The Crown season 5 will have a new actress playing the controversial Camilla Parker Bowles before she became the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles' second wife. Olivia Williams will take over the role of Emerald Fennell, who played the character for two seasons in the Netflix drama.
According to reports, Williams did a chemistry test with Dominic West, who has been cast as the Prince of Wales for The Crown season 5. Both actors will also continue to play their royal characters for the show's final sixth season.
Williams is best known for her roles in the movie The Sixth Sense, the new HBO series The Nevers, and most recently in The Father, which also stars Olivia Colman and Sir Anthony Hopkins. Colman, incidentally, will step down from playing Queen Elizabeth in The Crown as Imelda Staunton will tackle the role for seasons 5 and 6.
The new season will delve into the breakdown of Charles and Princess Diana's marriage in the early 1990s, prompting Queen Elizabeth to say that 1992 was her "annus horribilis." According to reports, the queen will not likely love this season because it will paint her character as the villain in the marriage.
Historians have said that despite the unhappiness of Charles and Diana together, the queen refused to give them permission to divorce until both royals conducted sit-down interviews that informed the public their fairy tale marriage had been in trouble since the beginning. Queen Elizabeth also did not approve of Charles and Parker Bowles' illicit relationship even as the couple have forged a long-lasting bond.
Incidentally, sources said that West has close ties to the real royal family and this could further disappoint the queen. He has helped them raise money for charity and is an ambassador of the Prince's Trust, Charles' charity.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Debicki will play Diana in The Crown season 5. As this series will take place in the 1990s, viewers should already anticipate the character's tragic end.
The Netflix royal drama will begin filming in London in July and joining Williams, Staunton, West and Debicki are Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret. The streamer, however, has yet to announce who will play Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward in the series. Their roles are also significant because their marriages and relationships at this stage were also causing problems for Queen Elizabeth.
Staunton said that she feels the pressure of playing the monarch after inheriting the roles from Claire Foy and Colman because The Crown season 5's timeline is still pretty much fresh in the memories of royal fans. She said she's playing the queen as someone who is more familiar to a lot of people and she's concerned about how the viewers might react.