Just two months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Netflix is taking viewers back to one of the most turbulent periods of her reign. The streamer has released the official trailer for Season 5 of “The Crown,” which will depict events in the British monarch’s reign during the ’90s.
For many fans, the most anticipated element of the season — and one that the trailer puts great emphasis on — is the portrayal of Prince Charles (played this season by Dominic West) and Princess Diana’s (Elizabeth Debicki) separation and divorce. The dissolution of their marriage, which took place from 1993 to 1996, was breathlessly covered by the media and caused a significant turn in public opinion regarding the British royal family.
Set to the Verve’s 1997 Britpop hit “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” the trailer recreates many widely covered moments from the media storm at the time, including Diana’s famous black “Revenge Dress” and her 1995 interview about her separation. The trailer also emphasizes how this marital drama has much greater repercussions, with newscasters and reporters heard in the narration speculating about how it might destroy the image of the royals.
“I won’t go quietly, I’ll battle until the end,” Debicki says in the trailer.
Created by Peter Morgan, “The Crown” has covered the history of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign starting from her coronation in 1952. To do so, the series has swapped its cast once every two seasons, as the monarch and her family age. This season brings together the show’s third and final cast, with West and Debicki joined by Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Phillip, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Jonny Lee Miller as U.K. Prime Minister John Major, Olivia Williams as Charles’ future wife Camilla Parker Bowles, Marcia Warren as the Queen’s mother, and Timothy Dalton as Margaret’s lover Peter Townsend.
“The Crown” is a consistent Emmys favorite, collecting 21 trophies during its first four seasons. Both actors who have previously played Queen Elizabeth II — Claire Foy and Olivia Colman — picked up best actress wins for their performances in the series. The 2021 Emmys saw the show make history as the first drama to win all seven major awards it was eligible for in one ceremony: four cast members — Colman, Josh O’Conner, Tobias Menzies, and Gillian Anderson — took the acting prizes, Jessica Hobbs won best directing, Morgan won for best writing, and the series on a whole took the best drama trophy. It also became the first Netflix series to win best drama, after years of the streamer failing to secure the top prize.
This season marks the first new episodes of the show since the deaths of both Elizabeth and her husband Phillip, who died last year. The upcoming season has been preemptively criticized by some supporters of the royal family, who accuse it of being “deliberately hurtful” to the Queen, which Morgan and his cast have denied. The show briefly paused production on its sixth and final season following the news of the Queen’s death, and reportedly will not depict the tragic car crash that caused Diana and her partner Dodi Al-Fayed’s deaths in 1997.
All 10 episodes of “The Crown” Season 5 hit Netflix November 9. Watch the trailer below.