The Crown series five: Pakistani actor Humayun Saeed ‘will play Princess Diana’s former lover Hasnat Khan’ – who she dubbed ‘Mr Wonderful’
The casting update appeared to be confirmed by a tweet actress Mahira Khan wrote on Sunday afternoon, which read: ‘Finaaaallly it’s out!!!! So proud! So excited!!! MashAllah mashAllah ✨♥️ What a show! What a star 🙂 @iamhumayunsaeed @TheCrownNetflix.’
As well as being an accoladed actor, the 50-year-old Pakistani film star is also a producer and co-founded the media production house Six Sigma Plus.
The Crown series five: Pakistani actor Humayun Saeed (l) ‘will play Princess Diana’s former lover Hasnat Khan’ (r) – who she dubbed ‘Mr Wonderful’
Humayun was often ranked among the highest paid TV actors of his time and boasts over 5million followers on Instagram.
63-year-old Hasnat – a British-Pakistani heart and lung surgeon – was romantically involved with Princess Diana from 1995-1997, who nicknamed him ‘Natty’ and branded him ‘Mr Wonderful.’
During their fling, which ended in the summer of 1997, Diana – who is said to have considered him the love of her life – met the surgeon’s family and even considered converting to Islam.
News: The casting update appeared to be confirmed by a tweet actress Mahira Khan wrote on Sunday afternoon
Former lover: 63-year-old Hasnat – a British-Pakistani heart and lung surgeon – was romantically involved with Princess Diana from 1995-1997, who also nicknamed him ‘Natty’ (pictured 2008)
Speaking in 2008, the surgeon broke an 11-year silence about the Princess to say, ‘I found her a very normal person with great qualities.’
The couple met at the Royal Brompton Hospital when Diana was visiting a friend who was recovering from a heart operation.
They then pursued a discreet, two-year affair which ended in the early summer of 1997. Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31 of that year.
Romance: During their fling, which ended in the summer of 1997, Diana – who is said to have considered him the love of her life – met the surgeon’s family and even considered converting to Islam
The Princess’s closest friends previously spoke of her distress when the surgeon ended their relationship.
She is said to have been so smitten at one point that she considered converting to Islam so the pair could marry.
Royalty: Diana had met his family during her 1996 visit to Pakistan, a trip on which she wore a traditional shalwar kameez – baggy trousers paired with a flowing dress (pictured that year)
She abandoned the idea when Mr Khan decided their relationship would not work long-term.
His father, Abdul Rasheed Khan, said his son had told the family: ‘If I married her [Diana], our marriage would not last for more than a year. We are culturally so different from each other.
‘She is from Venus and I am from Mars. If it ever happened, it would be like a marriage from two different planets.’
In 2013, Diana’s close friend Jemima Khan, who was with her on her 1996 Pakistan trip, said the Princess was so ‘madly in love’ with Hasnat that she considered moving to Pakistan to be with him.
In a Vanity Fair article titled: ‘The Grandmother Prince George Never Knew’, Jemima said Diana sought her advice during fundraising visits to Lahore.
Speaking out: In 2013, Diana’s close friend Jemima Khan, who was with her on her 1996 Pakistan trip, said the Princess was so ‘madly in love’ with Hasnat that she considered moving to Pakistan to be with him (Jemima and Diana pictured in May 1997)
‘She wanted to know how hard it had been for me to adapt to life in Pakistan,’ she told the magazine’s contributing editor Sarah Ellison.
‘Both times she also went to meet [Hasnat’s] family secretly to discuss the possibility of marriage.’
Diana was said to have been very keen to impress his immediate family, especially his mother.
However, Jemima said the surgeon’s mother – Naheed Khan – would have been very unlikely to approve of her son marrying an English woman.
‘[For a] son to marry an English girl is every conservative Pashtun mother’s worst nightmare,’ Jemima said.
‘You send your son to be educated in England and he comes back with an English bride. It’s something they dread.’
According to Jemima, the surgeon also ‘hated the thought of being in the glare of publicity for the rest of his life’ if the pair had ended up marrying.
Decisions: According to Jemima, the surgeon also ‘ hated the thought of being in the glare of publicity for the rest of his life’ if the pair had ended up marrying’
And in his interview as part of the Lord Stevens inquiry into Diana’s death, he called marriage ‘a ridiculous idea’, adding that he ‘told her that the only way I could see us having a vaguely normal life together would be if we went to Pakistan, as the press don’t bother you there.’
The pair’s relationship was depicted in 2013 film Diana, which starred Naomi Watts in the title role.
However, Mr Khan refused to cooperate with the filmmakers.
WHO HAS BEEN CAST IN SERIES FIVE OF THE CROWN?
PRINCESS DIANA – PLAYED BY ELIZABETH DEBICKI (REPLACING EMMA CORRIN)
Out with the old… MailOnline takes a look at The Crown’s new stars for series five – it was announced that Elizabeth had been cast as Princess Diana last August, and fans of the Netflix show were delight to hear that the Australian actress would be taking on the role
Screen star: From her big break in 2013’s The Great Gatsby to becoming a household name thanks to 2016 TV series The Night Manager, Elizabeth steadily climbed up the ranks of showbusiness to secure the career-making role
It was announced that Elizabeth, 30, had been cast as Princess Diana last August, and fans of the Netflix show were delighted to hear that the Australian actress would be taking on the role – replacing Emma Corrin.
Past: Emma Corrin played the People’s Princess in the show’s fourth series
From her big break in 2013’s The Great Gatsby to becoming a household name thanks to 2016 TV series The Night Manager, the star steadily climbed up the ranks of showbusiness to secure the career-making role.
A former ballerina in training, Elizabeth switched to theatre during high school. She studied at University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts, where she was also awarded the Richard Pratt Bursary for outstanding acting students.
She shot to stardom after making her debut in The Great Gatsby in 2013, after impressing the film’s director, Baz Luhrmann, with her brief appearance in the 2011 Australian movie A Few Best Men.
Since then, she has appeared in several movies including The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Tenet and The Cloverfield Paradox.
Elizabeth has also done voiceovers for Peter Rabbit and appeared in television series The Kettering Incident and The Night Manager alongside Tom Hiddleston.
The actress said of her casting last year: ‘Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many. It is my privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one.’
PRINCESS ANNE – PLAYED BY CLAUDIA HARRISON (REPLACING ERIN DOHERTY)
Who’s who? The actress playing Princess Anne in The Crown’s fifth season has been revealed as The IT Crowd and Humans star Claudia
RADA-trained performer Claudia was spotted in character on-set at Scotland’s Covesea Lighthouse on Tuesday, where she was shooting opposite Imelda Staunton, who is taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix show.
Claudia, 45, boasts a number of TV gigs on her CV as well as a high-profile co-star following her turn in 2005 thriller Archangel, where she starred opposite Daniel Craig in the show about a mystery concerning dictator Josef Stalin.
Throwback: The role of Princess Anne was previously played by Erin Doherty in The Crown’s third and fouth series
She is a farmer’s wife and a mother-of-three and is said to have been ‘shocked and delighted’ when she was chosen to play Anne when the Royal was aged in her 40s.
As well as Imelda, Claudia was also shooting alongside Theo Fraser Steele, who is thought to be playing Anne’s second husband Timothy Laurence.
After she was seen on set of Tuesday, tongues began wagging over the identity of who was playing the royal and also over her remarkable likeness to Princess Anne.
One Twitter account entitled Royal Watcher, shared a message reading: ‘Ok I think the actress playing Princess Anne is called Claudia Harrison? #TheCrown’, alongside a trio of images of Claudia in different roles as well as an image from on-set.
The role of Princess Anne was previously played by Erin Doherty in 2019’s third and last year’s fourth series of The Crown.
TIMOTHY LAURENCE – PLAYED BY THEO FRASER STEELE
Royal role: The Crown’s fifth season will feature The Thick Of It star and London deli owner Theo Fraser Steele playing Princess Anne’s husband Timothy Laurence (pictured on-set on Tuesday)
Busy: Theo’s acting career spans back to 1996, when he starred in Casualty while he also played Christian Holhurst in political satire The Thick Of It in 2005. As well as acting, he is a successful deli owner and runs a shop with his wife in Hackney
He cut a dapper figure during filming to play the role of Anne’s spouse, who she married in 1992 after splitting from Mark Phillips.
Theo’s acting career spans back to 1996, when he starred in Casualty while he also played Christian Holhurst in political satire The Thick Of It in 2005. As well as acting, he is a successful deli owner and runs a shop with his wife in Hackney.
Theo comes from Essex and trained to be an actor in London before working with Bill Nighy and Stella Gonet in Richard Eyre’s production of David Hare’s Skylight at the National Theatre aged just 23.
He went on to have many stage roles both in the capital and across the country. In The Thick Of It he played an MP’s son who was shoved up against a wall and subjected to a torrent of abuse by the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker.
Speaking in 2018 about moving from acting to food, when he told The West Morland Gazette: ‘We didn’t choose to do it – we sort of fell into it. It started with just me. We now own the business and have a staff of 12’.
PRINCE ANDREW – PLAYED BY JAMES MURRAY (REPLACING TOM BYRNE)
The Crown series 5: James Murray is set to take on the role of Prince Andrew following his TV appearances in Cutting It and Primeval (James pictured in 2018)
Working hard: The Mancunian actor (pictured with his wife Sarah Parish and their daughter Nell in 2019) is also currently filming Masters of Air – the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks-produced Apple TV series
New guard: Tom Byrne played the Queen’s second son in series four
James Murray, 46, will take on the role of Prince Andrew, replacing Tom Byrne, who played the Queen’s second son in series four.
James’ previous endeavours include his portrayal of Stephen Hart in ITV’s Primeval and playing Liam Carney in BBC One’s season four of Cutting It.
He acted as the lead DCI in completely improvised show Suspects.
The Mancunian actor, who is married to actress Sarah Parish, is also currently filming Masters of Air – the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks-produced Apple TV series.
PRINCE CHARLES – PLAYED BY DOMINIC WEST (REPLACING JOSH O’CONNOR)
New role: Dominic West is set to play Prince Charles in the final two series of The Crown
New role: A TV insider said: ‘Show bosses looked at several stars for the sought-after role, but he was by far their preferred actor. Now both parties are hammering out a deal’ (Dominic is pictured in July 2021)
Dominic West is set to play Prince Charles in the final two series of The Crown.
Critically acclaimed: Dominic will replace Josh O’Connor who has played the role for two series
The actor, 51, is understood to be taking on the role of Prince Charles at the time of his affair from Diana, Princess of Wales, with his second wife Camilla Parker Bowles.
A TV insider told The Sun: ‘Show bosses looked at several stars for the sought-after role, but he was by far their preferred actor. Now both parties are hammering out a deal.’
They revealed how the ‘irony’ of the casting will ‘not be lost on anyone’ following his recent scandal where he was pictured embracing actress co-star Lily James last year.
Dominic will replace Josh O’Connor who has played the role for two series.
PRINCE PHILIP – PLAYED BY JONATHAN PRYCE (REPLACING TOBIAS MENZIES)
New role: The Two Popes actor Jonathan Pryce, 73, has said he is ‘confident’ to take on the ‘daunting’ role of Prince Philip in The Crown’s final two seasons
Out and about: The actor’s role in The Crown comes after he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Netflix’s The Two Popes. However he lost out on the gong to Joaquin Phoenix (Jonathan is pictured with his wife Kate in 2011)
Jonathan Pryce has said he is ‘confident’ about ‘tackling the daunting prospect of portraying Prince Philip’ in seasons five and six of The Crown.
It was revealed in August that the actor, 74, will join the star-studded cast of the hit Netflix show and portray the royal through the 1990s and 2000s.
Past: Tobias Menzies played the late Royal in series three and four
Speaking after the announcement, Jonathan added that it will be ‘a joy’ to act alongside Imelda Staunton as the Queen and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.
In a statement shared on social media by Netflix, Jonathan said: ‘I am delighted to be working with Netflix again.
‘The positive experience I had making The Two Popes has given me the confidence to tackle the daunting prospect of portraying Prince Philip.
‘To be doing so with Peter Morgan in the company of Imelda [Staunton] and Lesley [Manville] will be a joy.’
As well as praising the other on-screen talent lined up for the show, Jonathan added that he was excited to be working with screenwriter Peter Morgan.
The actor’s role in The Crown comes after he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Netflix’s The Two Popes. However he lost out on the gong to Joaquin Phoenix.
In previous instalments of The Crown Prince Philip has been played by actors Matt Smith, in the first two seasons, and Tobias Menzies, in series three and four.
PRINCESS MARGARET – PLAYED BY LESLEY MANVILLE (REPLACING HELENA BONHAM CARTER)
Congrats! Lesley Manville has been cast as Princess Margaret (right in 1966) for the fifth and sixth seasons of The Crown
Exciting: Lesley is believed to have been producers first choice for the role, is set to play the Queen’s younger sister during one of the ‘darkest periods of her life’ (pictured in February 2020)
Lesley Manville has been cast as Princess Margaret.
The actress, 64, will be taking the reins from current star Helena Bonham Carter for the fifth and final series of the Netflix hit.
Goodbye: The actress, 64, will be taking the reins from current star Helena Bonham Carter for the fifth and final series of the Netflix hit
Lesley is believed to have been producers first choice for the role, is set to play the Queen’s younger sister during one of the ‘darkest periods of her life’.
Confirming the news in a statement, she said: ‘I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret. The baton is being passed on from two formidable actresses and I really don’t want to let the side down.
‘Furthermore, to play siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy.’
The role has been played by Helena for season three and upcoming season four, and was taken on by Vanessa Kirby in season one and two.
A source told The Sun: ‘Lesley is hugely respected by the creators of The Crown and was their first choice to play Princess Margaret this time.
‘They wanted a star who could tackle the difficult role of a royal entering one of the darkest periods of her life, when the Windsors faced endless scandals and she was dogged by ill health.
‘That’s why Lesley was one of the first actors they approached to join the new cast, and remains one of the few who has fully committed to The Crown.
PRINCE WILLIAM – PLAYED BY SENAN WEST
impressive: The 13-year-old is said to have impressed casting agents with his audition tape (Senan pictured left in 2016 and Prince William pictured right in 1995)
The 13-year-old, whose father Dominic is replacing Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, is said to have impressed casting agents with his audition tape.
Senan will play Prince William as he begins to mature into a young man and will appear in the final few episodes of the season.
Senan will play the teenage version of William, while child actor Timothee Sambor will portray the prince as a child.
Dominic is father to Dora, 15, Senan, Francis, 12, and Christabel, five, with his wife Catherine FitzGerald while he shares daughter Martha, 23, with his former partner Polly Astor.
Senan’s casting came after The Daily Mail’s Richard Eden revealed The Crown bosses were scrabbling to find an actor to play William with just a fortnight to go until filming was set to begin.
Role: Senan will play Prince William as he begins to mature into a young man and will appear in the final few episodes of the season (William pictured with Princess Diana and Harry in 1994)
‘A lot of parents would think twice before letting their son appear in such a drama,’ a source told Eden. ‘It’s going to be a harrowing role that will create a major backlash.’
The job description said Netflix was seeking: ‘A boy aged between 13 and 15 years old to play 13-year-old Prince William in the next series… talented, intelligent and sensitive boy who can rise to the challenge of playing this famous character alongside leading British acting talent.’
QUEEN ELIZABETH II – PLAYED BY IMELDA STAUNTON (REPLACING OLIVIA COLMAN)
Her Royal Highness: The very first image of Imelda Staunton in character as Queen Elizabeth II was revealed last week
Casual: Speaking about joining the hit show, Imelda, 65, admitted she is ‘frightened’ to take on the Queen Elizabeth role in The Crown
Speaking about joining the hit show, Imelda, 65, admitted she is ‘frightened’ to take on the Queen Elizabeth role in The Crown.
The actress is following on from Claire Foy and Olivia Colman, but says she has an ‘extra challenge’ playing a recent version as it will be fresh in the audiences mind.
Before: Oscar-winner Olivia Colman has played the monarch for two series
Speaking to The Sun, Imelda said: ‘When Claire was in the first series, to all of us that felt like history. Then following on from that with Olivia, again it seems like history.
‘Now we start in 1991 playing someone much more recent. That’s the extra challenge I have, people saying, “Oh, I don’t think she’s like that at all”‘.
Many members of the series four cast have also joked that they won’t be giving any advice to their successors. Oscar-winning actress Olivia said recently: ‘I haven’t spoken to Imelda and I wouldn’t dare offer any advice about playing the Queen.
‘Imelda is extraordinary and she’s going to do it all much better than me. I can’t wait to watch what she does.’
The Crown lovers took to Twitter to react to the news.
One wrote: ‘Gonna miss this Queen [Olivia Colman] but I’m sure Imelda will do a brilliant job. My time with the crown is done, some of last seasons cast and this seasons were just not it for me. Good luck to everyone involved tho.’
One fan simply penned: ‘perfection’ with another calling the new line-up ‘very strong’.