Season four's finale takes place over Christmas 1990, so the fifth season will surely take viewers deeper into the '90s (the show has historically covered a decade per season), a particularly turbulent time for the royal family.
In 1992 alone, a year the queen called her "annus horribilis," the family went through one finalized divorce and two separations (both of which later ended in divorce), the publication of a tell-all book, leaked phone conversations, and a fire at a royal residence. Viewers will also probably see the increasing animosity between Princess Diana and the rest of the royal family, which played out in a very public fashion.
Politically, the timeline indicates that the season will focus mostly on the tenure of John Major as prime minister. And, of course, the most notable event in the '90s was the 1997 death of Diana in a car crash in Paris, which will be depicted sometime during season five. Another major event that will also be shown is the infamous 1993 "tampongate" phone call between Charles and Camilla, according to Dominic West.
"I remember thinking it was something so sordid and deeply, deeply embarrassing [at the time]," he told Entertainment Weekly, confirming that he reenacted the scene with costar Olivia Williams. "Looking back on it, and having to play it, what you're conscious of is that the blame was not with these two people, two lovers, who were having a private conversation. What's really [clear now] is how invasive and disgusting was the press's attention to it, that they printed it out verbatim and you could call a number and listen to the actual tape. I think it made me extremely sympathetic towards the two of them and what they'd gone through."