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The Crown, season 5, from which I want a divorce

Jonathan Pryce, Imelda Staunton, Claudia Harrison, Lesley Manville, Theo Fraser Steele, Marcia Warren, Dominic West, Tom Byrne, Senan West, Will Powell, Elizabeth Debicki, and Sam Woolf in The Crown

The Crown, season 5, is a dreary season full of unhappiness and human failing. When this series began way back in 2016, I felt it was a means to humanize the royals. In season 5, the royals are just as miserable as all the other humans on the planet. I’ve stuck with The Crown through every season, but this year’s offering was depressing.

Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki in The Crown

This season of The Crown focuses in melodramatic detail on the Waleses – Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) – and the failure of their marriage. Absolutely nobody was happy about this event, not even Charles’ long time love Camilla Parker Bowles (Olivia Williams).

Jonathan Pryce and Imelda Staunton The Crown

In this season, Queen Elizabeth II was played by Imelda Staunton, with Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip. The major characters will continue in their parts in series 6, which will be the final season.

I think part of the reason I found this season less enjoyable was the way Imelda Staunton played her role. She didn’t project the warmth and spark previous actors had given Elizabeth II. I missed it.

There was much attention devoted to Prince Charles wanting to take the crown immediately so he could modernize the monarchy in the way he thought it needed. Little did he know how long he was going to have to wait.

The Queen was concerned over the decommissioning of her yacht and with Charles sneaking a meeting with the new PM Tony Blair to discuss modernizing Britain and the monarchy.

Salim Daw and Elizabeth Debicki in The Crown

The way in which Princess Diana met Mohamed Al Fayed (Salim Daw) at a polo match was shown. They are saving her meeting with his son, Dodi Fayed (Khalid Abdalla), until season 6. She was on the brink of it at the end of season 5.

Princess Diana granted an interview with the BBC to the reporter Martin Bashir (Prasanna Puwanarajah). In it, she said very negative things about the royal family and how they treated her. The mysterious thing about this interview was that Bashir lied to Diana to get it. He fabricated information and told her lies to gain her trust. Her comments caused a huge scandal, but there never seemed to be any reveal that Bashir lied to get the information.

Many complaints have been made about season 5 not being truthful or sticking to the facts, so perhaps the reporter lying to gain Diana’s trust is among those fictions. Even the series creator, Peter Morgan, commented that the story is fictionalized.

Netflix is streaming all 5 seasons of the series.

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2 responses to “The Crown, season 5, from which I want a divorce”

  1. I agree a lot here. Weird how a show about the royal family has one of its best episodes focusing on the Fayed family and their desire to become close to – or a least emulate – the Queen and her offspring, and almost avoid depicting the British monarch at all.

    Loved Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, but I agree that Imelda Staunton doesn’t quite have the same nuance or warmth as either Claire Foy or Olivia Colman.

    • I also wondered about the amount of time devoted to the elder Fayed and his desire to be part of the British upper crust. The way they painted Dodi Fayed as a wastrel who could do little more than spend his father’s money was odd, too. We’re supposed to accept in season 6 that Diana is in love with this guy?

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