Throughout its five-season run, The Crown has proven to be one of Netflix's most popular shows, as well as one of the most controversial due to its mix of fact, fiction, and connections to a real-world family.
Not only does Season 6 stand apart in that it's The Crown's final season, but it's the first to wrap after Queen Elizabeth II's passing, it involves recent events both tragic and relevant to the royal family, and it is expected to drop amidst two industry strikes and a slew of subsequent delays.
The Crown Season 6 Receives Release Update
Netflix posted a photo of a royal wedding invitation on X (formerly known as Twitter), as well as confirmation that The Crown Season 6 arrives "later this year:"
"After six seasons, seven years and three casts, 'The Crown' comes to an end later this year. Here’s a hint at what’s to come in our final season."
While The Crown's sixth season has held a late 2023 release for some time, Netflix is expected to delay its upcoming slate due to the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes and to accommodate for the upcoming gap in content.
The fact that Netflix just reconfirmed the show's 2023 debut is notable and suggests The Crown will be spared a reschedule.
Still, that doesn't mean the series final season won't be completely unscathed by the current state of the industry.
Due to SAG-AFTRA rules, The Crown's latest cast won't be able to promote the season while the strikes are ongoing and despite the expected interest in Season 6's content.
For instance, the new season is confirmed to cover the devastating death of Princess Diana played by Elizabeth Debicki, as well as the early relationship of Prince William, portrayed by Ed McVey, and the now Catherine, Princess of Wales, played by Meg Bellamy.
And, as Netflix revealed in its update, Season 6 involves the 2005 wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla mere months after the two ascended to the throne in real life.
Should Netflix Delay The Crown?
While fans of The Crown are surely relieved that the series final season is sticking to its release date, not everyone feels the same.
Apart from Season 5's portrayal of Princess Diana and Prince Charles' broken relationship and the media "War of the Waleses," Season 6 is likely to be the most painful for the royals and many have questioned the decision to recreate Diana's death on-screen despite Netflix's claim of a "delicately, thoughtfully" recreation.
There are also concerns that the season will damage fans' opinions of King Charles and Queen Camilla, who only just wrapped the first year of their reign.
Another wildcard is Prince Harry, who actually has a contract with Netflix in real life, and who will be portrayed in The Crown's sixth season amidst his and Megan Markle's public division with the royal family.
Still, The Crown is no stranger to backlash; and, since the series is an established hit, perhaps Netflix doesn't feel promotion from its stars is necessary?
It's also worth noting that The Crown has an established tradition of releasing in either November or December. Plus, in 2022, reports suggested a prequel spin-off series may already be in the works and which follows the four kings who reigned prior to Queen Elizabeth II's ascension.
If true, it will be interesting to see if those early plans survive the strike.
In the meantime, the question now is which other Netflix projects will join The Crown in keeping their release dates and which ones will the streamer choose to bump to 2024.
Season 6 of The Crown arrives on Netflix later this year.