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 and Olivia Williams will play Camilla Parker Bowles. It has been suggested that Dominic West is lined up to take over from Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles.
It was Josh himself who potentially let the casting news slip, in a recent interview with 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”.’
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!
Recently, 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.’
The tour, which anyone can join and costs just £26.50 a ticket (but is currently closed due to the pandemic), includes a glimpse at rooms such as the Throne Room and White Drawing Room but does not include the Queen and her family’s private chambers, so Martin had to lean on alternative sources for inspiration on how to recreate these spaces.
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 due to start filming this summer, we can’t wait to hear more juicy gossip from on and offset. We can expect an air date some time in 2022.