Interestingly, the Showrunner of ‘The Crown’ Admits He’s “Not Really That Interested in the Monarchy”

Peter Morgan also admitted that, after Queen Elizabeth’s death in September 2022, “I didn’t really want to do it anymore.”

Peter Morgan
(Image credit: Getty Images)

To many a royal follower’s chagrin, Netflix’s The Crown ended last December after six seasons and seven years—but if it were up to showrunner Peter Morgan, it would have ended far sooner.

Morgan said, per The Hollywood Reporter, that after Queen Elizabeth died at age 96 in September 2022, “I didn’t really want to do it anymore,” he said while speaking at a Netflix event. Intriguingly, Morgan said he always thought of the show “as a story about the two houses—Buckingham Palace and Downing Street—and I never really thought of it as a story about the royal family. But, of course, that’s all anybody thinks it’s about, the royal family, whereas I think of it is about the two houses.” 

The Crown

"The Crown" spanned three Queen Elizabeths, played by Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, and Imelda Staunton.

(Image credit: Alamy)

He further admitted that “This is going to sound mad, but I’m not really that interested in the monarchy,” he said. “Mothers, sons, wives, husbands, that’s really what it’s about. And, of course, at the heart of it is this woman, this rather extraordinary woman. And for me the minute she died, I suppose, from that moment on, I didn’t really want to do it anymore, because it’s really about her, as well.”

When Her late Majesty died, season five of The Crown was on the cusp of being released (it came out in November 2022, two months later), and season six was filming. (It would ultimately be released in both November and December of last year.) Though it ultimately contained six seasons, Morgan said that when he devised The Crown a decade ago, he only thought it would be three seasons—a younger queen, a middle-aged queen, and an older queen—but “pretty quickly realized that you couldn’t tell the story properly just in that amount of time,” he said. 

The Crown

Morgan said he originally only wanted the show to be three seasons, with the first one being about the young queen (played by Claire Foy, seen here). It ultimately turned into double that and finished with six seasons.

(Image credit: Alamy)

Morgan also broke his own rule while making the show: “I’ve got a rule—never, ever, ever to come within a decade [of the present day],” he said. “But then I doubled it for The Crown—a decade and one more decade for good measure. Because then, to me, that’s a generation.” He added that Princess Diana’s 1997 death, in particular, felt to him like it happened yesterday. “On the one hand, I thought, ‘We’re fine, the death happened in 1997, it’s now 2024. That’s more than a generation,’” he said. “But I could feel when the show came out that we had to be really, really careful, very careful, very delicate” because of the worldwide impact and emotion surrounding it.

The Crown

The story of Diana and her untimely death was a tricky one to tell.

(Image credit: Alamy)

The show ultimately cut off in 2005 at the wedding of then Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles. “That ending came to me really early on,” Morgan said. “I always knew I wanted to end with at least 15 or 20 years,” and also provide a “moment for the Queen to reflect really deeply upon whether she should continue or not.”

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.