Why The Crown Won't Be Tackling Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Before It Ends

The Crown creator Peter Morgan has explained why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won't make it on screen. Get all the details on seasons five and six!

By Lauren Piester Mar 08, 2021 10:49 PMTags

Don't get your hopes up about Meghan Markle, Oprah and Tyler Perry on The Crown just yet. 

On Sunday night, 17 million people watched Oprah sit down with the couple formerly known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to spill all the tea about their exit from the royal family. It was a two-hour interview filled with bombshell after bombshell that felt like it was ripped right out of the most compelling royal-related fiction, and like it might make the absolute best season of Netflix's royal-related award-winning drama—of which Prince Harry himself has watched "some." 

Unfortunately, that's not happening anytime soon. Season six is set to be the final season, and it will end somewhere in the early 2000s. Show creator Peter Morgan has specifically said that Meghan and Harry's romance is simply too recent to reflect on with any clarity in the show, so if they were to be covered onscreen, they would have to wait for the show to be revived in another decade or so. 

The same thing goes for the scandal surrounding Prince Andrew and his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's History-Making Moments

Morgan explained his stance on this in detail in an August 2020 interview with The Hollywood Reporter

"I just think you get so much more interesting [with time]," he said. "Meghan and Harry are in the middle of their journey, and I don't know what their journey is or how it will end. One wishes some happiness, but I'm much more comfortable writing about things that happened at least 20 years ago." 

He explained that he has, in his head, "a 20-year rule." 

"That is enough time and enough distance to really understand something, to understand its role, to understand its position, to understand its relevance," he explained. "Often things that appear absolutely wildly important today are instantly forgotten, and other things have a habit of sticking around and proving to be historically very relevant and long-lasting. I don't know where in the scheme of things Prince Andrew or indeed Meghan Markle or Harry will ever appear. We won't know, and you need time to stop something being journalistic. And so I don't want to write about them because to write about them would instantly make it journalistic, and there are plenty of journalists already writing about them." 


Morgan's role, as he describes it, is as a "dramatist," which requires perspective. 

"You need to also allow for the opportunity for metaphor," he continued. "Once something has a metaphorical possibility, it can then become interesting. It's quite possible, for example, to tell the story of Harry and Meghan through analogy and metaphor, if that's what you want to do. Because there've been so many examples in the past, whether it's Wallis Simpson or Edward VII, or whether it's Diana and Prince Charles. There have been plenty of opportunities in the past where there have been marital complications. There've been wives that have been married into the Royal family that have felt unwelcome and that they don't fit in. So there are plenty of stories to tell without telling the story of Harry and Meghan." 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Embrace Archie in Rare Family Portrait

A source confirmed to E! News that nothing has changed in light of the interview, and the final two seasons of The Crown will still cover up to the early 2000s. 

Season four started in 1979 and ended around 1990, so season five will deal with the 1990s and the death of Princess Diana in 1997. If the final two seasons keep with tradition, they will each span around a decade, meaning the final season could end with Prince William and Kate Middleton's marriage in 2011, or the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (celebrating her 60 years as queen) in 2012, if it even dares to go that far. 

Harry didn't meet Meghan until 2016, but Harry was certainly around in the early 2000s, meaning someone will certainly be playing him. 

For everything else we know about the future of the series, scroll down!

How Much of The Crown Is Left?

There are two more seasons to go before the tiaras and tea sets get put away for good (or at least until creator Peter Morgan decides to get them out again). Season five is next, and season six will be the last. 

When Will Season 5 Arrive?

November 2022! 

We know that it feels like we've waited forever, but the show has followed its routine production schedule. Season one came out in 2016, followed by season two in 2017. Season three arrived in 2019, season four in 2020, and now there's another break for season five. Morgan explained in an interview with THR that he needs the time off to both shoot and write the next season, since the show films in two-season chunks. 

The sixth and final season will likely premiere in 2023. 

How Far Will The Crown Get Before It Ends?

Seasons five and six will take the royal family into the 21st century, but not too far into it. Nothing super recent will be covered, but since each season tends to span around a decade, it makes sense that the show might end with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. That would mean William and Kate's 2011 wedding would be featured, but little else from the 2010s. 

The New Diana

Elizabeth Debicki will play a slightly older Diana in season five, which will likely cover the '90s from her split from Charles to her death in 1997. She takes over from Emma Corrin, who debuted in season four.

The former Princess of Wales' boyfriend Dodi Fayed will reportedly be played by Khalid Abdalla, per Variety. Dodi's billionaire father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, will also appear in season five, as Oslo actor Salim Daw has been cast in this role.

The New Queen

The entire cast gets replaced every two seasons, so Olivia Colman will pass the torch to Imelda Staunton, who you may know best as Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter

The New Prince Philip

Game of Thrones star Jonathan Pryce will play Prince Philip in seasons five and six, taking over for Tobias Menzies.

The New Princess Margaret

Lesley Manville will follow in the footsteps of Helena Bonham Carter as the new Princess Margaret in seasons five and six.

The New Prince Charles

The Wire and The Affair star Dominic West plays Prince Charles, succeeding Josh O'Connor in the role.

Dominic's own son Senan will play a teenage Prince William in season five.

Meet Prime Minister John Major

Jonny Lee Miller has joined The Crown for season five as John Major, the British Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997. Gillian Anderson played previous Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who left office in 1990.

Meet Prince William and Kate Middleton

In Sept. 2022, Netflix revealed that two actors will portray a young William in season six: 16-year-old Rufus Kampa and 21-year-old Ed McVey. And 19-year-old Meg Ballamy will play Kate. 

Is There Any Chance of Seeing Meghan Markle on The Crown?

Sadly, no. As much as we keep hoping, Morgan said that Harry and Meghan, despite the captivating drama they've added to the world of the royal family, are too recent to cover with any clarity. 

"Meghan and Harry are in the middle of their journey, and I don't know what their journey is or how it will end," he told THR. "One wishes some happiness, but I'm much more comfortable writing about things that happened at least 20 years ago. I sort of have in my head a 20-year rule. That is enough time and enough distance to really understand something, to understand its role, to understand its position, to understand its relevance." 

Here's hoping for another season in 2040!  

The first four seasons of The Crown are currently streaming on Netflix.

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