The Crown is an unusual series for one that covers five decades. In most shows that span such a drastic length of time, the series has one cast and ages them up via makeup (or digital CGI). But in this case, the show recasts the series, nose to tail, every two years. Seasons 1 to 2 had Elizabeth, Philip, and Margaret in the 20s and 30s. Season 3 and 4 then had the same characters recast for their 40s and 50s, also adding in Charles, Anne, Camilla, and Diana in their 20s and 30s. The final two seasons will have Elizabeth, Philip, and Margaret in their 60s; Charles, Anne, Camilla, and Diana in their 40s; and the next generation as teens.
Season 5, therefore, is the beginning of a whole new cast. Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter) will take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II; Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones) steps into the part of the late Prince Philip; and Lesley Manville (The Phantom Thread) is the final Margaret.
As for Diana, who took on such a prominent role in Season 4, she will be played by Elizabeth Debicki (Tenet). Producers confirmed to Variety that Dominic West (The Wire) was set to take over Charles’ role in the spring of 2021. However, a formal confirmation did not come until an in-character photo was released in August. Moreover, the series is keeping the royal family in the family with Prince William, by casting West’s real-life son, Senan, as his first born and heir. As for Camilla, she’ll be played by Olivia Williams, who fans will recognize from The Sixth Sense.
The Crown has also cast Diana’s post-divorce love life, with Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner) as Dodi Fayed, and Salim Daw (Oslo) as Dodi’s father, billionaire and former Harrods owner Mohamed Al-Fayed. Also, in case anyone thought the show would somehow sidestep Diana’s final days in Paris before her untimely death, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu (best known as Sylvie from Emily In Paris) revealed in March 2022 that she has been cast in the series. Reports say she’ll play Monique Ritz, former owner of the Ritz Hotel where Diana and Dodi were staying when the crash occurred.
In August, People confirmed Claudia Harrison (The IT Crowd) will take over the part of Princess Anne for Seasons 5 and 6. And in January 2022, The Independent confirmed James Murray (Primeval) would play Prince Andrew. There is still no word on who will play Elizabeth’s youngest son, Prince Edward, Andrew’s wife Fergie, or young Harry, despite filming having commenced. Fans will hopefully learn who is filling these roles soon.
On the political side, after a decade of Thatcher, Elizabeth will get a new Prime Minister this season, the man who succeeded the Iron lady, John Major. He’ll be played by Jonny Lee Miller, best known on this side of the pond for his leading roles in the film Trainspotting and the Sherlock Holmes TV series Elementary.