Listen up The Crown fans: you might still be enjoying season five right now, but you still have another season to look forward to.
The upcoming instalment, season six, will be set in the Noughties and start around 1998 and end in 2005, following the late Princess Diana's death.
Despite the penultimate season (five) having recently aired on Netflix, it sounds like there's even more to anticipate with the sixth and final chapter.
What's more, the sixth series is believed to explore Prince William and Kate Middleton's blossoming romance, which occurred while attending the University of St Andrews in Scotland. However, it's been confirmed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's romance will not be written into the script.
Other key events covered may include Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee celebration.
Here's everything you need to know about The Crown season six:
What's the plot in season six of The Crown?
Season six will explore the end of the 1990s and early 2000s.
It was initially believed that the final instalment wouldn't feature Prince William and Kate Middleton's love story, and instead focus on public affairs involving prime ministers John Major (1990-97) and Tony Blair (1997-2007).
However, we've learned the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's early relationship in the series will be featured.
Prince Harry's former girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, spent much time on the London club scene in the early Noughties, too, yet it's not known whether an actor will be cast to play her.
Royals aside, the 9/11 terrorist attacks also took place during this period.
It's also believed that The Crown season six will depict the tragedy following Princess Diana's death.
A source told Deadline that there was a feeling of 'anxiety behind the scenes' ahead of filming such a tragic moment. 'We've been dreading getting to this point,' the source told the publication. 'The countdown is two weeks and while we're calmly carrying on, it's fair to acknowledge that there's a certain anxiety, a palpable sense of being slightly on the edge. I mean, there's bombshell sensitivity surrounding this one.'
It's important to note that it's likely the writers will focus on the events leading up to the late royal's death and the aftermath, rather than showing any depiction of the car crash.
New photos have emerged from the season six set which also seem to suggest that there will be a Spice Girls storyline included in the show. As per reports on E! an unnamed actress dressed in Geri Halliwell's iconic Union Jack outfit was spotted filming scenes at Winchester Cathedral on the same day as Dominic West, who plays Prince Charles.
Random? Not entirely... In 1997, the Spice Girls met Prince Charles at a concert in Manchester – where Halliwell and Mel B plan went against royal protocol by planting a series of kisses on his face, while wearing red lipstick. It was a truly scandalous moment that has gone down in history as the most famous example of celebrities breaching royal protocol.
Halliwell was also accused of pinching the royal's bottom, but has since denied this and said she only gave it 'a pat'. We can't wait to see this one play out on-screen!
Has filming started for season six of The Crown?
Filming is underway for The Crown season six, so we are waiting to see photos from the set of the show over the coming months.
When will The Crown season six be released?
Netflix hasn't confirmed when season six will arrive on our screens, but if we are to go by previous release dates, we expect the series to be released around November 2023.
Of course, that might change given filming for season season six was put on hold following the Queen's death in September 2022.
Morgan explained his decision to pause filming during a chat with Deadline, noting: '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.'
When The Crown first began filming in 2016, director Stephen Daldry suggested that there were plans in place if and when the Queen passed, stating (via Deadline): 'None of us know when that time will come but it would be right and proper to show respect to the Queen. It would be a simple tribute and a mark of respect. She's a global figure and it's what we should do.'
With that in mind, it's possible season six of The Crown could air in December 2023, or early 2024.
Who will star in season six of The Crown?
Rufus Kampa will star as a 15-year-old Prince William and Ed McVey will play the Duke during his late teens and early adult years. Meanwhile Meg Bellamy will take on the role of Middleton.
In September 2022 Deadline reported that after a thorough casting process, The Crown had cast Prince William and Middleton for season six.
Kampa will depict Prince William as he battles with grief following the death of his mother Princess Diana, and Ed McVey will play out the period when he courted Middleton at The University of St Andrews, where they both attended, in 2001.
It will be all three actors' on-screen debut.
Bellamy won the role of Middleton after submitting a self tape following an online casting call made in April 2022. It announced the series was looking for a 'budding young actor' to play Middleton before she became the Duchess of Cambridge and highlighted The Crown was seeking someone with a 'strong physical resemblance' to Middleton.
But, as was the case for Prince William, no acting experience was needed.
According to The Guardian, Berkshire-based Bellamy received an A* in her Drama A-level at St Crispin's School in Wokingham.
A source previously told The Sun, the show was hoping to find an actor who can play Middleton so they can portray her and Prince William's burgeoning romance at university.
They said: 'Having the Duchess of Cambridge is an easy win for The Crown, as it will get more people watching.
'But since she's not a crucial part of the storyline, Kate's presence is a bonus. They'll only cast her if they can find the right candidate.'
This followed the news that the casting call for Prince William and Prince Harry was 'significant', hinting that there could be storylines around the young princes' lives in the Nineties and early Noughties era.
The role of Prince Harry, however, is yet to be announced. The series put out a call for a young actor to play him aged 16-20 years old, so we'll watch this space.
Show creator Peter Morgan previously confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s romance will not be featured in the final season.
He said: '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.'
Imelda Staunton, the third actor to play Queen Elizabeth II, will reprise her role in the final season. The BAFTA-winning an Oscar-nominated English-Irish actor played Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films.
Other returning actors include Lesley Manville (Princess Margaret), Jonathan Pryce (Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh), Elizabeth Debicki (Princess Diana), Dominic West (Prince Charles), Olivia Williams (Camilla Parker Bowles) and Bertie Carvel (Tony Blair).
Season five sees Dominic West's son, Senan West, 14, play Prince William.
The last few seasons of The Crown have featured the likes of Claire Foy and Olivia Colman, who played the Queen, Vanessa Kirby and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret and Matt Smith and Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip.
The last season saw breakout star Emma Corrin play Princess Diana, with Elizabeth Debicki taking her place in season five.
What have people said about season six of The Crown?
The series' creator Peter Morgan at one point decided against a sixth season of the popular biographical drama, so we were pleased to learn that he had a change of heart.
'As we started to discuss the storylines for series five, 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,' he said in a statement, per Variety.
He previously said in January 2020: 'At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season 5 it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop. I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision.'
There has been talk of the timeline of The Crown season six being a little too close to the present day. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Helena Bonham Carter, who played Princess Margaret in seasons three and four of The Crown, weighed in on the upcoming series – saying she doesn't think it should continue.
'I should be careful here... but I don’t think they should carry on, actually,' said the actress. 'I’m in it and I loved my episodes, but it’s very different now. When The Crown started it was a historic drama, and now it’s crashed into the present. But that’s up to them.'
What have the royal family said about season six of The Crown?
Predictably, the royal family have kept pretty schtum about The Crown overall – and are yet to make any public comments about the upcoming sixth season. Prince Harry, however, recently admitted to watching the hit Netflix show while on a press tour for his just-released memoir Spare.
The Prince appeared in an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on January 10, in which Colbert asked whether The Crown was a show that Harry has 'binged' lately and added that he 'had to have watched some' at the very least.
Prince Harry replied: 'Yes, I have watched some of The Crown' and went on to confirm that he has watched both 'the older stuff and the more recent stuff.'
When asked whether he 'fact-checks' The Crown while watching it, Prince Harry admitted that he does: 'Yes, I do actually,' he laughed. 'Which, by the way, is another reason why it’s so important that history has it right.'
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