Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki in The Crown (2016)

‘The Crown’ Prepares To Take Its Final Bow in Season 6 Trailer

Long have they reigned, indeed. The Crown is coming back one last time for the sixth and final 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, announcing that it would all end with season 5. However, he has since changed his tune. 

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“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, part 1 trailer

The trailer for part one of the final season promises another powerhouse performance from Elizabeth Debicki as Diana. She’s front and center in the trailer.

The trailer makes it clear that we’re going to see Diana’s death in the upcoming episodes—but, as previously stated, not the actual moment of her death. Peter Morgan said in an interview with Variety the day before the trailer came out, “Oh, God, we were never going to show the crash. Never.”

He went on to say that he had some ideas circulating for a prequel series … so even after season 6, the British royal family won’t necessarily be leaving our screens.

The Crown season 6 cast and production

Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown season 6
(Netflix)

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 expected to return in season 6 are Marcia Warren, Olivia Williams, Claudia Harrison, James Murray, Khalid Abdalla, and Bertie Carvel. 

It has been confirmed that three new cast members are to join the Royal Family for season 6. 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 fifth season, Prince William was played by Dominic West’s 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 6, 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 clarified in the same interview. That said, let’s get into the time period and expected plotlines. 

The Crown season 6 time period and plot

Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown season 6
(Netflix)

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.” 

With that in mind, I think it would be safe to say that we will most likely not be seeing either of 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 last season ended 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 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.”

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

Dominic West as Prince Charles in The Crown season 6
(Netflix)

The official Netflix account revealed on October 9 that the final season of The Crown would be split into two parts, and the first part is just around the corner. Part one of season 6 will premiere on Netflix on November 16, 2023, and part two will follow on December 14.

It seems that the depiction of Diana’s death will take place in part one, and part two will deal with the long-term aftermath of the tragedy and the impact it had on her sons as they grew to adulthood. But, Elizabeth Debicki will reportedly return to her role as “a ghost” in an episode set post-Diana’s passing, something that’s sparked a bit of outrage in the British tabloids. (What doesn’t?)

Netflix ended up releasing a statement about this to the Radio Times, making their intentions clear. It reads:

“After her death, Diana appears as part of an inner dialogue in separate scenes with Prince Charles and the Queen, who are both reflecting on their relationship with the late princess. These sensitive and thoughtful imagined conversations seek to bring to life the depth of emotion that was felt after such a seismic tragedy struck at the heart of the family.”

Personally, I have no issue with this. I think it has the potential to be a very touching scene, if done right. Plus, I want to see more of Debicki’s Diana—I think she was, without a doubt, the biggest highlight of season 5.

The Crown season 6 teaser trailer and posters

Along with the announcement of the release date, Netflix also dropped a short teaser trailer and two posters to promote the upcoming season.

The 40-second teaser is set to the sound of a clock ticking while Queen Elizabeth delivers a monologue about the Crown being “a symbol of permanence,” and it ends with Imelda Staunton’s Elizabeth staring sorrowfully into the camera. All three actresses who’ve played the Queen in the show appear in the teaser—Staunton, Olivia Colman, and Claire Foy.

Both posters advertise “The final season.” One poster shows Diana looking downcast on a boat, and the second poster depicts the Queen standing alone and casting a long shadow.

They perfectly capture the kind of fabulously overwrought royal drama that The Crown has given us for seven years.

(featured Image: Netflix)


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Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.
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