The Crown announced earlier this year that its fifth season would be its last, but the Netflix series will now end with a much-hoped-for sixth season.
Here’s the lowdown on all the news on The Crown’s upcoming seasons. Since the great Ennio Morricone (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly composer) passed away last week, you’ll have to excuse me as I put this article in the context of the film, for which he wrote one of the most famous musical themes in all of history.
The Crown will get a much-anticipated sixth season after all. Imelda Staunton must be relieved she won’t be the only actress to take on the Elizabeth II role for only one season of the Netflix series. The Harry Potter and Downtown Abbey star is perfectly cast as the eldest version of the Queen, and it would have been a shame to get to know her for only one season. As fantastic as she was as Dolores Umbridge, it should be fun to watch her chew up the scenery for two full-bodied seasons on The Crown.
Joining Staunton (who is incidentally married to the wonderful Jim Carter, the beloved Carson from Downton Abbey) will be the newly announced Lesly Manville as Princess Margaret (who should be an improvement on the phone-it-in Helena Bonham Carter, who we have to sit through for just one more season), and the always-captivating Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.
“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,” said writer Peter Morgan (who also helmed The Queen movie starring Helen Mirren), according to the BBC.
All good things must come to an end, and The Crown’s sixth season will be its final.
Peter Morgan did plan on concluding the series with the fifth season.
However, season one’s Jared Harris (the compelling George VI, King of England, Elizabeth’s father) hinted that you never know.
“It’s not gonna go that far,” said Harris, about the possibility of the series tackling Mexit or Andrew’s recent controversy involving sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. “No, I asked. Peter [Morgan] said he’s not going that far,” Harris continued, according to US Magazine. “It was never gonna go this far though.”
Viewers will be introduced to a young Princess Diana, and the final two seasons will spell out the troubles in Prince Andrew’s and Fergie’s marriage (that is, before his troubles with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, ahem). Earlier, The Crown wasn’t even sure it would get up to the age of “The Glums” (Diana who will be played by Emma Corrin, Charles, and Camilla), but those storylines will be explored in the final two seasons.
The third season introduced us to Olivia Coleman (Elizabeth), Tobias Menzes (Philip), and Josh O’Connor (a young Charles) who will continue in season four, which should drop sometime later this year. Although the middle cast has never quite risen to the fire brought to the roles in the first two seasons (the enthralling Claire Foy, Matt Smith, and Vanessa Kirby), season three featured a few of the best episodes the series has ever produced, including “Bubbikins” and “Aberfan.” And Jane Lapotaire’s tour-de-force performance as Princess Alice demonstrated the show at its superlative best.
I will especially miss Menzes as Philip, but I’m eager to see who they will cast as the older version of him.
Sadly, The Crown will not delve into recent controversies on the royals. It’s a missed opportunity to delve into the drama over the Meghan Markle and Harry exit or the deepening trouble regarding Andrew’s involvement with the recently arrested Maxwell.
But ultimately, The Crown will give us plenty of drama to sink our teeth into anyway. We’re grateful for any season we get.
Who do you think would make a perfect pick for the elder Prince Philip? Drop a line here with your thoughts, and say tuned for more Crown news as casting news develops.