Ed McVeigh as Prince William and Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton in the sixth season of The Crown Photo: Netflix
All good things and some bad things must come to an end, and the sixth and final season of Netflix's The Crown premieres this fall. Expectations are high as always, but tempered by the realization that the fifth series of the royal giant was not the best despite a stellar cast that included everyone from Imelda Staunton (as the Queen) and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip to Elizabeth Debicki. as Princess Diana and—to widespread and rather unfair derision—Jonny Lee Miller, the sickest boy in Trainspotting, as John Major.
He has drawn criticism for rushed storylines and (even by his own standards) inventing outrageous scenes, such as the moment Prince Charles asks Major if he's willing to support him in trying to get his mother to abdicate. . However, at its best, it was as gripping and moving as any of the previous installments, keeping viewers intrigued until the very end and looking forward to how its finale would play out.
Despite original plans for six episodes, writer Peter Morgan announced that the fifth would be the last, presumably ending with Diana's death in August 1997. While he was writing the script, he said, “it became clear … that this was the perfect option.” time and place to stop.” He subsequently changed his mind again, and so The Crown fans can look forward to their final fix when the show releases later this year. Although the broadcast date hasn't been confirmed, most of the other series aired in November, so it wouldn't be too presumptuous to assume that we'll have it in a couple of months.
Netflix teased us the final season with a feature on its official account with a photograph of the order of service at the wedding of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in April 2005, suggesting it would become part of the main storyline.
After six seasons, seven years and three cast members, The Crown is coming to an end later this year. Here's a hint of what's to come in our final season. pic.twitter.com/l6ilhYYA0C
— Netflix (@netflix), September 4, 2023
But what else can we expect? It was announced that the show would begin near where the fifth season left off in the summer of 1997, and end in 2005, before Blair's premiership ended. But here's a guide to what (probably) will be in the sixth series of The Crown and what (definitely) won't be.
What could have happened in the final episode? The death of Princess Diana
This, as they say, is the main thing. The focus, at least at the beginning of the series, will be the events of August 31, 1997 and the aftermath of Diana's death in Paris. Morgan is in a double quandary with this storyline; not only did it form the basis of his acclaimed 2006 film The Queen, but given the show's reputation for being quick and fluent with facts, there's a fear that if there's even one stunning provocation in the final series, it'll come into this thread.
Eventually, the fourth season ended with Prince Philip appearing to threaten Diana, saying that if she left the royal family, “let's just say I don't see it ending well for you”, only for her to She replied, “I hope it's not.” It's not a threat, sir. Although the late Mohamed al-Fayed's hysterical claims that Diana's death was staged by Philippe in consultation with the security services have long been debunked, the slightest hint of sensation or scandal will be carefully watched and immediately seized upon. .
Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in The Crown Photo: Netflix
The producers of the show, aware of the risks, deny that such bad taste will not happen. Executive Producer Suzanne Mackie spoke about the portrayal of Diana's death – which will not be shown on screen – at the recent Edinburgh TV Festival and said: “There was a very, very careful, long, long, long conversation about how we do things. it's – and I hope you know the audience will appreciate it eventually, but I think it was delicately, thoughtfully recreated.” During filming, there was a clear uneasiness on the set; One source commented on the Hollywood industry's Deadline headline: “We were afraid to get to this point. The countdown is two weeks, and while we quietly continue, it is fair to admit that there is a certain amount of anxiety; a palpable feeling that you are slightly on the edge. I mean, there's an incredible sensitivity around it.”
But it's unlikely that the series will completely escape the charge of being insensitive; Another report from The Sun claimed that we would see a French priest performing the last rites on Diana when she was pronounced dead.
Dodi and Diana on a yacht
Whether or not he has a standalone episode, it's likely that Morgan will continue the story of Diana's romance with Dodi al-Fayed. The story began in the final episode of the fifth season, which ended shortly before the media frenzy caused by the relationship really kicked off. Photographs of the two of them on Kujo's yacht in July 1997 traveled around the world, making the front pages of virtually every newspaper – by accident or with the connivance of Dodi's father – and became a previously obscure Egyptian film producer. and amateur into one of the most talked about men in the world.
Diana, Princess of Wales, with Dodi Fayed in France, August 22, 1997. Photo: AP
That would be weird for a show not to show the royal family's (undoubtedly) horrific reaction to Diana's new confusing situation, and it could be a fittingly attention-grabbing start to a new series – before tragedy strikes.
The Crown has always thrived on episodes that show how members of the royal family deal with wider social and historical issues; Particularly strong in this regard is the film Aberfan from the third season, which tells about the tragedy in the Welsh mining village. It would then seem obvious that one of the episodes would be about the controversy that occurred when the late Queen and Prince Philip visited the Jallianwala Bagh massacre site in October 1919; This event, also known as the Amritsar Massacre, took place in what was then British India on April 13, 1919, and a peaceful protest was disrupted by British Army firing on unarmed civilians.
The scars left by the murder, which killed some 1,500 innocent people, were deep, and when the royal couple visited the site, angry protesters yelled at the couple, “Killer Queen, come back.” Tensions were relieved as the queen laid a wreath and removed her shoes at the now sacred site. However, her expression of regret – which was not an apology – did not reassure some, and so it seemed like rich and fertile dramatic territory to explore.
William and Kate's courtship
It is already known that one of the episodes will focus on the courtship of Prince William and Kate Middleton at the University of St. Andrews, where they met in 2001; The duo will be played by newcomers Ed McVeigh and Meg Bellamy, both of whom bear an uncanny resemblance to the royal couple, and were filmed in many locations where they had a great time. But we don't know exactly what will be included in the show. It's likely that the infamous fashion show in which Kate wore a see-through dress over her underwear – and thereby got William's attention – will be recreated, and it's also likely that it will focus on the ups and downs of their relationship, including that William apparently shouted “I'm free!” after the couple went on a temporary break before reconciliation.
Ed McVeigh (Prince William) and Dominic West (Prince of Wales) on the set of The Crown in St. Andrews Photo: Pennsylvania
However, it is unclear whether the show will feature Kate's parents Carol and Michael, or how far this will go. the future in which their image will go. Given that William and Kate were not engaged until 2010, there is a significant discrepancy between the development of their relationship and the timing of the show's final season.
Death of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother
Inevitably, the two major deaths in the royal family during this period – Princess Margaret on February 9, 2002, and The Queen Mother on March 30, 2002 – will be highlighted during the show, and it will be interesting to see how Morgan approaches them. . The Queen Mother has, in truth, been a minor figure throughout the series, although Victoria Hamilton played a major role in the first two seasons, and Marcia Warren's good-natured performance in series five suggests there will be more of the same on the show. .
Leslie Manville as Princess Margaret in The Crown Photo: Netflix/AP
Margaret has been the star of the show ever since Vanessa Kirby brilliantly and stellarly portrayed her in the first season, and the character allowed first Helena Bonham Carter and now Leslie Manville to combine reckless drinking with real (and understandable) resentment at being a eternal “spare”, unable to achieve what he wants. Her emotional reconciliation with Timothy Dalton's Peter Townsend, a love she was forbidden to marry, was one of the highlights of season five, and you won't bet her demise will also be an equally important part of the series finale.
War in Iraq
The relationship between the Queen and Tony Blair – played by the gorgeous Bertie Carvel, introduced in the final episode of season five – is likely to be one of the focal points of the final season and should include everything from Blair's skillful acting skills. some might say cynical) managing a difficult situation after Diana's death to an embarrassing moment on Millennium Eve when the Queen reluctantly held hands with him in the Dome and sang Auld Lang Syne.
But it would be strange, given the time period of the series, if 9/11 wasn't touched upon, and no doubt much of the second half of the series will be devoted to the war in Iraq and how it affected the relationship between Blair and the Queen. In Morgan's 2015 play The Audience, it is suggested that she begged him not to invade Iraq, but he ignored her advice and went ahead anyway, so we'll see if there's something like that here. The tense relationship between the Queen and Gillian Anderson's Margaret Thatcher was one of the highlights of season four, and it would be puzzling if something similar didn't happen between Blair and Queen Elizabeth II in this final installment.
The Queen reluctantly sings Auld Lang Syne with the Blairs at the Millennium Dome, Saturday, January 1, 2000. Photo: AP Charles and Camilla
We already know the series will end happily for the duo with wedding bells and a rather optimistic end to their relationship, but it's easy to forget how careful the first steps were to introduce Camille to the public as Charles' official consort after Charles' death. Diana; given the immense popularity of her predecessor, she was difficult to follow. Similarly, some revelations in Prince Harry's memoir Spare suggest that both he and William found it difficult to come to terms with Camilla, who was described in the book as an “evil stepmother”, causing widespread controversy and shock.
Olivia Williams and Dominic West in the fifth season of The Crown Photo: Netflix
All of this adds up to a rich dramatic theme that will no doubt be given additional pathos in Olivia Williams' portrayal of Camilla. However, Dominic West, who plays Charles, has dismissed any idea that he was trying to portray the current king as anything other than a likeable and decent figure, stating in one interview, “I love that man. I love him.” He's a force for good, he's a truly extraordinary person,” even though he admitted that this latest episode was “as stormy as it gets.”
…And what no prime minister but Blair will definitely do
Since the series will end in 2005 – quite possibly with Charles and Camilla's wedding on April 8 of that year – it will not feature Gordon Brown, David Cameron, or any of their successors, in keeping with Morgan's desire to make the show a historical series. rather than a constant commentary on contemporary events. Blair won a third election the following month, albeit with a smaller majority: no doubt that would have been an inappropriate bittersweet end to the show.
John Major with Tony Blair in 1997 Photo: AP Death of the Queen and Prince Philip show, but their depiction – in a show that is likely to be rife with death anyway – might seem unnecessarily dark and disappointing, and also too fresh in everyone's minds. Plus, portraying the pomp and ceremonies of the Queen's funeral would have been too big of a budget even for Netflix.
Meghan and Harry
While Prince Harry is a Season 6 character played at various points by Will Powell and Luther Ford, it's almost certain that his relationship with Meghan Markle won't be shown given that they only started dating in 2016; more than ten years have passed beyond the reach of this latest series. And some will say that after Netflix's Harry & amp; Megan says the streaming giant has given us everything we need in this particular department for a lifetime.