It's almost time to say goodbye to Netflix's epic fictionalized biopic of the British Royal Family. The Crown, which was created by Peter Morgan and has been devoured by viewers since its 2016 series premiere, is set to end after its forthcoming sixth season. The final season, filming for which is underway, will cover another tumultuous period following season 5 (opens in new tab)'s focus on Prince Charles and Princess Diana's divorce, beginning with the late princess's death in 1997 and continuing on into the 21st century. Here's everything we know about the final season so far.
Netflix announced in July 2020 that The Crown will end after six seasons, though the length was briefly in question. Though Morgan initially pitched the series as six seasons long, the creator had decided to end the show after only five seasons earlier that year. He later reverted back to the original plan "in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story."
Potential Release Date
Audiences will have to wait at least a year for the final season of The Crown to land on Netflix. The show has previously been filmed in two-season cycles, with each cast of royals filming their respective seasons back to back. Seasons 5 and 6 are on the same schedule; filming for Season 6 began in September 2022—including two brief pauses out of respect of the Queen's death and funeral—and is still ongoing. It's likely that new episodes will premiere in either late 2023 at the earliest, or in early 2024.
The principal cast (opens in new tab) of Season 5 will all be returning for the final season, including Imelda Staunton (Queen Elizabeth), Jonathan Pryce (Prince Phillip), Lesley Manville (Princess Margaret), Dominic West (Prince Charles), and Olivia Williams (Camilla Parker Bowles). Elizabeth Debicki will also appear as Princess Diana, in scenes depicting the final days of the late royal's life.
As for new additions to the cast, several new actors will appear to portray Prince William and Princess Kate as young people. Meg Bellamy will play Kate, while two actors, Rufus Kampa and Ed McVey, will play William as he ages. A casting announcement has yet to be made for Prince Harry.
Rufus Kampa and Ed McVey have both been cast as Prince William and Meg Bellamy has been cast as Kate Middleton in ‘THE CROWN’ Season 6.(Source: Deadline) pic.twitter.com/nhyEhTG6TVSeptember 2, 2022
We now know that The Crown season 6 will begin in the summer of 1997, as season 5 concluded right before Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed met for the first time. The rest of the season will follow the series' formula of depicting around a decade of the Royal Family's life, including the first meeting of William and Kate, as well as Tony Blair's (Bertie Carvel) tenure as Prime Minister. It's also likely that the show will touch on the 2002 deaths of Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, which occurred within months of each other during the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee.
Behind-the-scenes filming shots have revealed that there will be at least one substantial flashback in the sixth season. Viola Prettejohn and Beau Gadsdon were seen filming a scene recreating Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret on V-E day, leaving Buckingham Palace arm-in-arm. It's possible the memory will be part of how the season covers the death of Princess Margaret.
Morgan has confirmed that the show will not continue into the present-day, and that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship will not be covered. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), the creator said that he employs a sort of 20-year rule, where he prefers for the events he covers to have occurred 20 years in the past.
"I just think you get so much more interesting [with time]. 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," he told the outlet. "That is enough time and enough distance to really understand something, to understand its role, to understand its position, to understand its relevance."
Princess Diana's Death
While season 6 will include the weeks before Princess Diana's untimely death, as well as the emotional aftermath, Netflix has confirmed that the production is approaching her fatal car crash in a sensitive manner. A representative for the streamer confirmed to The Sun (opens in new tab) that, "The exact moment of the crash impact will not be shown."
When asked about the show's depiction in an Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab) interview, Debicki said that Morgan is approaching the scenes sensitively.
"I'll say that Peter and the entire crew of this job do their utmost to really handle everything with such sensitivity and truth and complexity, as do actors," she said. "The amount of research and care and conversations and dialogue that happen over, from a viewer's perspective, something probably that you would never ever notice is just immense. From that very first meeting [with] Peter, I knew that I'd entered into this space where this was taken seriously [in] a deeply caring way. So that's my experience of the show."
The Moving Moment Behind the Scenes at the Earthshot Prize Awards
It was a moment not lost on us.
By Rachel Burchfield
Princess Catherine Wore an Emerald Choker That Once Belonged to Princess Diana
The new Princess of Wales brought out a piece from her predecessor last night in Boston.
By Rachel Burchfield
The Prince and Princess of Wales Divided and Conquered for Their Last Day in Boston
The couple reunited later for the glittery Earthshot Prize Awards.
By Rachel Burchfield