The Crown Season 5 Timeline: What Part of History Does It Cover?

Historical accuracy and the Crown have a passing rather than enduring relationship. Instead than adhering to the historical facts and timeframes, Peter Morgan’s Netflix drama concertinas history and bounces between time eras to follow emotional and symbolic through-lines.

This fictitious dramatization, which was based on actual events, begins Season 5 with a caveat. The common view is that students shouldn’t rely on it to do their history coursework.

With that established, the timeline for the 1991–1997 time period as it appears in Season 5 of the TV drama is provided below, along with an unusual remark indicating where the episodes deviate from what is known to be the actual order of events.

To refresh your memory, Season four focused on The Thatcher Years, which spanned from Margaret Thatcher’s election as British prime minister in May 1979 to her resignation as the head of the Conservative Party in November 1990. Thatcher was then succeeded by John Major. Season five picks up eight months later, in July 1991, and lasts until shortly before Princess Diana’s passing in August 1997.

Episode One: July 1991 September 1991

In July 1991, when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was 65 years old, Queen Victoria Syndrome debuts. After ten years of marriage, Prince Charles and Princess Diana go on a second honeymoon in August 1991 while on vacation on the Italian Riviera.

The episode is wrapped up in September 1991 at the Ghillies Ball, which is hosted each year in Balmoral at the conclusion of the Queen’s summer vacation there.

the crown season 5 timeline

Episode Two: October 1991 July 1992

The funeral for The Hon. initiates The System around a month later. Leonora Knatchbull, the five-year-old daughter of Penny and Norton Knatchbull, passed away in October 1991 due to cancer. The remainder of the episode discusses the bestselling book Diana: Her True Story, authored by writer Andrew Morton, which was released in July 1992.

Episode Three: Various

When telling the tale of Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed, the increase of his riches, the acquisition of properties, and his battle to be accepted by English society, Mou Mou spans the years 1946 to the 1980s and early 1990s.

It depicts Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed’s first encounter as well as notable occasions like the 1982 Academy Awards Ceremony, where Chariots of Fire (produced by Mohamed Al Fayed’s son Dodi) won Best Picture, and the 1986 funeral of the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson.

Episode Four: November 1992

Annus Horribilis flits back and forth between late 1992 and Princess Margaret’s performance on the venerable BBC Radio 4 program Desert Island Discs in 1981. Timothy Dalton plays Captain Peter Townsend, Princess Margaret’s prospective spouse, in a brief cameo appearance.

In the episode, Prince Andrew meets with the Queen and speaks with her about the toe-sucking controversy surrounding paparazzi photos of his then-wife Sarah Ferguson with John Bryan. The episode concludes in November 1992 with the Windsor Castle fire and Her Majesty the Queen delivering her infamous Annus Horribilis speech during a celebration of her 40 years as monarch in London’s Guildhall.

Episode Five: January 1993 July 1994

The opening scene of The Way Ahead takes place during a famously intercepted and private phone call between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles in January 1993. The 29th of June 1994’s broadcast of Prince Charles’ interview with Jonathan Dimbleby is included (the timeline here appears, as ever, a bit sticky).

Episode Six: October 1993 October 1994

After visiting President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow in February 1994, Queen Elizabeth II has a meeting with Prime Minister John Major (played by Jonny Lee Miller) while watching a television program about the Russian October Coup of 1993. The Queen’s royal visit to Moscow in October 1994 serves as its climax.

Episode Seven: Late 1994 – 1995

The Martin Bashir affair begins with No-Land, Woman’s in which Princess Diana was asked to be questioned by a journalist for a BBC Panorama program.

It begins with a meeting of the BBC Board of Governors, where it was announced that the corporation’s royal charter would be renewed for a further ten years (even though the event it depicts appears to have happened in January 1997 and not 1995).

Episode Eight: November 1995

The 1995 Guy Fawkes Night taping of the controversial Bashir-Diana interview and its November 20th television airing are both depicted in the movie Gunpowder.

Episode Nine: July 1996

The main emphasis of Couple 31 is Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s divorce petition, which was granted on July 15, 1996, after almost two years. four years of divorce. It concludes with a flashback to their royal nuptials in 1981, when masses had gathered on the streets of London.

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Episode 10: January 1997 July 1997

Decommissioned begins in early January 1997 when Princess Diana is pictured viewing Trevor McDonald’s (now Sir) Monarchy: The Nation Decides phone-in show on Carlton Television.

After that, on April 21st, 1997, the Queen’s birthday celebrations are skipped, and on May 2nd, 1997, the Labour Party wins the general election. On June 30th and July 1st, 1997, Prince Charles witnessed the handover of Hong Kong, and plans are being made for Camilla’s 50th birthday celebration at Highgrove the same month.

The book finishes with Diana packing for a trip to St. Tropez with the young Princes William and Harry as guests of the Al-Fayed. The fifth season of The Crown ends just before the tragic death of the Princess of Wales in August 1997, which will be covered in the sixth and final season.

the crown season 5 timeline

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  • Season One takes place over a period of around eight months (not including flashbacks) from November 1947 to November 1955.
  • Season Two extends over roughly eight years, starting in July 1956 and concluding in May 1964.
  • Season Three replaces lead actors Claire Foy and Matt Smith with Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies, and picks up a few months later in October 1964 and runs for over 12 years, to June 1977.
  • Season Four skips two years, starting in May 1979 and ending in December 1990, after which point Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce took the lead roles of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, with Lesley Manville taking over the role of Princess Margaret from Helena Bonham Carter.