The new season of The Crown is readying for its debut.
Netflix has released the first photos for the fifth season of the Emmy-winning and critically acclaimed royal drama from creator Peter Morgan. The 10-episode season releases Nov. 9.
Based on historical events, The Crown dramatizes the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that have shaped her reign. In season 5, set in the ’90s, Netflix says the Royal family is presented with possibly its biggest challenge to date, as the public openly questions its role.
Season 5 also marks the debut of the third and final cast change in the series, with the new actors including Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Dominic West as Prince Charles, Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana, Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne, Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles, Jonny Lee Miller as John Major, Salim Daw as Mohamed Al Fayed and Khalid Abdalla as Dodi Fayed.
Morgan executive produces with Suzanne Mackie, Andy Harries, Stephen Daldry, Matthew Byam Shaw, Robert Fox and Jessica Hobbs.
Below are quotes from the actors on their characters, which were released along with the first look photos on Friday through the streamer’s marketing site Tudum.
Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II: “What has been nice, and I hope I don’t prove them wrong, is people saying, ‘I’m really looking forward to seeing her as the queen. So, let’s just hope that works out for them because I’ve done it. Nothing I can do about it now!”
Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh: “Doing this and looking into Philip’s background and finding out what made him the man he was, that was the interest to me. I’m more interested in their life, their emotional life, which is what The Crown explores.”
Dominic West as Charles, Prince of Wales: “I think people understand, because the cast has changed every two seasons, that this is not an imitation. This is an evoking of a character. That’s really where the show lives: in the imagined conversations of their private life, which is something that no one knows. I think that’s what it gets a lot of criticism for. How can you know what they talk about in their private lives? The obvious answer is, we don’t. But we have an incredible writer, a dramatist, who imagines based on exhaustive research, and that’s really part of the fascination of the show.”
Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales: “That’s the amazing thing about playing these people at this time, because in the journey of The Crown so far out of all the seasons, this is the most visual content we have of the Royal Family. In the ‘90s everything had started to be filmed and also it was the birth of the 24-hour news cycle, so there’s just this incredible amount of content that we have access to. Diana was the most photographed person in the world at that time. As an actor you open the portal and this huge tsunami of information comes at you. I happily swam around in it.”
Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker-Bowles: “One of the great things about The Crown is we get to see those sort of imagined intimate moments, which maybe give us a better perspective on someone that we’ve judged. Charles and Camilla seem to have a very healthy sense of humor about what at times must be an unbearable predicament. And that is the thing that I most want to show.”
Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret: “I had a lot of documentaries to watch, pictures, loads to read, but finally the scripts arrived, and that’s it. All the books I read have different people’s versions of events. So you’ve got to let it go in and just sink in, but then you almost forget about it because finally the scripts come and that’s what you work with.”
Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne: “Anne’s an extraordinary character. She’s not there to make people feel better about themselves, but she is superb at her job and is a proper feminist. She’s someone we can really look up to and I think she has no sense of entitlement.”
Morgan on Jonny Lee Miller as Prime Minister John Major: “I think Jonny Lee Miller is an absolute triumph in the role and a real surprise.”
‘The Crown’: Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles Among Royal First Look at Season 5