Moments We Expect to See in the New Season of The Crown
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Moments We Expect to See in the New Season of The Crown

Season 5 is set to deliver a whole new set of challenges for the Royal Family

Netflix‘s biggest series to date, The Crown, is scheduled to make a reappearance on our screens this year with its fifth instalment. Dropping on 9 November 2022, the new season will pick up where we left off, with Margaret Thatcher stepping down as Prime Minister in 1990. This is likely going to be the darkest season of the series yet, with the nineties being haunted by divorces, scandals and tragedies that deeply impacted the Royal Family.

Elizabeth Debicki will take on the role of Princess Diana, while Dominic West will play King Charles III, then Prince of Wales. Imelda Staunton, meanwhile, will portray the late Queen Elizabeth, taking over the reins from Olivia Colman. You can watch the recently released trailer below.

These are the moments we will likely see in the upcoming season, from fires at Royal residences to shocking interviews on national television…

Moments We Expect to See in the New Season of The Crown

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The Crown Netflix

Prince William Growing Up

Dominic West, cast as Prince Charles after Josh O’ Connor, will play alongside his 13-year-old son, Senan West, as Prince William. Senan will play William as he matures into a young man and will feature in the final few episodes of the season. His audition tape allegedly caught the attention of the casting agents: despite West being his father, it’s said that he auditioned just like anyone else.

Image courtesy of Netflix. 

Downing Street

The Rise of Tony Blair’s New Labour

It’s been reported that Bertie Cavel will take up the role of Tony Blair. And his wife, Cherie? That’s going to be played by Lydia Leonard, whose best-known performance is playing Marianna Lawton in Gentleman Jack.

The nineties were a decade of political change in Britain, one that The Crown will no doubt cover in great depth. In the span of just a few years, we witnessed Margaret Thatcher’s fall from grace, the collapse of Conservative popularity and the rise of New Labour. By reforming the party in the mid-90s into a synthesis of capitalism and socialism, with plenty of references to pop culture – party at No. 10, anyone? – Tony Blair was able to give Labour a landslide victory in the 1997 general election. The win would see Tony Blair remain as Prime Minister until 2007, bringing the show into the current century and a much more recent timeline.

Image: (c) Getty Images

The Crown Season 4

John Major Succeeding Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister

Margaret Thatcher was just finishing up her time as Prime Minister when we last left The Crown. After being ousted as leader of the Conservative Party, Thatcher was succeeded by John Major. Major remained as leader of the party and Prime Minister until 1997. The changeover in leadership will introduce Jonny Lee Miller as Major, as he gets to grips with leading the nation.

Image: Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher (c) Netflix

The Crown Season 5

Royal Divorces

Her Majesty the Queen once dubbed 1992 as ‘annus horribilis’ – and with all the things that happened, we can see why. The year marked a string of marital breakdowns in the Royal Family, with three of the Queen’s four children separating from their spouses. Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson first announced their separation in March, following a series of scandals involving a Texan multi-millionaire and a lot of tabloid coverage. A month later, Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips called it quits, with news outlets later finding out that Phillips had fathered another child from an extramarital affair. Later in December, it was relayed through John Major that Prince Charles and Princess Diana had also parted ways. This string of separations and divorces will no doubt be the root of much tension during the fifth season of The Crown.

Images: Dominic West as Prince Charles (c) Netflix

Royal Memoirs and Biographies

Diana: Her True Story In Her Own Words

In the lead up to her separation from Prince Charles in 1992, Diana hit the headlines for Andrew Morton’s Diana: Her True Story In Her Own Words. Based on alleged interviews with the princess as well as her friends and family, the biography sparked controversy for detailing Diana’s struggles with bulimia and depression as well as Prince Charles’ relationship Camilla Parker Bowles. The recount of Diana’s life was a shocking insight into the personal lives of Royal Family members, and encouraged a lot of public sympathy for the Princess of Wales.

Windsor Castle

The Fire at Windsor Castle

To top off a rather tumultuous year, Windsor Castle caught fire in November 1992. The fire lasted over 15 hours, destroying 115 rooms and damaging many others. The road to recovery was a long one, with the repair work lasting a few years and costing £36.5 million in total. As one of the Queen’s preferred residences, the destruction of the castle was a hard-hitting blow.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace Opening to the Public for the First Time

The fire at Windsor Castle had a resonating impact on the lives of the Royal Family. To help fund the restoration Buckingham Palace was opened to the public for the first time in history. Initially a short-term plan, the nation’s interest in getting a look inside the Royal residence caused three years’ worth of tickets to sell in the first week of sales. Blurring the line between the personal and public space, the opening of the palace pushed the Royal Family to settle even further within the public spotlight. Insight into their lives was now accessible to anyone.

The Crown

Princess Diana’s Panorama Interview

Hailed by the BBC as the scoop of a generation, Panorama’s An Interview with HRH The Princess of Wales in 1995 saw journalist Martin Bashir ask Diana about her relationship with Prince Charles and their subsequent divorce. Nearly 23 million people tuned in to watch the interview in the UK, as the princess spoke candidly about marriage, family, extramarital affairs (both Charles’ and her own), as well as her mental health struggles. The interview damaged the relationship between the Royal Family and the BBC, who later lost the exclusive rights to the Queen’s Royal Christmas Message.

Image: Emma Corrin as Princess Diana (c) Netflix / Des Willie

The Crown

The Dunblane Massacre

A shocking act of violence shook the UK in March 1996, when Thomas Hamilton forced his way into Dunblane Primary School in Scotland and shot dead 16 children and a teacher. The tragedy gave way to the Cullen Reports, which recommended legislature that would more tightly control handgun ownership in the UK. Prince Philip (who will be played by Jonathan Pryce in Season 5) hit the headlines for his objection to the new laws in a public broadcast – an act which one of the bereaved parents, Ann Pearston, called ‘a disgrace’.

Image: Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip (c) Netflix / Des Willie

Nelson Mandela’s State Visit to the UK

Nelson Mandela’s first state visit to the UK as President of South Africa in July 1996 marked a monumental moment for black Britons and the anti-apartheid movement. As South Africa’s former colonial ruler, Britain didn’t have the best footing in their rather complex relationship. The African National Congress, who campaigned for racial equality throughout the twentieth century, had been burned by Britain a number of times (most recently by Margaret Thatcher). But despite the bumpy history, Nelson Mandela loved British culture, and made it a point to visit Brixton’s Afro-Caribbean community when he came to the UK. By welcoming Mandela with open arms, the Royal Family and the UK Government solidified a new supportive standing on the anti-apartheid movement, signalling a gradual shift in the way society approached the topic of race.

Image: Nelson Mandela’s statue in Parliament Square, London (c) Getty Images

The Crown Season 5

Princess Diana’s Death

Perhaps the moment we’re all simultaneously anticipating and dreading is Princess Diana’s tragic death. On the 31 August 1997, Diana and her partner Dodi Fayed were caught in a car accident in Paris as they fled paparazzi. Diana, Dodi and the driver of the vehicle, Henri Paul, all died in the crash. Waves of upset spread globally at the news, and the funeral, held on the 6 September, was watched by a British television audience of 32.10 million. The topic of the Princess of Wales’ death is still a sensitive one, meaning The Crown will have to be very careful in its depiction of the event. With 2022 also marking 25 years since, Diana will no doubt become a huge talking point once again.

Image: Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana (c) Netflix

Featured image: Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana (c) Netflix