'The Crown': first look at Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki as Charles and Diana

The storyline for series five is expected to be centred on 1992, the British royals' 'annus horribilis'

Dominic West, left, and Elizabeth Debicki as Prince Charles and Princess Diana in season five of 'The Crown'. Netflix
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The first images of Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki in character as Prince Charles and Princess Diana in The Crown have been revealed by Netflix.

English actor West, known for his roles in The Affair and The Wire, takes over from Josh O'Connor to portray the Prince of Wales, and Australian actress Debicki, star of The Night Manager and Tenet, is replacing Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, for the fifth series of the royal drama.

In his portrait, West's Prince Charles is seen looking pensive while standing outdoors, likely at one of the British royal family's country estates. He is wearing a light brown suit, with a yellow pocket square and yellow, green and burgundy tie.

Dominic West as Prince Charles in series five of 'The Crown'

Debicki's Princess Diana, meanwhile, is seen reclining on a lavish sofa. Her hair has been cut into the People's Princess's famous cropped blonde style, and she, too, looks contemplative in her portrait.

Wearing a blush-pink blouse, she appears to have a floral blanket and a letter on her lap.

"Princess Diana's spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many. It is my true privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one," Debicki said of the role, when her casting was announced in August last year.

Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in series five of 'The Crown'

Before releasing the images of the actors in character as Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Netflix shared a portrait of Oscar-nominated actress Imelda Staunton, 65, as Queen Elizabeth II, taking over the role from Oscar winner Olivia Colman.

In the image, the long-serving monarch is wearing an olive-green blouse, with two strings of pearls, a black handbag and her signature tight grey curls.

"I have loved watching The Crown from the very start. As an actor it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan’s scripts," Staunton said when her casting was first revealed last year.

“I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion.”

The details of series five are being kept a closely guarded secret, however, it's expected to pick up in the early 1990s.

Staunton has been seen on set in Scotland with actress Claudia Harrison, who is taking over the role of Princess Anne. Debicki has also been photographed in the Scottish Highlands, at Ardverikie Estate, with two young actors, expected to play Princes William and Harry.

Other new additions to the cast include Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, and Jonny Lee Miller as John Major, who was Britain's prime minister from 1990 to 1997.

It is expected that the series will focus on the breakdown of the Prince and Princess of Wales's marriage, with a focus on 1992, the year labelled an "annus horribilis" (Latin for "horrible year") by the Queen.

The couple separated in 1992, 11 years after their wedding. It was announced on December 9, 1992, by then-prime minister Major, that the couple were separating “amicably”. They ultimately divorced in 1996, one year before Princess Diana's tragic death on August 31, 1997.

In their divorce agreement, Princess Diana was given the right to keep her Kensington Palace apartments and the Princess of Wales title. However, she relinquished Her Royal Highness title and any future claim to the British throne.

In further heartache for the royals, 1992 also marked the divorce of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips, following their August 1989 separation; Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson announced their separation; and there was a fire at Windsor Castle on November 20, 1992.

Updated: August 18, 2021, 8:42 AM