The Crown's Final Season Will Premiere This Fall
In January of 2020, The Crown's showrunner Peter Morgan announced that season five would be the final chapter of the series. "At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop," Morgan said, per the Hollywood Reporter. "I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision."
But now, the original plan to run for six seasons is back in place.
"As we started to discuss the storylines for series five, 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, confirming the news alongside Netflix to the Hollywood Reporter.
Cindy Holland, Netflix's VP of original content also commented: "The Crown keeps raising the bar with each new season. We can’t wait for audiences to see the upcoming fourth season, and we’re proud to support Peter’s vision and the phenomenal cast and crew for a sixth and final season."
So there's more Crown to come. Here's what we know so far about the show's sixth chapter.
Even with one more season, the show won't make it to the present day.
Don't expect to see Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's decision to step back from the royal family or any of the fallout of Harry's Spare memoir dramatized on screen. Morgan made it very clear by saying, "season six will not bring us any closer to present day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail." The Hollywood Reporter notes that the story will end in the 2000s.
Imelda Staunton will play Queen Elizabeth.
Staunton played the Queen in season five, and Lesley Manville will play Princess Margaret. The Hollywood Reporter confirms they will continue in these roles. Staunton spoke with T&C about season six saying, “I haven't really thought about bringing the show to a close. I will really miss being her, but there is a long way to go.”
Additionally, Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby, Tenet) will play Princess Diana in the final two seasons of The Crown, following in the footsteps of relative newcomer Emma Corrin, who introduced the Princess of Wales to the series in season four. Jonathan Pryce will also continue to play Prince Philip, and Dominic West will play Prince Charles.
We'll see Prince William and Kate Middleton's first meeting.
William and Kate first met in 2001, when they were both studying at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A young Prince William and Kate Middleton have been cast for season six: Rufus Kampa and Ed McVey will portray William as a teenager, and Meg Bellamy will appear opposite McVey's William as Kate. All three of the actors will make their professional debut in The Crown, and both Kampa and Bellamy were discovered through self-submitted audition tapes after they saw the casting call.
Dominic West's son Senan played Prince William in season five, but as as Charles and William's relationship becomes more complicated in season six, West shared with T&C that he "felt a bit uncomfortable," and was relieved when his son wasn't cast to continue the role into season six.
In April, Netflix released a first look at the series, and the three photos featured McVey and Bellamy:
The streamer shared, "As The Crown enters a new decade, Prince William starts at University in St Andrew’s, determined to lead as normal a life as possible while he still can. Also beginning life as a University student, is Kate Middleton from Berkshire. As the pair meet for the first time on campus, a new romance and a new future for The Crown begins. "
The season will premiere in fall 2023.
Per Deadline, the final season started filming in August 2022. Production paused briefly following the death of Queen Elizabeth in September 2022, as a "mark of respect" for the late monarch.
“It was poignant and, in some ways, sad,” Dominic West said of the Queen's death in an interview with Town & Country ahead of season five. “But in most ways, I think it was such an amazing life and such an amazing death, really, that it didn’t feel very sad.”
Filming on season six did resume, however. In October, actresses Viola Prettejohn and Beau Gadsdon filmed a scene as young Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth) and Princess Margaret in 1945. In November, Elizabeth Debicki filmed at Dartmouth House, which is standing in for the Ritz Paris, ostensibly filming Princess Diana's final moments.
Filming continued to take place through 2023, with the cast photographed filming the Queen Mother's funeral at Winchester Cathedral, and the actors who play young Prince William and Kate Middleton pictured at St. Andrews. Filming officially wrapped in April 2023. The streamer confirmed the final season will premiere in fall 2023 with ten episodes, but no specific date has been announced yet.
There are already rumors about the show's final scene.
Given the intense secrecy that always surrounds the series, this rumor should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt. But according to The Sun, season six will wrap up on the 2005 wedding of Prince Charles and his longtime partner Camilla Parker-Bowles.
The newspaper also reported that the original plan was to end the series in 2002—a year in which Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Golden Jubilee, and then lost both her sister Princess Margaret and her mother within weeks.
Season six will focus on Princess Diana's death.
In an interview with Deadline, West shared that season six will be "as tumultuous as it gets," as it will focus on the tragedy.
But it will not show the crash, with a Netflix source confirming to IndieWire that "the exact moment of the crash impact will not be shown."
Khalid Abdalla, who plays Dodi on the series, says that portraying Dodi and Diana's love has been a "real joy." "You look at the images of Diana at that time, and she was really happy. It's been a real pleasure as Dodi, as a character who makes Diana happy, having those scenes with a happy Diana," he told Town & Country, while acknowledging that the season will be upsetting. "I don't know how I will feel when I watch it, because my relationship with them now has completely changed. They've become people who I know more intimately than many others—from clothes, to humor, to certain aspects of them. I'll probably be associated with the word 'Dodi' for the rest of my life."
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