Sure, The Crown has gotten quite a bit of free publicity recently, but the Netflix drama’s promotional push for the fifth season is also ramping up through more traditional channels. In this behind-the-scenes featurette, the streamer introduces the show’s new cast members—the third and supposedly final changing of the guard for The Crown—as the British royal family enters the particularly tumultuous ’90s.
“It’s quite shocking how overtly critical people were of the monarchy at that time,” says The Crown’s creator Peter Morgan, who must have recorded his part before the events of the past two months.
“It does start with people questioning, “Do we need the monarchy? Do we need the Queen?’ and she has to ride that particular storm,” says Imelda Staunton, who is taking over from Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II. The Harry Potter actor will be depicting the monarch’s so-called “annus horribilis” in 1992, which included a fire at the royal residence Windsor Castle and three of her children’s marriages ending.
The most visible of these separations was, of course, the split between then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The bitter divorce is set to be a key plotline in the new episodes, down to including the phone call between Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles that led to the scandal known as “Tampongate.”
“As a result of the marriage breaking down and how she becomes more and more removed from the rest of the royal family, that sort of encourages her to grow other pieces of her life and attempt to sort of recoup control of the ones that feel like they’re spiraling,” describes Elizabeth Debicki, now playing the Princess of Wales after Emma Corrin’s breakout turn.
Other new cast members include Dominic West as Prince Charles, Olivia Williams as Camilla, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip. The sixth and final season is now in production.
Season five of The Crown premieres on Netflix on November 9.