Netflix is opening back up its palace doors for The Crown season 6. Show creator Peter Morgan reversed course on his decision to end the royal drama after its fifth season. “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 in a statement, via Variety. Netflix U.K. also tweeted Morgan's remarks, announcing that the sixth season is coming after all.
Morgan's change of heart is his second regarding a sixth season. Back in January, Morgan said, "At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season 5 it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop. I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision." Now it appears his writing muse has moved him back toward his original direction.
Ahead, everything we know about the final installment, including which prime ministers will be depicted and why the Sussexes have been excluded from the season.
Season 6 will reportedly explore the early 2000s.
Deadline reports that season 6 will likely take place in the "early 2000s." A recent Town & Country cover story reported that the fifth and sixth seasons will focus on the administrations of prime ministers John Major (1990-97) and Tony Blair (1997-2007). That means there won't be any episodes that address the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's decision to step back from royal duties, or Prince Andrew's ouster due to his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
In fact, Morgan said he's relieved to not cover recent events. “The Meghan and Harry story is nowhere near over yet,” he told T&C. “And I’m happy that I’m never going to write it.” As for what's in store for the sixth season, Cindy Holland, Netflix vice president of original content, said in a statement: “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.”
It's likely season 6 will document the death of Princess Diana in car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997, as well as the 2002 deaths of Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Margaret died on February 9, 2002, while the Queen Mother passed less than two months later, on March 30, 2002. The year also marked Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee.
Five of the central roles have been cast.
Netflix confirmed on Twitter that seasons 5 and 6 of The Crown will star Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth. Lesley Manville and Jonathan Pryce will play Princess Margaret and Prince Philip, respectively. Plus, Elizabeth Debicki will play Princess Diana in the fifth and sixth installments. The most recent addition, although unconfirmed by Netflix, is The Wire and The Affair actor Dominic West as Prince Charles. In October, The Hollywood Reporter announced West is in talks to play the philandering royal just days after the married actor was photographed getting cozy with his The Pursuit of Love co-star Lily James in Rome.
Those actors will take over for Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth, Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, and Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles, all of whom finish their royal reigns with season 4. As is customary with the show, each cast portrays their roles for two seasons.
There's no official release date.
An official drop date for The Crown's final season hasn't been confirmed. According to Deadline, season 5 won't premiere until 2022 and is set to begin production next June. The outlet also reports that season 6 will film in 2022, meaning a 2023 premiere is most likely.
Season 4 of the Emmy-winning series premiered November 15, featuring Gillian Anderson as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the arrival of Princess Diana.
This post will be updated.