Everything we know about the final season of 'The Crown'

Netflix's hit royal family drama is preparing to take its final bow. But where in history will it end?

Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy as Prince William and Kate Middleton in 'The Crown'
Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy as Prince William and Kate Middleton in 'The Crown'
(Image credit: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images)

The reign of "The Crown" is coming to an end. The Netflix hit dramatizing the life of the British royal family is preparing to take its final bow. What real-life events will be covered in this final season, and how close to the present day will the show take viewers? 

When will 'The Crown' Season 6 be released?

The final season of "The Crown" will be released in two parts. The first set of four episodes drops on Nov. 16, according to Netflix, while another batch of six will be released on Dec. 14. 

"The Crown" was initially set to end with its fifth season, before creator Peter Morgan changed course.

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"As we started to discuss the story lines 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 2020. "To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail."

What years will it cover?

The sixth season of "The Crown" is expected to depict events from 1997 to 2005. 

According to Netflix, the death of Princess Diana in 1997 will be covered in the first four episodes. The season will also explore the early relationship between Prince William and Kate Middleton, who met in 2001, as well as the 2005 wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. We can also expect the season to cover the death of Princess Margaret in 2002.

How will the show handle Princess Diana's death?

According to executive producer Suzanne Mackie, Princess Diana's death has been "delicately, thoughtfully recreated," and the team behind the show had a "very, very careful, long, long, long conversation" about how to handle it. Dominic West, who plays Prince Charles, told Entertainment Weekly the season "deals with Diana's death and appalling scenes, like having to break that news to your sons."

Although the events surrounding Diana's fatal car crash will be explored, Netflix confirmed to The Sun that "the exact moment of the crash impact will not be shown." But the show sparked some criticism after a Daily Mail report claimed that Diana's ghost will appear. A Netflix source told The Telegraph that "Diana appears as part of an inner dialogue in separate scenes with Prince Charles and the queen, who are both reflecting on their relationship with the late princess," and "these sensitive and thoughtful imagined conversations seek to bring to life the depth of emotion that was felt after such a seismic tragedy struck at the heart of the family."

Are there any new cast members?

"The Crown" will maintain its tradition of keeping the same cast for two seasons, so Imelda Staunton is returning as Queen Elizabeth II alongside the rest of her co-stars from Season 5. New additions include Ed McVey as Prince William and Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton. Photos showing the two at the University of St. Andrews, where they met, were revealed in April 2023. Rufus Kampa will also portray a younger William. 

Additionally, The Sun reported that Claire Foy and Olivia Colman, who played younger versions of the queen in earlier seasons, will return, while Viola Prettejohn was said to be portraying a "wartime" depiction of Elizabeth. Set photos showed Prettejohn as Elizabeth alongside Beau Gadsdon playing a young Princess Margaret in a flashback scene that seemed to be taking place on VE Day, People reported. 

Will we see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle?

Luther Ford has been cast as Prince Harry in Season 6. Don't expect to see flash-forwards to more modern events like Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle, though. The series creator has said he has no desire to cover more recent history, which also explains his decision to end the show with Season 6. 

"Meghan and Harry are in the middle of their journey, and I don’t know what their journey is or how it will end," Morgan told The Hollywood Reporter. "One wishes some happiness, but I'm much more comfortable writing about things that happened at least 20 years ago."

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