"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," creator Peter Morgan said

By Erin Hill
July 09, 2020 12:24 PM
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Olivia Colman in The Crown

Queen Elizabeth's reign on Netflix has been extended!

After previously announcing that The Crown will end after the fifth season, creator Peter Morgan has now changed his mind and decided to end the hit series after season six, Netflix announced on Thursday.

“As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, 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," Morgan said. "To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present-day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.”

The extension of the series means that Olivia Colman will now play Queen Elizabeth for an additional season before Imelda Staunton takes over the royal role in the final season.

Imelda Staunton
© 2019 Focus Features, LLC

Back in January, Morgan made the unexpected announcement that The Crown would end after season five.

“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,” Morgan said at the time. “I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision.”

Season six will bring the story up to the early 2000s — long before Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle joined the royal family. It was never the intention to cover the royal family up to the modern era.

In a 2018 interview, Morgan told Entertainment Weekly that the show wouldn’t include Meghan “because it’s too close to the moment.”

“I feel uncomfortable writing about events within a certain time period,” he said.

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle

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“Let’s wait twenty years and see what there is to say about Meghan Markle,” Morgan added. “I don’t know what there is to say about Meghan Markle at the moment. I wouldn’t know and I wouldn’t presume. She’ll only become interesting once we’ve had twenty years to digest who she is and what her impact has been. If I were to write about Meghan Markle I would automatically be writing journalistically. I’ve got nothing to say about Meghan Markle.”

The Crown‘s fourth season is set to premiere later this year, as production wrapped before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down TV production in the U.K.