With The Crown heading into its fifth season it's time for another major cast change-up, with Olivia Colman leaving the role of Queen Elizabeth behind to be replaced with Harry Potter star Imelda Staunton.

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Jonathan Pryce, Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki all also step into the key roles of Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, while Charles' siblings Anne, Andrew and Edward have all also been recast.

But who plays Anne in the new season, what is her storyline this year and what has the new actress said about filling the role previously held by Erin Doherty?

Read on for everything you need to know about who plays Princess Anne in The Crown season 5.

Who plays Princess Anne in season 5?

Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne in The Crown season 5.
Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne in The Crown season 5. Netflix

For seasons 3 and 4, Anne was played by Erin Doherty, but with another cast switch-up having occurred for season 5, there is a new actress stepping into the shoes of the Princess Royal.

Anne will be played in season 5 by Claudia Harrison, a 45-year-old actress who has previously starred in shows such as Humans alongside Gemma Chan, and Delicious alongside Dawn French and Emilia Fox.

She has also appeared in episodes of Midsomer Murders, Holby City, The IT Crowd and New Tricks.

What happens to Princess Anne in The Crown season 5?

Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne and Theo Fraser Steele as Commander Timothy Laurence in The Crown season 5.
Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne and Theo Fraser Steele as Commander Timothy Laurence in The Crown season 5. Netflix

As The Crown season 5 moves the action into the 1990s, Anne's storyline is set to chart her divorce from first husband Captain Mark Phillips and marriage to Commander Timothy Laurence, who she remains married to to this day.

Her divorce and re-marriage to Laurence were both controversial, as she was only the fifth royal to have got a divorce since Henry VIII.

Elsewhere, Harrison has teased how Anne will factor into Charles' storyline, as he goes through his own separation and eventual divorce.

She said: "There was disapproval from her towards a lot of Charles’ behaviour but they had a very similar upbringing. The Queen was a full-time working mother when Charles and Anne were small and left them at home a lot.

"Nine years later, when Andrew and Edward came along, she was there for them much more, so that makes Charles and Anne’s relationship quite interesting. Where you see us with the script in this season is that Anne defends Charles during his divorce from Diana and affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles but is also his chief critic in the way that only siblings can be.

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"We’ve had some lovely scenes, Dominic and I: it’s a lovely vibe between the two siblings and it’s great fun to play."

What has Claudia Harrison said about playing Princess Anne?

Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne in The Crown season 5.
Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne in The Crown season 5. Netflix

Harrison said that before getting the role of Anne she was already a "superfan" of The Crown, meaning it was "absolutely terrifying" when starting work on the show.

Asked whether she likes the real Anne, Harrison said: "I think I’m playing the best royal! She’s a proper feminist. She doesn’t put a foot wrong and she leads by example."

Harrison also revealed that while she couldn't meet former Anne actress Erin Doherty because of COVID, she did exchange messages with her.

She explained: "I hope we’ll be in a room together at some point. I loved watching her and when I got the part I said to the movement and voice guys, 'Should I incorporate a little bit of what she did?’ but the feeling was, 'No, you’re bringing yourself to the part with who that person is in real life and that’s it.'

"But I think you probably do absorb some of what they’ve done. She did such a good job."

Who is Timothy Laurence and who plays him in The Crown?

Theo Fraser Steele as Commander Timothy Laurence and Claudia Harrison as Anne, Princess Royal in The Crown
Theo Fraser Steele as Commander Timothy Laurence and Claudia Harrison as Anne, Princess Royal in The Crown Netflix/Keith Bernstein

Timothy Laurence is Anne's second husband, who is now a retired navy officer. It's not publicly known exactly when the couple first met, but it appears that they became close while he worked as an equerry to the Queen, a role he was appointed to in 1986 and left in 1989.

They married in the same year that Anne's divorce from her first husband Mark Phillips was finalised, in a small ceremony near Balmoral in 1992.

Timothy Laurence is played in The Crown season 5 by Theo Fraser Steele. Steele is known for having previously appeared in series such as The Thick of It, Grantchester, My Family and Genie in the House, while he also had a small role as a Magisterial Officer in the film The Golden Compass.

The Crown season 5 will be released on Netflix on Wednesday 9th November 2022, while seasons 1-4 are available now. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide or Streaming Guide.

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