Netflix’s The Crown season 5 has released several production images of the upcoming season’s actors, including Dominic West as Prince Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana. After four successful seasons, The Crown has been celebrated for its dramatic portrayals of the royal family during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The Crown has also been notable for changing up the actors who portray each real-life figure every 1-2 seasons as the series moves into later eras of the reign, typically recruiting big names for each short stint.
The Crown was originally scheduled to conclude with season 5, but the creators decided to extend it into a sixth. At the same time, The Crown has been clear that season 6 will not bring the story any closer to the present day, but will only explore the same original season 5 timeline in greater detail. As such, season 6 will not mean an exploration of Meghan Markle and Harry or Prince Phillip’s recent death. Season 5 will pick up shortly after the tumultuous occurrences in the season 4 finale, giving a look into Charles and Diana’s infamous marriage feuds and the events that led to her tragic death in 1997.
Season 5 of The Crown has announced many of its newcomers including the Queen, Charles, and Diana, with the latter two facing a whirlwind of drama after their impending separation in season 4’s finale. For seasons 5 and 6, Prince Charles will be portrayed by HBO’s The Wire actor Dominic West, taking over for seasons 3 and 4 actor Josh O’Connor. Elizabeth Debicki, who most recently played Kat in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, will be playing Lady Di as she picks up the role from Emmy-nominated actress Emma Corrin. The Crown has now released a few set pictures that compare West to Charles and Debicki to Diana. While Debicki’s portrayal is pretty spot on to the real-life Diana at the time, West’s real-life comparison to Charles has been criticized as inaccurate.
Audiences have been quick to point out that the casting department for The Crown season 5 may have been a little too generous when choosing Charles’ actor. Charles has always been notable for having a bit of a goofy, lanky look, so Josh O’Connor was perfect for being handsome in an understated fashion as a young Charles growing into his own skin. West, on the other hand, is a classically ruggedly handsome actor with broad shoulders and a strong jawline that could easily find his way on one of Glamour’s attractive men lists – not something expected of the 1990s version of Prince Charles. Before casting too much judgment on whether West will be able to pull off the real Charles, aside from looks, audiences will have to wait until The Crown season 5 premieres to form full opinions.
Elizabeth Debicki is an excellent choice for Diana as she grows into a stronger, more confident leader in the world and mother to two boys. The Crown season 4’s Emma Corrin perfectly reflected the more somber, reserved aspects of Diana as a young woman beginning to navigate royal life and affairs, whereas Debicki will bring in a new level of maturation for Diana’s mid-late ‘90s persona. The Crown’s released picture of Debicki shows her sporting Diana’s short, feathered haircut iconic of her 1990s look; she’ll just now have to match the eternally classic outfits Lady Di wore. With Debicki’s portrayal shaping up to be accurate, anticipation for The Crown season 5 only grows.