Depicting the legendary and storied history of the British monarchy, “The Crown” has become one of Netflix’s most successful original shows since premiering in 2016. The series owes its success to an incredible production team and equally distinguished cast, as well as to timely developments among the royal family that have kept the British crown in the news — namely Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry and the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. As the show nears its end with the upcoming sixth and final season, we’ve got the answers to your burning questions before you watch the royal family one last time.
Where Did Season 5 Leave Off?
The last time we saw our posh family, things looked ominous. The Labour Party swept the nation’s elections, putting Tony Blair (Bertie Carvel) in charge of a center-left government eager to rein in the royal family. In the last episode of Season 5, he announced that the government would not use taxpayer money to buy the royals a new yacht, bringing into question the future of the Crown and its extravagant lifestyle. When Prince Charles (Dominic West) oversaw the handover of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China, we similarly felt unsure about the monarchy’s place in an increasingly changing world, leaving us on a cliffhanger.
Most notably, Season 5 featured Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) divorcing from Prince Charles, again underscoring the theme of an old institution moving through a world where new practices like divorce are par for the course. After seeing her cry and suffer in the public for so long, I’m excited to see Princess Di find love again in Season 6. We caught a glimpse of her rumored new boyfriend at the end of the last season, and I can’t wait to see more.
What Can We Expect From the Final Season?
The final season of “The Crown” is expected to cover the years 1997 to 2005, including the tragic and unfortunate passing of Princess Diana in Paris. Season 6 will also cover the wedding of Edward, Earl of Wessex (Sam Woolf) and Sophie Rhys-Jones, the deaths of Princess Margaret (Lesley Manville) and the Queen Mother (Marcia Warren), the early days of the relationship between Prince William (Ed McVey) and Kate Middleton (Meg Bellamy), and even the wedding of then-Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles (Olivia Williams) — all very juicy stuff.
Interestingly, it seems that this new season will be split into two, which is a trend among shows and movies lately. Much to my delight, the first half will continue to focus on Princess Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed (Khalid Abdalla), while the second half will jump ahead in time and mainly explore Prince William, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, and Charles and Camilla.
Several of these storylines are already causing a stir. The portrayal of Princess Diana’s death is a sensitive topic given the surrounding circumstances and the royal family’s long history of silence on the subject. Similarly, the affair between King Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles was, for a long time, denied and kept secret by the Crown, who, given their ties to the Church, could not condone cheating or even remarriage. The Royal Family’s distancing from the show instead of using it as an opportunity to reflect on some of its controversies is a bummer and feels like a missed opportunity to make amends and rehabilitate its image.
I’m melancholic about this final installment in the series, especially because we’ll be losing Princess Margaret, one of my favorite characters, on the show. Next to her polished sister, Princess Margaret was the black sheep of the family who fell madly in love with the wrong men and got into all sorts of trouble along the way. None of these qualities were damning. On the contrary, they reminded me that behind the beautiful gowns and centuries of tradition and the tall windows and layers of rituals, the royal family isn’t perfect — and what a relief!
Honestly, seeing as Princess Margaret won’t be on the show anymore, I think it’s a good thing the next season will be the last. I believe I speak for many fans out there when I say we’re left wishing the show would cover Meghan and Prince Harry, especially given all the rumors about the royal family’s blatant disapproval of Meghan. Judging by all the Spotify, Netflix, and book deals those two are getting, I’m going to assume it’s only a matter of time before they get their own show.
Have the Royals Reacted to the New Season?
The royals have been very critical of the show from the beginning, portraying it as nothing more than a sensationalist work of fiction. To be fair, having your family’s history and private affairs be turned into a TV series is awkward and uncomfortable, to say the least, but as “The Crown” reminds us time and time again, such is the price of being in the family.
While the royal family has issued categorical and muted statements distancing themselves from the show, Prince Harry has dished about it a few times. He’s admitted to watching the show, which is more than what many in his family have publicly admitted. More specifically, he’s admitted to watching the newer seasons, which makes us think he might be awaiting Season 6 like the rest of us. Maybe some royals aren’t that different from us after all.
When Does Season 6 Premiere? Is There a Trailer?
Season 6 is set to premiere on Netflix on Nov. 16. One of the most exciting parts about the show is its trailer drops, especially because we finally get to see new additions to a terrific cast. The biggest character this season is an old foe we’ve already met: the frenzy of the British press and all its tabloids. It’s hard watching the trailer and not having a visceral reaction to the way Princess Diana was rigorously scrutinized to her last moments. Like the entire nation back then, we’re still grieved.
Watch the trailer: