The Crown season 6: Everything we know so far

Elizabeth Debicki in The Crown season 5
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Crown's reign at Netflix is almost over. The Crown season 6 will be the final chapter of the award-winning royal family drama. 

Imelda Staunton is returning as Queen Elizabeth II, as is Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana and Dominic West as Prince Charles. Actors have been cast to play the teen and young adult versions of Prince William, while the search is still on for Prince Harry. And get ready for the on-screen introduction of Kate Middleton, William's eventual wife. 

The Crown season 6 should pick up right after the events of the fifth season, as the tragic death of Princess Diana looms. It should cover at least the following five years, likely covering the passing of two other key members of the royal family. 

While fans may want to see a fictionalized portrayal of more recent events (including the death of the real-life queen), creator Peter Morgan has adamantly stated The Crown season 6 is the end of one of the best Netflix shows.

Here's everything we know so far about The Crown season 6.

The Crown season 6 release date speculation

Netflix hasn't revealed The Crown season 6's release date, but we can speculate based on the show's history.

Four of five seasons of The Crown premiered in November (season 2 dropped in the month of December). So, The Crown season 6 will almost certainly follow suit and premiere in the November. The question is, which year? 

Seasons 4 and 5 were separated by a gap of two years, but other installments have come just a year after the previous one. So, 2023 is a very real possibility. Additionally, filming already began in August (though production went on a brief hiatus to honor the late queen). 

Our guess is that The Crown season 6 will be released November 2023. 

The Crown season 6 cast

The Crown has changed its cast every two seasons. Ahead of season 5, a big swap brought in new actors and they will stay on for season 6. 

Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip wearing kilts and Scottish regalia in The Crown season 5

(Image credit: Netflix)

Returning cast members include:

  • Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II
  • Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Elizabeth's husband and consort
  • Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales
  • Dominic West as Prince Charles, heir to the throne and Elizabeth's eldest child
  • Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker-Bowles, Charles' paramour
  • Khalid Abdalla as Dodi Fayed, Diana's paramour
  • Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Elizabeth's younger sister
  • Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne, Elizabeth's second-eldest child and only daughter
  • Theo Fraser Steele as Timothy Laurence, Anne's second husband
  • Marcia Warren as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
  • Natascha McElhone as Penny Knatchbull, Lady Romsey
  • Bertie Carvel as Tony Blair, prime minister from 1997-2007
  • Lydia Leonard as Cherie Blair, Tony's wife

As far as new faces, The Crown season 6 has cast Rufus Kampa to play 15-year-old Prince William, with Ed McVey taking over for William's early adult years. Meg Bellamy is set to take on the role of Kate Middleton, who later marries Prince William. 

Casting is still looking for actors to portray Prince Harry. 

The Crown season 6 time period and plot

The Crown season 6 is almost certain to pick up either just before or during the aftermath of Princess Diana's death on August 31, 1997. The Crown season 5 finale ends just a few weeks before, with an eerily prescient scene of Diana in a car fleeing from paparazzi. 

Diana's death prompted mourning worldwide. The royal family's seeming lack of response generated a wave of criticism (which Peter Morgan covered in detail in the script to 2006 movie The Queen). 

We're likely to see some of Diana's funeral, including the procession in which her young sons Prince William and Prince Harry walked. 

After that, The Crown season 6 is expected to run up to the year 2002, which saw the Queen Mother's and Princess Margaret's deaths. It was also the year of the Queen's Golden Jubilee, which would bring the show full circle from season 1's coronation.

We know that at least it'll get to 2001, which is when Prince William enters St Andrews University and meets future wife Kate Middleton. 

Since Morgan has previously said the show will not cover recent events, it's unlikely that fans will get a fictionalized portrayal of the wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, their subsequent exit from the royal family, Prince Philip's death or the queen's death. 

As far as other major events, season 6 could depict the 1999 wedding between Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones, the panic over the turn of the millennium, the 2000 Olympics in Australia, fuel protests in the U.K. the same year, 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan.

Next: I finally started The Crown on Netflix — and I'm kicking myself for waiting. And these are the 7 best Netflix shows you are not watching. Plus, here is everything we know so far about Welcome to Wrexham season 2.

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.