The Crown season 5 trailer - the 5 biggest storylines it teases

Buckle up, this looks like the biggest series so far

Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown season 5
(Image credit: Netflix)

It's the sign of whats to come, with The Crown Season 5 trailer giving us huge insight into the storylines it will cover, plus our first glimpse of the new cast in action.

The wait is almost over for fans of the award-winning Netflix drama, as The Crown season 5 (opens in new tab) gets set to hit our screens in November 2022. And as anticipation builds and patience weans, producers have craftily dropped the full, official trailer of the upcoming series much to our delight. 

There's plenty of drama to unpack in the 2 minute and 31 second video, with the action hauntily set to The Verve's 1997 Bittersweet Symphony. We've cherry picked the 5 biggest plot learnings we've taken from the trailer, to give us an indicator of what's in store for season 5. An essential read for fans of the show much like our The Crown cast seasons 1-5 explainer and exhaustive list of all The Crown filming locations (opens in new tab).

The Crown season 5 trailer - the 5 biggest storylines

1. The Queen's 'Annus horribilis'

The trailer opens to dramatic scenes of the fire at the Queen's beloved Windsor Castle (opens in new tab) - which rocked the royals on 20 November 1992. The devastating event was but the cherry on top of an especially hard year for the Royal firm (opens in new tab) - which Her Majesty famously defined her "annus horribilis" (opens in new tab) (Latin for horrible year) in a speech to commemorate her 40th year on the throne.

In a nutshell, 1992 saw her oldest child, Prince Charles, and his then-wife Princess Diana at loggerheads, her daughter Princess Anne get divorced and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson separate (following the exposure of the Duchess of York's affair).

"In light of the events of the last 12 months, perhaps I have more to reflect on than most," the voiceover begins - giving us the first introduction of Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II. And the verdict so far suggests fans are buying into it.

"Imelda Staunton's accent, my god. Best one so far, me thinks," tweeted one Crown fan (opens in new tab). Whilst another tweeted (opens in new tab): "Imelda Staunton has Elizabeth’s vocal inflection down to a T. My goodness."

The voiceover continues, stating that the Royal Family is in "genuine crisis" - and is accompanied by a real news broadcast of ITN news veteran Trevor McDonald. "Have royal scandals damaged the country's reputation?" he puts to the camera. It certainly suggests that The Crown season 5 will cover some of the events of the 'annus horribulis' in depth.

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2. Charles and Diana's deteriorating relationship

Another shot from The Crown season 5 trailer shows an exasperated Queen Elizabeth let out a heavy sigh, whilst in the presence of a miserable Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki). This quite clearly sets the tone and state of their marriage during this time period, which by all accounts was an unhappy one.

The Queen, Princess Diana and Prince Charles in a still from The Crown season 5

(Image credit: Netflix)

1992 saw the publication of Diana: Her True Story - in Her Own Words (opens in new tab) from acclaimed Royal biographer Andrew Morton (opens in new tab). The book was based on recordings Diana provided through friend James Colthurst. It opened up on not just her marital issues but her battle with bulimia and suicide attempts too. 

Fast-forward to December of that year and Prime Minister John Major (played this season by actor Jonny Lee Miller) announced that the Prince and Princess of Wales were separating for the forseeable. Whilst a split was confirmed, the Palace were quick (opens in new tab) to share that a divorce was not as yet on the cards and that the two would "from time to time attend family occasions and national events together."

3. Martin Bashir's Diana interview

Princess Diana's November 1995 sit down interview with the BBC's Martin Bashir was a huge moment in British television history. And it's one that has been brought to public attention again recently following an internal investigation by the broadcaster, which exposed deceit, lies and a cover-up.

"There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," Diana famously told Bashir during the 54-minute programme - making reference to King Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles.

In the trailer we see Bashir (played by Prasanna Puwanarajah) discussing the Princess's vulnerability aloud. "She’s at breaking point because of the way she feels she has been treated," he says. "They see her as a threat."

In another shot, Bashir is seen getting into a car with Diana, whilst the voiceover continues: "She wants to tear down the temple". The action then switches to a presumed BBC executive, who replies: "Let's go for it".

As the music intensifies, the action then settles on Diana in her sitting room at Kensington Palace surrounded by cameras. "I won't go quietly. I'll battle till the end," a sombre Princess Diana says during the recording.

Elizabeth Debicki as Diana in The Crown season 5

(Image credit: Netflix)

The dramatisation of the Bashir interview is no doubt set to make for uncomfortable viewing for audiences, given everything that has since come to light. In March 2021, an inquiry found that the Panarama journalist had mocked up fake bank statements to gain access to Diana. 

He was accused of misleading Diana's brother Earl Spencer to get him on side. And in addition, he falsely told the late Princess at the time that William and Harry's former nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke was having an affair with Prince Charles.

The new found controversy is one that has left Prince William and Harry 'sick with rage' (opens in new tab). Earl Spencer has also condemned the bahviour of those involved as "truly abysmal and possibly criminal."

Martin Bashir is now (opens in new tab) retired, having stepped down from his post as  the BBC’s religion editor in May 2021. He cited ongoing health issues as the reason for his departure.

Martin Bashir in The Crown season 5

(Image credit: Netflix)

4. Diana's 'revenge dress'

A storyline for the fashionistas! Season 4 delighted The Crown audiences with Princess Diana's historic wedding dress, and as for Season 5's big wardrobe moment - the trailer makes it clear it's all about the iconic 'Revenge dress'.

Worn in 1994, Princess Diana dazzled in the off-shoulder black cocktail dress for a Vanity Fair party at London’s Serpentine Gallery. The Christina Stambolian outfit captured the attention of the media and the paps, in a week where news reports were dominated with King Charles's TV confession to having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. 

It's been coined on several occasions since as the 'revenge dress', with the popularity and fascination around it even garnering it's own Instagram account.

A post shared by Princess Di (@ladydirevengelooks) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Diana actress Elizabeth Debicki shared how the dress made her feel “very significant and quite powerful" when she wore it for filming. 

"It’s pretty incredible that a dress would represent a moment in history, or that this human’s life would represent so much and become so iconic," she told Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab). "So that was a big day on set for me."

5. Diana - the beginning of the end

It's been confirmed that the death of Princess Diana (opens in new tab) will be covered in season 6 of the hit Netflix show. But the trailer for The Crown season 5 certainly suggests that audiences will be introduced to characters and events that introduce the lead up to the tragic event. 

We get the first glimpse of actor Khalid Abdalla as Dodi Fayed and his father Mohamed Al Fayed (opens in new tab) (played by Salim Dau) in the trailer. Dodi was Diana's boyfriend when she passed away and he also lost his life in the fatal car accident. Princess Diana's bodyguard (opens in new tab) Trevor Rees Jones remains the sole survivor.

Dodi and Mohamed Fayed in The Crown season 5

(Image credit: Netflix)

There's been much reported about how the award-winning show will cover the event in question. In a statement to the Daily News (opens in new tab), Netflix clarified: "[Season 6] will not depict the crash, contrary to some reports," adding that instead, "it will be scenes covering the lead-up to, and [the] aftermath."

Actress Elizabeth Debicki has also spoken out about the extra care being taken behind the scenes when covering sensitive moments such as this. 

"I'll say that Peter and the entire crew of this job do their utmost to really handle everything with such sensitivity and truth and complexity, as do actors," she said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab). "The amount of research and care and conversations and dialogue that happen over, from a viewer's perspective, something probably that you would never ever notice is just immense."

She added: "From that very first meeting [with] Peter, I knew that I'd entered into this space where this was taken seriously [in] a deeply caring way. So that's my experience of the show."

Dominic West, who plays Prince Charles in The Crown seasons 5 and 6 also shared how everyone involved has "a heavy, heavy responsibility to get it right and something I think we all take pretty seriously."

When is The Crown season 5 coming out?

Season 5 of The Crown will be released on November 9, 2022. The full series will be available to stream exclusively on Netflix - with 10 episodes expected in total.

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