The Crown Season 5 Trailer: The Princess Diana Story Continues In The New Season

A lot has happened in the British Monarchy since the fourth season of "The Crown" debuted on Netflix in late 2020. Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will not "be returning as working members of The Royal Family." Prince Andrew settled a high-profile sexual assault civil suit. And, of course, the original protagonist of "The Crown," Queen Elizabeth II, died this fall after an unprecedented 70-year reign, months after her husband Prince Philip.

"The Crown" has a lot of ground to cover, but it's also still set during the days of Princess Diana, with the fifth season set to take place sometime after the resignation of Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) in 1990. Despite the common misconception that the show is a bit of royalist rubbernecking, "The Crown" has often been deeply critical of the monarchy at its center, telling stories about its cycle of folly and obtuse inability to change for four seasons now. Check out the new trailer below to see how the first season released under a new reign stacks up compared to the rest. 

It's Elizabeth Debicki's world, we're just living in it

At this point, it seems clear that Princess Diana (the always-great Elizabeth Debicki, previously breakout star Emma Corrin) is as much a protagonist of "The Crown" as Elizabeth was for its first few seasons. The once-bold queen became a figure of frustrating passivity in the show's fourth season, especially in the face of the tremendous pressure and pain the show's version of Diana felt within her relationship with Charles. The series has always handled serious moments with grace and gravity, and season 5 will likely be no different, but knowing where the latest batch of episodes may be headed — towards Diana's 1997 death — won't stop them from hurting less when "The Crown" finally gets there.

Along with Debicki's debut, the new season will introduce a fresh batch of actors for all its main roles for the second time. Imelda Staunton takes over Olivia Colman's part (originated by Claire Foy in the first two seasons) as the queen, Jonathan Pryce plays Prince Philip (previously Matt Smith and Tobias Menzies), and Lesley Manville will play the queen's sister, Margaret (previously Vanessa Kirby and Helena Bonham Carter). Meanwhile, Dominic West will take over the role of the future king, Charles, from Josh O'Connor. While all eyes will understandably be on Debicki, I'm also interested to see if West's version of Charles is just as despicable as O'Connor's.

"The Crown" season 5 will debut on Netflix on November 9, 2022.