched the interiors of Buckingham Palace to recreate the sets. After being denied special access by the firm to research the palace ahead of filming, Martin went ‘undercover’ as a tourist and joined a public tour of Buckingham Palace’s State Rooms to glean all the information he needed to create his spectacular sets.
‘All I could think about was how we could turn these rooms into spaces where action could happen, where people could have conversations, where we could maintain an interest,’ Martin told the Royal Television Society this week. ‘Whenever I was in a room I was looking through doorways into the next room, to see what interesting frames it would make on the screen.’
He explained: ‘The one thing I knew was that the upstairs apartments were built in an enfilade, which meant four rooms in a row connected by doors rather than by a corridor.’
‘As soon as I knew that about the private apartments, the Queen’s bedroom and dressing room, and Philip’s bedroom, then I had an architectural metaphor for an extraordinary marriage. It meant they could close doors on one another, there’d be distance between them, there would be closeness when they wanted it.’
All in all, 15 different locations are used to film The Crown, including four sets at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire and 11 stately homes and historic buildings, including Wilton House in Wiltshire, Lancaster House in London (both for interiors scenes) and the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London which poses as Buckingham Palace’s exterior.
Now, Andrew Morton, the author of Princess Diana’s 1992 biography and a consultant on the Netflix series, has revealed that he believes that the royal’s bombshell Panorama interview will feature in The Crown and show the ‘the drama behind the making of my book’.
With season 5 of The Crown officially filming, we can’t wait to hear more juicy gossip from on and offset. We can expect an air date some time in 2022.