A star-studded crowd came out to celebrate the ending of The Crown at a premiere in London.
Emma Corrin, who played Diana, Princess of Wales in season four, and Elizabeth Debicki, who took on the role in seasons five and six, joined The Crown finale celebration at Royal Festival Hall, on London’s South Bank, on Tuesday night.
The black-tie event included a screening of the last episode in the sixth and final season of Netflix’s hit show about the Royal family.
A montage of the previous five seasons, as well as glimpses of the first part of the sixth and final season, was played to the audience, accompanied by a 72-musician orchestra.
It brings an end to the second instalment of the last series, which depicts the Royal family coming to terms with the death of Princess Diana, as well as events including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and Prince William’s time at Eton.
Netflix also said the drama charts “the beginnings of a new Royal fairytale in William and Kate”, including re-creating the “knockout” moment when she caught the young Prince’s eye in a see-through dress at a student fashion show at St Andrew’s University.
The final six episodes of the award-winning show, which will be released on Dec 14, explores the progression of Charles and Camilla’s relationship and ends on the “uplifting” note of their marriage in 2005.
Series six was released in two parts, with the first four episodes premiering in November and focusing on the blossoming relationship between Diana and Dodi Fayed and the “devastating consequences” of their deaths.
The final episode, titled Sleep, Deary, Sleep, was described by production insiders as “a love letter to the late Queen”.
Speaking ahead of the screening, creator Peter Morgan said he had “mixed emotions” that the series had come to an end but felt the premiere at Royal Festival Hall was a fitting send-off.
“I’m excited to have a wonderful holiday at Christmas,” he quipped, in a nod to the decade of work he has put into The Crown.
Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s chief content officer, said it was a “groundbreaking show that will forever leave a mark on the television landscape”. She praised the “reflective” and “poignant” depiction of events over the last six series, saying: “It’s a series fit for a Queen, or maybe even three.”
The entire cast of season six was welcomed onto the stage ahead of the episode screening, to great audience fanfare. A short Q&A ahead of the final episode was hosted by The Crown Podcast.
Imelda Staunton, who played the late Queen, said it had been “extraordinary” to be part of the series, and mused whether the change of cast seen in The Crown would ever be done as successfully again.
Elizabeth Debicki, who portrays Princess Diana, said: “It’s been a profound privilege, an enormous privilege to play this character and to be trusted with her.
“It has taught me so much as a human being and so much as an actor…the challenge is so enormous that you really learn how to do your craft while you make this show. I’m just so proud to be a part of this cast and this show, it’s just been a joy.”
Khalid Abdalla, who plays Dodi Fayed, said his character was mourned “for the first time” through The Crown, saying: “I can’t tell you, with the world as it is right now, what that means to me and to my people.”
Ed McVey, who plays Prince William, said the experience had been “overwhelming” but that he had learned from the “titans” working with him.
Newcomer Luther Ford, who stars as Prince Harry, said: “There can be a lot of tension and jealousy between brothers, but there’s also love.”