Netflix has released an exciting first look into the much awaited fifth season of The Crown, which comes out on November 9. Chronicling the events of the Royal Family in the 1990s, the new season will see Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip. But the role that fans are most eager to see portrayed on screen is that of Princess Diana, which Elizabeth Debicki will take over from Emma Corrin.
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Corrin received widespread praise and adulation for their role as The People’s Princess. Fans of the show have high expectations from Debicki. She will carry the mantle of playing Diana at an older, more controversial phase in her life. The newly released photos also show Dominic West as Prince Charles and Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles.
The fifth season treads bravely as it takes on the end of Diana’s strained marriage to Prince Charles and the trajectory of their lives in its aftermath. Reportedly, the sixth and final season will cover Diana’s subsequent, tragic death. The car accident that killed the beloved former Princess, her partner Dodi Fayed and the driver Henri Paul is already a touchy subject embroiled in controversy.
Some viewers are already speculating that King Charles and the Queen Consort Camilla will not take their on screen portrayals too well. Those whose sympathies lie with Diana are eager for the show to shed light on the Royal Family’s mistreatment of her once again.
"Calling someone crazy or hysterical, completely dismisses their experience. It minimizes what they are feeling"
— Alexis( sowing discord in the west) (@ArchewellBaby) October 11, 2022
Without a doubt, the new season’s subject matter is bound to cause some discomfort to the Royal Family. They are still reeling from the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The passing of England’s longest reigning monarch and the show’s central character over four seasons adds another dimension of sensitivity. William Shawcross, the Queen’s biographer, in fact described the show as “odious” and an “absolute disgrace”, as quoted by The Telegraph. He claimed it is “filled with lies and half-truths encased in lace and velvet”, and is “deliberately hurtful” to the Royal Family.
There is no doubt that The Crown is a fictional depiction based on fact. The writers and directors have taken creative liberties in the past, and will do so in the fifth season as well. But how they choose to portray this turbulent time in the life of the Royal Family will go a long way in shaping public opinion and support, even several years after Diana’s death.