Here’s What To Expect From the Sixth and Final Season of ‘the Crown’
Long have they reigned, indeed—The Crown is coming back for one final time with a sixth season. Longtime fans of the highly-acclaimed drama may be quick to note that the show really was intended to run for six years before its showrunner Peter Morgan decided to cut back and announce that it will all end with season five. He has, however, since changed his tune.
“As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons,” Morgan said, explaining the decision to ultimately revert to the original plan.
With that said, just what can we expect for the show’s final season? Well, here’s everything we know so far.
‘The Crown’ Season 6 Cast and Production
In light of the extension, Imelda Staunton will again be reprising the role of Queen Elizabeth II for two seasons just like her predecessors, Claire Foy and Olivia Colman. The same is true with Jonathan Pryce, Lesley Manville, Dominic West, and Elizabeth Debicki, who each played the show’s final renditions of Prince Philip, Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, and Princess Diana, respectively. Other cast members who are expected to return in season six are Marcia Warren, Olivia Williams, Claudia Harrison, James Murray, Khalid Abdalla, and Bertie Carvel.
As of this writing, it has been confirmed that three new cast members are expected to join the Royal Family for season six. In September 2022, Variety reported that actors Rufus Kampa and Ed McVey are set to make their debut as Prince William, with Kampa playing the current Prince of Wales as a 16-year-old and McVey as a 21-year-old version of him. Joining them is actress Meg Bellamy, who will be playing Kate Middleton. Interestingly for the show’s current season, Prince William was played by Dominic West’s own 13-year-old son, Senan. West shared in an interview with Town & Country that the casting decision came after the show’s agents revealed a struggle with filling the role and although Senan had never acted before, he ticked all the boxes for the look they were going for.
“Do you know how lucky you are? Bloody lucky!” West recalled telling Senan in the interview. He also remarked that being father-and-son, naturally, had its advantages during filming. “What was great [was the] shortcut to a sort of tactile intimacy that you have with your kids that no one else has.”
Ultimately, however, West shared that he was glad to hear news of the recasting for season six, given that the growing tension between Prince Charles and Prince William onscreen made him uncomfortable.
It’s important to note that despite this go signal for another season, the timeline will not be stretching into more contemporary times.
“To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present-day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail,” Morgan also clarified in the same interview he gave when announcing the final season. That said, let’s get into the time period and expected plotlines.
‘The Crown’ Season 6 Time Period and Plot
As previously mentioned, Morgan has confirmed that we will not see the show stretching out into more contemporary times. But what exactly does that timeframe cover?
In a 2021 interview, producer Suzanne Mackie took the occasion to explain the show’s rationale for not going beyond the 2000s: “Peter [Morgan] has said it very articulately, that he simply can’t write something unless there has been time to gain a proper perspective. I think he’s always felt 10 years is the minimum amount of time that he can see something in a historical context, to allow him to really understand it,” she said.
With that in mind, I think it would be safe to say that we will most likely not be seeing both the royal weddings of Prince William and Prince Harry (although they will probably cover Prince William meeting Kate Middleton, given the casting, and their time at St. Andrews), Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step back from royal duties, Prince Andrew’s infamous relationship and connection to Jeffrey Epstein, and the recent deaths of Prince Philip and the Queen.
At most, we can expect the final season to include the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, her golden wedding anniversary with Prince Philip, the consecutive deaths of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles’ wedding, and Tony Blair’s time in office, considering that the latest season does end with his win and move to Downing Street. It will also, of course, cover the tragic death of Princess Diana and will most likely focus on the grief that followed closely after.
“We’ve been dreading getting to this point. The countdown is two weeks and while we’re calmly carrying on it’s fair to acknowledge that there’s a certain anxiety; a palpable sense of being slightly on edge. I mean, there’s bombshell sensitivity surrounding this one,” a source on the show’s production team told Deadline, when talking about the show’s preparations for filming the late Princess of Wales’ untimely death. The same source further emphasized that The Crown will not be filming the crash itself and will be framing the events before and after the accident.
“It’s the run-up: the car leaving The Ritz after midnight with paparazzi in pursuit and then the aftermath with the British Ambassador to France swinging into action with the Foreign Office and then the subsequent constitutional aftermath,” the source explained.
According to the report from Deadline, the season will include a scene of West’s Prince Charles collecting Princess Diana’s body to bring home to London and a contrasting scene of Mohamad Al-Fayed doing the same for his son Dodi and the discrimination he endured from French authorities.
I can already see the parallels to Emma Corrin’s portrayal of Diana from the third season and the tears that will definitely be shed.
‘The Crown’ Season 6 Release Date
Netflix has yet to announce an official date for the airing of the final season, although it is currently still in production. It briefly ground to a halt during the events that followed the death of the Queen but has since resumed. We can probably expect the sixth and final season to be ready for streaming sometime in late 2023 or early 2024.
(Featured Image: Netflix)
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