All good things must come to an end. It’s an idiom that we know well. It also applies to the series that have captured our hearts, our attention, and our interest over the years. For The Crown, the series focused on the reign of Queen Elizabeth II that was created by Peter Morgan, that end is now.
The sixth and final season of The Crown is now streaming on Netflix. It was a season released in two halves. The first four episodes released in November, focusing on the final days of Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) and culminating with the crash that took her life. It was a stirring and at times emotional first blush of the final season.
The last six episodes, released last week, focus on how her family moves forward. We see how the Queen (Imelda Staunton) and her husband (Jonathan Pryce) grapple with mortality, the future and their legacy. We see how Prince Charles (Dominic West) tries to move forward as a father, hoping to find love and happiness again. But mostly, we see how her sons, William (Edward McVey) and Harry (Luther Ford) move forward.
The series carries into the early 2000s, ending as the Queen turns 80 years old. We know there is more to the story, but this is where our journey in Morgan’s series comes to an end.
The Final Season and the Legacy of The Crown
The Crown has been a popular and well-reviewed series since it debuted in 2016. It is an interesting take on the story, capturing 50 or so years of Elizabeth’s life, portraying the figure in three distinct times periods with three sets of casts. From its first season, I’ve been taken with the show.
In fact, the first two seasons with Claire Foy landed it among my favorite shows on the air. It seemed to have a great interest in the humanity and achievements of its subject that drew you in. Even the middle seasons, where the part of the Queen was taken on by Olivia Coleman, had a distinct focus on Elizabeth and her work. By contrast, perhaps by necessity, it’s often felt like these last two seasons made the Queen more of a supporting character. I couldn’t help but reflect on that even more as we see Foy and Coleman return in the finale as the current version of the Queen speaks to her younger self.
This final season in particular put the focus on Charles, Diana and William. To some extent that makes sense given how much those three captured the interest of the world and continue to capture the interest of the world. But as a season of television, it didn’t feel as strong as previous seasons.
I enjoyed the performances from Debicki and West, particularly in the first half of the season. But the second half felt a bit dry. The best episode in that group is arguably the finale. While the show spends plenty of time with William and Harry, the story built around them in those episodes doesn’t quite work for me. Still, it’s a solid end to the series that carries the legacy on toward the next generation.
In the end, I’m grateful for this journey with The Crown. We saw some wonderful performances and storytelling over its six seasons and 60 episodes. It’s worth your time to check out and to finish, especially if you’ve been on this journey over the past seven years.