Royal Twist: The Crown Getting Sixth (and Final) Season on Netflix After All

Netflix and series creator Peter Morgan reversed their decision to end The Crown.

By Chris Harnick Jul 09, 2020 2:23 PMTags
Watch: "The Crown" Season 4 Will Tell the Story of Princess Diana

A twist in Netflix's royal family saga: The story isn't ending with The Crown season five after all. The streamer made the announcement on Twitter.

Despite previously announcing The Crown season five starring Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, series creator and Netflix reversed their decision. Now, season six will be the last.

"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 in a statement.

The TV Shows Ending in 2020

The Crown started off starring Claire Foy as the monarch in the first two seasons, then Olivia Colman took over the role for season three and the upcoming season four (expected to be released later in 2020). Staunton, whose credits include Vera Drake, Pride and the Harry Potter film series, was announced as the third and final Queen Elizabeth in early 2020.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to confirm Imelda Staunton as Her Majesty The Queen for the fifth and final season, taking The Crown into the 21st Century. Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman," Morgan said in a statement at the time. "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. I'm grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision."

Season four of The Crown will introduce Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher and Emma Corrin as Princess Diana. The show is expected to end before getting into the royal drama surrounding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's exit from their duties with the monarchy.

"The first three seasons of The Crown defined an era, and I know the upcoming fourth season will build further on that success. It's a stunning example of award-winning entertainment, created in the UK and loved by millions of fans around the world. I fully support Peter Morgan's creative decision and am excited to see how he, Imelda Staunton and the cast and crew of season five, bring this landmark series to a fitting and spectacular end," Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix, said in a statement in January 2020 when the fifth season was announced as the last.

Get scoop on The Crown season four below.

The Cast

The season three cast, including Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, Tobias Menzies, Josh O'Connor and Erin Doherty, will all return for the fourth season.

The Premiere Date

Seasons three and four were shot back-to-back and season three premiered November 17, 2019 with season four still in production at the end of 2019. The series traditionally drops at the end of the year, so the next installment could be the end of 2020.

The Return of Claire Foy?

Claire Foy, the Emmy-winning star of seasons one and two, was spotted filming season four. It appears to be a recreation of Queen Elizabeth's 1947 radio broadcast from South Africa on her 21st birthday.

Princess Diana

Season four will introduce Princess Diana and feature her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles.

"I have been glued to the show and to think I'm now joining this incredibly talented acting family is surreal," Corrin said. "Princess Diana was an icon and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To explore her through Peter Morgan's writing is the most exceptional opportunity and I will strive to do her justice!"


A New Side of Prince Charles

Expect to see a different side of this royal. "I don't want to give anything away, but I'll say that hopefully, people will feel sorry for Charles in season three, and then, maybe, we'll change that in season four," Josh O'Connor told Town and Country. "Certainly, it feels like there's a definite shift being told in season three. And all across four, there's definitely a different side to Charles that we're going to see."


Prince William

Born in 1982, Prince William will make his first appearance in the series in season four. Emma Corrin and Josh O'Connor play his parents, Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher

Gillian Anderson will make her The Crown debut as Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister from 1979-1990. 

"I am so excited to be joining the cast and crew of The Crown and to have the opportunity to portray such a complicated and controversial woman. Thatcher was undoubtedly formidable but I am relishing exploring beneath the surface and, dare I say, falling in love with the icon who, whether love or despise, defined an era," Anderson said.

The Time Period

Season three was set between 1964 and 1977, and with Gillian Anderson playing Margaret Thatcher, the introduction of Princess Diana and birth of Prince William, we know the show goes into the 1980s in season four. Thatcher was prime minister until 1990.