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The Crown season 5 review: A great trip down the memory lane

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Netflix hit The Crown season 5 narrated the story of the 1990s, one of the most turbulent decades for the royal family which focuses on Charles and Diana’s unsuccessful marriage. Based on Peter Morgan’s award-winning play “The Audience,” this elegant Netflix-original series follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s to the present times. The show is purely fictional and only inspired by real-life events, according to Netflix.

The season starts by showing the characterization of the Queen that was brought forward by the UK’s Sunday Times mocking her ever-too-long reign on the throne and seeing her as irrelevant and old for it. The Queen in particular complained that 1992 was her “Annus horribilis” (a horrifying year). We are shown the list of challenges that the Queen has to face aside from her weak relationship with her husband followed by the failing marriage of Diana and Charles.

With the decreasing support from the public as well as disagreements among the royal family, the monarchy is seen to be in survival mode. 

The Crown Season 5 Review

The Trailer

The fifth season of the show is characterized by luxurious and elegant visuals, while also maintaining a calm song in the background. This season builds on the excitement of the previous seasons and just grasps the viewers’ attention. The song “bittersweet symphony” just makes this trailer ten times better.

Everything looks perfect and explains to the viewers how this season will be different from the last one but also maintains a sense of secrecy by not giving out every piece of information. The visuals look their best, and they topped themselves this time around. Diana feels alive again as the resemblance and the acting is too real.

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The Main Cast of The Crown Season 5

  • Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II
  • Claire Foy as young Queen Elizabeth II
  • Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip
  • Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret
  • Vanessa Kirby as young Princess Margaret
  • Dominic West as Charles, Prince of Wales
  • Jonny Lee Miller as John Major
  • Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles
  • Claudia Harrison as Anne, Princess Royal
  • Natascha McElhone as Penny Knatchbull
  • Marcia Warren as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
  • Elizabeth Debicki as Diana

Release Date and Where to Watch

All 10 episodes of The Crown are available for you to stream on Netflix

Plot Review (spoilers)

The show based in the 90s is seen to have excellent cinematography, top-quality storytelling, and brilliant acting by all of the actors. From the start, we see the disagreements within the royal family and the lack of support for Queen Elizabeth from the public. The backlash that the Queen was getting spiked an interest in a new monarchy in the face of Prince Charles, who launches a campaign to be able to lead the new monarchy. Let’s talk about the actor that played Queen Elizabeth for a moment. The new and final actor playing Queen Elizabeth is none other than Imelda Staunton and I think she was the perfect fit for the role.

The Crown Season 5 Review

This season we see a rather fun and interactive side of the Queen rather than the serious one as was the case in season 4. Even though Staunton is perfect for the role you won’t find her that much on the show as this season is mostly centered on Charles and Diana. While there is no progress seen on the subject of monarchy, things got out of control after a tv interview that Diana consented to give, came out.

Diana’s role is seen more this season and a stronger one at that. From giving revenge interviews to wearing revenge dresses, everything proved the power she had and the way she used it. Again, the similarities between the actress and Diana are mind-boggling. Debicki, the actress that plays Diana, gives accurate physical features and has an emotional effect that piques your interest. She just nails the voice and the facial expressions of Diana. West, an actor that played Charles, on the other hand is seen to be strong and charismatic and we get to see the brilliant embodiment of Prince Charles from him throughout the season.

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The Crown Season 5 Review

The show could have explained a bit more about the agenda that Charles had when he talked about bringing a change and reforming the monarchy. We also get to know about Diana’s secret tapes for Andrew Morton which resulted in the book, Diana: Her True Story. The book outed some really important details about the royal family including Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. Following this was her Panorama interview which further caused outrage among the royal family as well as the people of Britain. However, Season 5 is not only portraying the achievements of Princess Diana but also brings forward her error due to her bad decisions.

Episode 3 titled “Mou Mou” is the most liked out of all. This episode dealt with the life of a wealthy Egyptian, Mohamed Al-Fayed. He was able to get information regarding the royal family through his friend who was also a personal valet to Edward VIII.

This episode gave viewers a sort of a break from the Charles and Diana drama and gave a completely different storyline that still has a connection to the original storyline. Once more, the actor that played Mohamed Al-Fayed was easily one of the best, if not the best cast choices this season and gave a phenomenal performance. 

Why has this season of crown received backlash?

The Crown Season 5 Review

With the advent of this new season of the crown, we have seen that there are many bad reviews related to it. The main reason was the death of Queen Elizabeth in real life which led many critics to believe that the timing of the show was not right. According to some of the critics, most of the scenes included in the show seemed to be insensitive and disrespectful towards the family. Any negative depiction mentioned in the TV show regarding the Queen or her family is seen as being offensive to the family.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, I think that despite the backlash that this season faced due to external circumstances, the series was however better than expected. All 10 episodes perfectly explained all the important historical events in detail and showed the links between them as well. Production design, costume design, and performances were all spot-on and similar to all the previous seasons. With the new season comes more unique and refreshing storylines that are fun to watch. However, some of the metaphors will make you think.

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Maham Muhammad Aamir

An undergrad student at IBA Karachi.

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