The Crown season 5 review: Is the Netflix royal drama still a hit?Nov 9 | 3 min read
The Crown Season 6: What will it cover? Who’s playing Kate and William? All you need to know about final series of the Netflix drama
The Crown’s final series is expected to cover the late 1990s to the early 2000s, concentrating on the Queen's dealings with PM Tony Blair, as well as a blossoming royal romance.
Following the arrival of The Crown Season 5 on Netflix on 9 November, anticipation is already building around The Crown Season 6, which is confirmed to be the final season of the royal drama.
The sixth and final chapter of The Crown will continue to focus on the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II and it will feature the same main cast as in Season 5, along with a few new additions including Kate Middleton, who will appear during her early romance with Prince William.
The prince himself appears at the end of Season 5, but two additional actors have now been cast to play him in his mid-teens and early twenties.
Here, we reveal everything we know so far about The Crown Season 6, including the rumoured release date, the plot and time period it will cover, who’s in the cast, and more.
When is the release date of The Crown Season 6 on Netflix?
Netflix hasn’t confirmed the release date for The Crown Season 6, but judging by release dates of previous seasons including Season 5, we predict it will land on Netflix in November 2023.
Keep this article bookmarked because we’ll update it with the release date when it's announced by Netflix.
The good news is that Season 6 is definitely in the works, and filming began in August 2022.
Although at one point the series was set to end after five seasons (having originally been earmarked for six), the show’s creator Peter Morgan decided to revert to his initial plan and split the final season into two to give greater detail into the show’s storyline. Season 6, however, will be The Crown's final run.
Morgan explained: “As we started to discuss the storylines 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.”
You can stream all five seasons of The Crown on Netflix.
Was The Crown Season 6 filming affected by the death of the Queen?
The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022 puts a different perspective on the existing episodes of The Crown and also the remaining two seasons.
As the media discussed the legacy of the Queen's long reign in the wake of her death, The Crown returned to Netflix's global top 10 as viewers watched - or rewatched - the first four seasons to discover more about Elizabeth II's remarkable 70 years on the throne.
Filming of Season 6 was temporarily suspended on Friday 9 September and again on the day of Her Majesty's funeral, 19 September.
"As a mark of respect, filming on The Crown was suspended today,” a Netflix source told Variety on 9 September. “Filming will also be suspended on the day of Her Majesty The Queen’s funeral.”
The Crown's creator Peter Morgan paid tribute to the late Queen in a brief email revealed by Deadline.
"The Crown is a love letter to her and I’ve nothing to add for now, just silence and respect. I expect we will stop filming out of respect too," he wrote.
It had been thought that the launch of season 5 would be delayed by the Queen's death but Netflix confirmed at its Tudum fan event that the new episodes would premiere on Wednesday 9 November.
What is The Crown season 6 plot? What time period will it cover?
The Crown season 6 is expected to portray royal events from the mid-to-late 1990s to the early 2000s. Each previous installment of The Crown has covered roughly a decade.
Netflix hasn’t released any official information regarding the plot for series 6, but we can speculate based on key events in Queen Elizabeth II’s reign during that time period.
We would expect The Crown season 6 to explore the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, and events that took place after that.
It’s also expected to follow Tony Blair's years in power (1997-2007) and his professional relationship with Queen Elizabeth II following Diana’s death. Politically, the 9/11 terrorist attacks also took place during this period, followed by the War in Iraq.
Other key events include the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002, which celebrated Her Majesty’s 50 years on the throne. On a more sombre note, Queen Elizabeth II faced the deaths of her beloved sister, Princess Margaret, and her mother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, within a few months of each other in that same year.
Will Kate and William, and Meghan and Harry, feature in The Crown Season 6?
Excitement is building around a storyline involving Prince William and Kate Middleton’s early university romance. They both enrolled at the University of St Andrews in September 2003, and their roles have already been cast (more on that later).
Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy is not expected to appear in The Crown season 6, as the couple didn’t start dating until 2004. The series is thought to wrap up before then.
The show’s creator Peter Morgan has confirmed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s romance will not feature in The Crown’s final season. He explained in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
“I just think you get so much more interesting [with time]. 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. 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.”
Since its inception, the actors playing the principal characters in The Crown - notably the Royal Family themselves, as well as politicians and senior courtiers - have changed every two seasons, so the big cast changes will happen for the start of Season 5.
There could, however, be some changes among the younger members of the cast between Seasons 5 and 6. The royal princes, for instance, will be teenagers in Season 5 but adults by the time Season 6 ends. And one now familiar face won't make her first appearance until The Crown is almost over...
The Crown Season 6 full cast list
- Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake, Harry Potter) - Plays Queen Elizabeth II
- Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes, Tomorrow Never Dies) - Plays Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
- Lesley Manville (Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, Mum) - Plays Princess Margaret
- Marcia Warren (Jam & Jerusalem) - Plays Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
- Dominic West (The Wire) - Plays Prince Charles
- Elizabeth Debecki (Tenet, Widows) - Plays Princess Diana
- Rufus Kampa and Ed McVey - Play Prince William
- Will Powel and an older actor TBC - Plays Prince Harry
- Meg Bellamy - Plays Kate Middleton
- Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense, Rushmore) - Plays Camilla Parker Bowles
- Bertie Carvel (Doctor Foster)- Plays Tony Blair
- Lydia Leonard (10 Percent, Flesh and Blood) - Plays Cherie Blair
- Claudia Harrison (The IT Crowd) - Plays the Queen's only daughter, Princess Anne
- James Murray (McDonald & Dodds) - Plays Prince Andrew
- Emma Laird Craig - Plays Prince Andrew's wife, Sarah Ferguson
- Sam Woolf - Plays Queen's youngest child, Prince Edward
- Khalid Abdalla (Moon Knight) - Plays Princess Diana's partner Dodi Fayed
- Salim Dau (Oslo) - Plays Dodi's father Mohammed Al-Fayed
- Andrew Havill (Downton Abbey) - Plays the Queen's private secretary Robert Fellowes
- Harry Anton (Ransom) - Plays Princess Diana's bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones
- Viola Prettejohn (The Witcher) - Plays a young Princess Elizabeth, in flashback scenes
- Beau Gadsdon (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) - Plays a young Princess Margaret, in flashback scenes
- Tristan Gemmill (Coronation Street's Robert Preston) - Role TBC
- Lee Otway (Hollyoaks) - Role TBC
New cast and characters for The Crown season 6
Meg Bellamy - Kate Middleton
Meg Bellamy, 19, will make her professional debut playing Kate Middleton in Season 6 of The Crown. She won the role after submitting a self tape in response to an online casting call made in April 2022.
Entertainment website Deadline Hollywood broke the news of her casting - along with those of the two actors chosen to play Prince William - on 2 September.
Berkshire-based Bellamy's previous experience is in amateur dramatics and school productions and in film-making, and according to The Guardian she was awarded an A* in her Drama A-level at St Crispin's School in Wokingham.
She has also worked as a performer at Legoland Windsor - which overlooks the Queen's own home at Windsor Castle.
The casting call notice revealed that Netflix producers are looking for a “budding young actor” to play 18-year-old Kate Middleton - before she became Catherine, Duchess of Catherine - in Season 6 of The Crown.
The notice read that they were looking for an actor with a "strong physical resemblance" to the young Kate, with photographs of her looking fresh-faced at university for reference.
Rufus Kampa and Ed McVey - Prince William
A casting call posted on social media in March 2022 revealed that Netflix was looking for a young actor to play Prince William aged between 16-21 years old (to cover the young prince’s late teenage years from 1998-2003).
However it seems that the show's producers have opted to cast two Prince Williams in the shape of 16-year-old Rufus Kampa and 21-year-old Ed McVey.
Kampa will play the younger William as he copes with the death of his mother Princess Diana in 1997, while McVey will represent William in young adulthood as he sets off for the University of St Andrews where he met his future wife Kate Middleton.
Kampa's casting comes as a surprise as 14-year-old Senan West - the son of Dominic West, who’s playing Prince Charles - had already been cast to play the teenage William in Season 5.
Kampa has plenty of professional experience, having played the title role in Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole 13 & 3/4s: The Musical in the West End among other off-West End roles.
McVey graduated from Drama Centre London in 2021 and has understudied in the play Camp Siegfried at the city's Old Vic. Most recently he's been working front-of-house at the award-winning West End production of Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, which celebrated his casting on Twitter.
Actor TBC - Prince Harry
In March 2022, a casting call notice revealed that Netflix was on the hunt for a young actor to play Prince Harry aged between 16-20 years old in Season 6 of The Crown.
It’s not yet been revealed who’s been cast in the role.
Vogue.co.uk reports that Will Powell, who plays a younger Prince Harry in The Crown Season 5, has been pictured filming scenes for The Crown Season 6.
Returning characters from season 5
Imelda Staunton - Queen Elizabeth II
Imelda Staunton (who you may recognise as Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter films) will continue her role as Queen Elizabeth II in Season 6 of The Crown.
She's the third (and final) actress to portray Her Majesty in the hit Netflix historical drama, following in the footsteps of Claire Foy in seasons 1 and 2 and Olivia Colman in Seasons 3 and 4.
The Irish-English actress received critical acclaim for her role in the 2004 film Vera Drake, for which she won the BAFTA for Best Actress and picked up an Oscar nomination.
Lesley Manville - Princess Margaret
Lesley Manville will return to play Princess Margaret in Season 6 of The Crown. She took over from Helena Bonham Carter, who played The Queen’s younger sister in Seasons 3 and 4, and Vanessa Kirby, who took on the role in Seasons 1 and 2.
Manville is another acclaimed British actress, with multiple BAFTA and Oscar nominations to her name. She's best known for roles in Phantom Thread, Mum, and Maleficent. More recently, she's appeared in the TV series Save Me, World on Fire and Harlots.
Jonathan Pryce - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Jonathan Pryce will continue to play the role of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in The Crown Season 6. He took over from Tobias Menzies, who played the Duke of Edinburgh in Seasons 3 and 4. Matt Smith played the role in Seasons 1 and 2.
After a long and distinguished career on stage and screen, the Welsh actor earned his first Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Pope Francis on Netflix.
He has also appeared in films including The Wife, Evita, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as TV shows including Game of Thrones and Taboo and West End stage musicals Miss Saigon and My Fair Lady.
Elizabeth Debicki - Princess Diana
Elizabeth Debicki will return as Diana, Princess of Wales, also known as ‘The People’s Princess’. The character was introduced as Lady Diana Spencer in Season 4, played by Emma Corrin.
Australian actress Debicki is known for film and TV roles including The Great Gatsby, Everest, Widows, and The Night Manager.
Dominic West - Prince Charles
Dominic West will return to play Prince Charles, who was introduced to the show in Season 3, played by Josh O'Connor.
The English actor is best known for roles in The Wire and The Affair. More recently, he appeared in the Sky comedy series Brassic as Vinnie's blundering GP.
Aside from his role in The Crown, he recently appeared alongside Lily James in the BBC adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s classic novel The Pursuit of Love.
Olivia Williams - Camilla Parker Bowles
Olivia Williams will return to play Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince Charles's mistress and the "third person" in the marriage that Diana referred to in her interview with Martin Bashir.
Camilla was introduced as Camilla Shand in Season 3 of The Crown, with Killing Eve scribe Emerald Fennell playing her in the role.
Award-winning actress Olivia Williams has appeared in many films and TV shows including Lucky Break, An Education, The Ghost Writer and The Sixth Sense.
Bertie Carvel - Tony Blair
Doctor Foster and The Sister actor Bertie Carvel will return to The Crown for Season 6 in the role of Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Blair was elected to No 10 in May 1997 following a landslide victory for the Labour Party. The series is thought to explore his relationship with The Queen, following the death of Diana just three months later.
It won't be Carvel's first appearance in the Netflix drama - in the Season 2 episode titled Marionettes, the stage and screen actor played broadcaster Robin Day.
Lydia Leonard (Gentleman Jack, Ten Percent) will play the PM's wife, Cherie Blair.
Is there a trailer for The Crown Season 6?
No, there isn’t a trailer for The Crown Season 6 as filming has only just started.
Where is The Crown Season 6 filmed?
Filming for The Crown season 6 commenced in summer 2022, and will continue into May or June 2023.
Who created The Crown?
The Crown was created by British screenwriter and playwright Peter Morgan, who also writes all the episodes of the drama.
He's no stranger to writing about the royals, as he wrote the screenplay for 2006 film The Queen, which starred Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II and Michael Sheen as Prime Minister Tony Blair.
He later wrote the script for the 2013 West End play The Audience, which centered on Queen Elizabeth II's weekly meetings with her Prime Ministers. Helen Mirren reprised her role for the stage productions.
Peter Morgan has revealed that he warns senior officials at Buckingham Palace what he plans to cover in The Crown.
Speaking to The Times, he said he "had meetings four times a year with people who are very high ranking and very active within the organisation”. He said: “Respectfully, I tell them what I have in mind and they brace themselves slightly.”
Will there be more seasons of The Crown?
No, Peter Morgan has confirmed that The Crown Season 6 will be the show’s last.
Watch The Crown if you liked…
Victoria, The Tudors, Outlander, Downton Abbey, The King’s Speech, The Queen.
The Crown season 5 - Read more