Despite recent backlash from across the pond, Netflix is moving along with Season 5 of the “The Crown,” releasing a dramatic trailer Tuesday that revisits one of the royal family’s most public scandals.
The trailer offers a glimpse at upcoming drama within the House of Windsor and a handful of new stars, including Imelda Staunton, who will now portray Queen Elizabeth II.
“In light of the events of the the last 12 months, perhaps I have more to reflect on than most,” the “Downton Abbey” actor says to kick off the trailer. In the first shots, the late monarch stands amid burnt rubble.
As a dramatic cover of the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” begins, journalist Martin Bashir (portrayed by Prasanna Puwanarajah) declares that “the royal family is in a genuine crisis.” At the center of the so-called “crisis” are Charles’ affair with Camilla and Diana’s battle with the monarchy.
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“Remember the one condition, the one rule,” Prince Phillip (Jonathan Pryce) reminds Diana. “You remain loyal to this family.”
“You mean silent?” the Princess of Wales responds.
The clip goes on to debut Elizabeth Debicki as Diana (taking over for Emmy winner Emma Corrin), Dominic West as Charles and Olivia Williams as Camilla. Season 5 of “The Crown” also will explore the media coverage of Diana’s fallout with Charles, re-enacting the viral BBC interview with Bashir in which she said, “I won’t go quietly.”
“I’ll battle till the end,” Diana adds in the trailer.
With scandals seeming to unfold all around her, the queen closes out the trailer wondering, “How did it come to this?”
Netflix’s trailer comes amid criticism from Britain’s former Prime Minister John Major and actor Judi Dench. Days after Major called “The Crown” a “barrel-load of nonsense,” the Oscar-winning “Belfast” star wrote a letter in the British newspaper the Times calling the series “inaccurate and hurtful.”
“The closer the drama comes to our present times, the more freely art seems willing to blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism,” Dench wrote.
Netflix, which has repeatedly asserted that its series is a fictionalized retelling of royal drama, will not include a disclaimer reminding viewers they are watching fiction.
“We have always presented ‘The Crown’ as a drama — and we have every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction that’s broadly based on historical events,” the streaming platform said in December 2020.