The Crown: cancelled before its time?

Film editor Lucy Lillystone discusses the sudden announcement that Netflix's The Crown will end after its fifth season

Lucy Lillystone
17th February 2020
Credit; IMDb
Netflix's royal series following Queen Elizabeth II and her family through history has just recently come back with a season 3 and yet, despite the success of the show, it has been confirmed that the show will end after season 5.

As they say, all good things must come to an end...however, that hasn't stopped me from feeling devastated and a little bit angry. It's not like there's a shortage of plot!? Or brilliant actresses like Olivia Colman out there willing to portray her royal highness.

This news comes with a bit of a shock after the announcement that the upcoming seasons will feature much anticipated Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister and actress Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in the final season. Showrunner Peter Morgan also spoke of how "at the outset, I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons." But after working on season five, "it became clear that this is the perfect time and place to stop." Originally, the show was going to follow Queen Elizabeth from age 29 to, presumably, the current day meaning six decades and six seasons which is most likely why the news caught many fans off-guard.

Season four will start around 1977 and will follow through until the beginnings of the 90s with the final series most likely going to cover the fire at Windsor Castle, Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York's divorce, Prince Charles and Princess Diana's divorce and the death of Diana. With the announcement, fans have predicted the show will thus end with the death of Diana, avoiding the conspiracy surrounding her death.

Perhaps the cancellation is a means of avoiding the portrayal of the royal family in a light Queen Elizabeth II wishes to avoid.

The revelation also means that The Crown will not cover the current royal family drama surrounding Megxit (the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) as fans of the show had hoped. Some had even suggested Meghan Markle playing herself which would be quite funny in itself. This, alongside the recent scandal surrounding the news of Prince Andrew and his relationship with the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, perhaps the cancellation is a means of avoiding the portrayal of the royal family in a light Queen Elizabeth II wishes to avoid. That's not stopped the show before though with the recent episode on the disaster at Aberfan in which we see the delayed reaction of the queen toward visiting Aberfan and offering her condolences and the cruel treatment of Her Royal Highness toward Prince Charles in sending him to Wales.

Credit; IMDb

What is quite ironic, however, is that in the previous season, we saw Queen Elizabeth destroy tapes from when the BBC followed the royal family round, capturing the day to day life of the royals because of how the Queen was portrayed. Perhaps, this is why the show has been cancelled so soon due to the paranoia of showing such scandalous content that Her Royal Highness will not approve of. This theory comes from the support The Crown has received in the past from the royal family themselves.

So, whether The Crown has been cancelled too soon or whether it is for the better, we'll soon see but I for one am excited to see the portrayal of Margaret Thatcher and the journey of Queen Elizabeth II and her family in these two final seasons. Maybe in the future, someone else will come along and visit the chapters of the royal's history The Crown dares not to touch upon. You never know.
Credit: Netflix trailers, YouTube
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AUTHOR: Lucy Lillystone
English Language and Literature graduate, writer and Film Editor 2019/20. Passionate about film, TV and books. 99.9% of my articles are me crying, emotional over my love for my favourite characters. Twitter: @lucylillystone_

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