‘The Crown’ Never Intended to Take Its Storyline to the Present Day for This Reason

The sixth and final season will cut off in 2005.

Royal Family
(Image credit: Chris Jackson / Getty Images)

The sixth and final season of Netflix’s The Crown has kicked off, dropping its first four episodes this past Thursday. (The final episodes will air on December 14.) This season is rumored to end in 2005—the year that then-Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles married, and the year that Prince William and then-Kate Middleton graduated from the University of St. Andrews, where they met four years prior.

Kate Middleton and Prince William in 2007

William and Kate in their early years of dating

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And then that’s it—no William and Kate engagement or wedding, no Meghan Markle, no Prince Harry and Meghan step back, no Oprah Winfrey interview, and no covering the deaths of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth, who died in 2021 and 2022, respectively. The show was never meant to catch up to present day, and executive producer Suzanne Mackie said the end point was decided long before Her late Majesty died in September of last year.

“Peter [Morgan, The Crown’s showrunner] knew right at the beginning, 10 years ago, that it would be 2005,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “He always said, ‘I want to end around the time when Camilla and Charles got married.’ I always see it in a rather fairytale way. Like, that’s the end of our journey: Peace is restored to the land, and they lived happily ever after.” 

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles at their 2005 wedding

Charles and Camilla on their wedding day in 2005

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Crown—which chronicles the late Queen’s life from the 1940s onwards—has faced questions about how far it would take the story since its debut in 2016. “I just think you get so much more interesting [with time],” Morgan told The Hollywood Reporter in August 2020, per Us Weekly. “Meghan and Harry are in the middle of their journey, and I don’t know what their journey is or how it will end. One wishes some happiness, but I’m much more comfortable writing about things that happened at least 20 years ago. I sort of have in my head a 20-year rule. That is enough time and enough distance to really understand something, to understand its role, to understand its position, to understand its relevance.”

Queen Elizabeth in a lavender outfit

(Image credit: Getty)

While some thought Her late Majesty’s death might change his perspective, the season was written long before she died, and was already filming at the time of her passing. In fact, production was halted in the wake of her death, but resumed later that month, Us Weekly reports.

“Often things that appear absolutely wildly important today are instantly forgotten, and other things have a habit of sticking around and proving to be historically very relevant and long-lasting,” Morgan said. “I don’t know where in the scheme of things Prince Andrew or indeed Meghan Markle or Harry will ever appear.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.