“The Crown” on Netflix will come to an end with season 5. Imelda Staunton will Queen Elizabeth II in the last season.
This means that “The Crown” will likely not reach the point of Princess Diana’s death. This past season has been concerned with the 1960s. The next season will cover the 70s. Unless they jump forward, “The Crown” will end in the 1980s, maybe with the marriage of Diana and Charles.
In 2016, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos said in press conferences that “The Crown” would run six seasons, and take Elizabeth from the beginning until now. But that seems to have changed. He said, “The idea is to do this over six decades, in six seasons presumably, and make the whole show over eight to 10 years.”
That idea has changed, and I don’t think it’s because of the cost. When Harry and Meghan’s story blew up, I wrote that they didn’t want to wind up being a season of “The Crown.” A short time later, Harry said something similar. I think it must have dawned on the Palace that “The Crown” would eventually leave the realm of nostalgia and arrive at prickly moments, like Charles and Diana’s divorce, their affairs, her death, and the current situation. Were phone calls made? I wouldn’t doubt it. Plus, if “The Crown” really were to saunter on into the 90s, we’d have “Randy Andy” and Koo Stark, and so many other scandals. Even Netflix couldn’t afford to cast so many people!
The show’s creator, Peter Morgan, has been given a lovely, staged quote for the press release: “At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop,” said Morgan. “I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision.”
Perfect time? I don’t think so. But we’ve learned enough to know that if the Palace says it’s time, it’s time.