As the Netflix juggernaut The Crown draws to a close, fans are eager for news about its sixth and final season.
Since its debut in 2016, this historical drama explored the various eras of Queen Elizabeth II's life and reign.
As the Netflix darling prepares to revisit events of more recent memory, it does so against the backdrop of the Queen's 2022 passing, as well as the early days of King Charles III's reign and ongoing royal family drama.
When Is The Crown's Season 6 Releasing?
The next season of The Crown is set to release in the fall of 2023.
Filming began in September 2022 but was suspended for a time due to Queen Elizabeth II's death that same month.
Who's Cast in The Crown Season 6?
As Season 6 picks up in the same year that Season 5 left off, the bulk of the cast is set to return, including Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana.
Season 6 will also introduce several new stars, as well as back a few familiar favorites.
Claire Foy - Queen Elizabeth II (Young)
After playing the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II for the show's first two seasons and to much acclaim, Foy is reported to reprise her role in a tribute to the late Queen.
Olivia Colman - Queen Elizabeth II (Middle-Aged)
Imelda Staunton - Queen Elizabeth II
Season 6 is the second and final season for Imelda Staunton as the older Queen Elizabeth.
Unlike Foy and Colman before her, Staunton was tasked with portraying the queen at an age where the public best knew her and in comparison to Helen Mirren's performance from 2006's The Queen.
Elizabeth Debicki - Princess Diana
Actress Elizabeth Debicki stunned audiences with her Season 5 performance as Princess Diana.
Not only did the actress resemble the iconic royal, but Debicki managed to capture her voice and mannerisms in a way that royal biographer Andrew Morton described as "unnervingly accurate."
Dominic West - Prince Charles
Like both Imelda Staunton and Elizabeth Debicki, Dominic West is set to continue his tenure as a middle-aged Prince Charles into Season 6.
West's upcoming performance is particularly noteworthy given Charles III was officially crowned in May of this year.
Rufus Kampa - Prince William (Teenage)
For Season 6, The Crown cast two different actors to play Prince William with Kampa portraying him at 15 years old amidst the death of his mother.
Ed McVey - Prince William (College-Aged)
Later in the season, McVey will play a college-aged Prince William who meets Kate Middleton, his future wife and the future Princess of Wales.
Meg Bellamy - Catherine Middleton
Fellow newcomer Meg Bellamy is confirmed to play Kate Middleton and Prince William's romantic interest.
Bellamy's role is important for several reasons. Along with being the first to play Kate for The Crown, in real-life, Princess Kate just became the Princess of Wales (the same title and position once held by Princess Diana).
Jonathan Pryce - Prince Phillip
Much like Imelda Staunton, Pryce is the third and likely last actor to play Prince Phillip, Queen Elizabeth II's husband, in The Crown.
Olivia Williams - Camilla Parker Bowles
Another star whose role is expected to garner more attention is Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles, King Charles III's former mistress, his current wife, and the newly crowned Queen.
Like Elizabeth Debicki, Williams bears a striking resemblance to Camilla and Season 6 is her second go at the role.
What Events Will Be in The Crown Season 6?
Season 6 is expected to pick up in 1997 in the final months of Princess Diana's life.
In fact, Deadline reported that The Crown's final season will recreate the moments leading up to her death in Paris. However, the crash itself is not expected to be filmed.
While The Crown has been widely successful and critically acclaimed, it's also wildly controversial.
The show's commitment to authenticity yet penchant for creative liberties in depictions of real-life members of the royal family has generated considerable backlash, especially as recent seasons approach more modern-day events.
Upon news of Season 5's content and in light of Queen Elizabeth II's death, actress Judi Dench wrote in London's The Times that The Crown has "resisted all calls for them to carry a disclaimer at the start of each episode," and called for Netflix "to reconsider - for the sake of a family and a nation so recently bereaved..."
While the streamer conceded and added such a disclaimer to the show's website and Season 5 trailer, there are concerns about how Season 6 will retell the events surrounding Princess Diana's death, especially since her two sons are still living and her former husband is now king.
In regard to filming this sensitive event, a source on The Crown's production claimed, "We’ve been dreading getting to this point,” noting the "bombshell sensitivity surrounding this one.”
But in defense of the series, Elizabeth Debicki claimed The Crown's creators "do their utmost" to "handle everything with such sensitivity and truth...:"
"I'll say that Peter and the entire crew of this job do their utmost to really handle everything with such sensitivity and truth and complexity, as do actors," she said. "The amount of research and care and conversations and dialogue that happen over, from a viewer's perspective, something probably that you would never ever notice is just immense. From that very first meeting [with] Peter, I knew that I'd entered into this space where this was taken seriously [in] a deeply caring way. So that's my experience of the show."
There's also the question of how The Crown will present the Queen's controversial response to Diana's passing, given that the showrunner Peter Morgan has already done so with Helen Mirren in The Queen.
In addition, as previously noted, Season 6 is confirmed to explore more of Prince William's life than before given that he is the future of the monarchy.
Is The Crown Season 6 the Final Season?
Yes. Season 6 of The Crown is the series' last.
However, there have been discussions about a prequel series that would begin with Queen Victoria's death in 1901 and end where The Crown first began.
This particular period is rich with storytelling potential given that it spans the reign of four kings, including the abdication crisis of Edward VIII allowing for Queen Elizabeth II's future reign.
If these discussions are ongoing, fans should expect to hear more in the coming months.
What Year Will Season 6 of The Crown Take Place?
While Season 5 spanned 1991 to 1997, Season 6 is expected to pick up in 1997 and conclude in the early 2000s.
Season 6 of The Crown is expected to drop on Netflix in Fall 2023.