'The Crown' Casts Key Figure in Princess Diana's Life

The Crown Season 5 cast is continuing to expand. Veteran Pakistani film and TV actor Humayun Saeed has been cast in the upcoming season of the Netflix historical drama as Dr. Hasnat Ahmad Khan, the British-Pakistani heart and lung surgeon who had a relationship with the late Princess Diana, who is to be portrayed by Elizabeth Debicki.

Since making his acting debut in 1999 in the Urdu-language film Inteha, Khan has added numerous credits to his name, both in TV and film. He is well-known for the adventure-comedy Jawani Phir Nahi Ani, for which he won Pakistan's ARY award for best actor, as well as its 2018 sequel. His other credits include Punjab Nahi Jaungi and Project Ghazi. His casting in The Crown Season 5 was first shared in Pakistani media, according to Deadline, with actress Mahira Khan later sharing a congratulatory tweet. Variety confirmed the casting on Jan. 9.

While few details for the upcoming season, which is set to cover the '90s, have been revealed, it is believed that Season 5 will focus largely on Diana and her fractured relationship with Charles. In 1992, the Queen's self-proclaimed "annus horribilis," Charles and Diana divorced. Following the end of their relationship, Diana reportedly entered into a relationship with Khan from 1995 to 1997. In a 2004 statement to the Metropolitan Police, which was submitted in 2008 to an inquest into the late princess' death, Khan said he had a two-year relationship with Diana that ended when she broke up with him after she met Dodi Fayed at a holiday with Mohammed Al Fayed and his family.

Diana and Fayed both died in a car crash in Aug. 1997 in Paris. It remains unclear how or if The Crown will tackle that tragic moment in Season 5, though it was reported in September that The Kite Runners' Khalid Abdalla had been cast as Fayed, all but confirming that the upcoming season will explore Diana's relationship with Fayed. Salim Daw has been cast as Dodi's father, Mohamed Al-Fayed.

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Rounding out the Season 5 cast will be Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Dominic West as Prince Charles, Senan West as Prince William, and Johnny Lee Miller as John Major, who served as prime minister and leader of the UK's Conservative party from 1990 to 1997. The Crown Season 5 is slated for a fall 2022 debut, with the first four seasons now available for streaming on Netflix.