The Crown season 6: release date, official trailer, cast, plot synopsis, and more

 Queen Elizabeth II sits in a dark room in The Crown season 6.
Queen Elizabeth II sits in a dark room in The Crown season 6.

The Crown season 6: key information

- Final season in the hit Netflix show's run
- Releasing in two parts
- Volume 1 debuts in mid-November; Volume 2 in December
- Trailer unveiled in late October
- Key cast members set to return
- Will focus on events taking place in the late 1990s and early 2000s
- Set to dramatize Princess Diana's death in August 1997
- Potential spin-off movies and TV specials have apparently been discussed

The Crown season 6 is set to give Netflix's award-winning drama series a right royal send-off. The popular TV show, which is a fictionalized take on the British royal family, will end before 2023 is over – indeed, its sixth and final installment, which is coming in two parts, will debut on the streaming giant this month and in December respectively.

That might be for the best, too. Season 5 of The Crown proved to be a controversial one and, with the late Queen Elizabeth II passing away in September 2022, there isn't much more scandal-based ground for Netflix to cover regarding her history-making reign. Even so, there's plenty left for one of the best Netflix shows to cover from the late 1990s, not least chronicling the death of Princess Diana, so fans can immerse themselves in more juicy royal drama before The Crown's sixth season arrives on the world's best streaming service.

Below, we'll run you through this season's most important details, too, including its two launch dates, cast news, story specifics, and more. Before The Crown returns, be sure to watch one of these seven regal dramas to pass the time. Full spoilers follow for The Crown seasons one through five first five seasons.

The Crown season 6 release date

The Crown season 6's dual release dates were revealed in late October. Season 6 part 1 will arrive on Thursday, November 16, with season 6 part 2 arriving almost one month later on Thursday, December 14.

Previous seasons of The Crown were known for launching in November, so the forthcoming release of part 1 is royally fitting for its last hurrah. There's previous form for a December release, too, though, with The Crown season 2 debuting on Netflix in the final month of 2017. Both launch dates, then, won't come as a surprise to viewers.

The Crown season 6 trailer

The Crown season 6's official trailer was released on October 27. Unsurprisingly, it largely focuses on Princess Diana, who struggles to find a balance between her public and private lives. Indeed, her inability to escape the overwhelming press intrusion in her private life – her failed marriage to Prince Charles, burgeoning romance with Dodi Fayed, and lack of family time with her sons William and Harry – is never-ending, and eventually ends in tragic circumstances following her avoidable death in August 1997.

We get glimpses of the fallout from that shocking event, too, with Queen Elizabeth II forced to lead the United Kingdom's grief-stricken population through one of its most recent dark days. Part 1 will also center on the public backlash that followed, with people beginning to turn their backs on the British royals amid conspiracy theories built around their alleged involvement in Diana's death. In short: expect a somber and then emotionally fiery first part to season 6.

The Crown season 6 cast

Kate and William smile and walk hand in hand in The Crown season 6
Kate and William smile and walk hand in hand in The Crown season 6

Potential spoilers follow for The Crown season 6.

Here are the main cast members returning from season 5, or who make their debuts in season 6:

  • Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II

  • Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana

  • Jonathan Pryce as Prince Phillip

  • Dominic West as Prince Charles

  • Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles

  • Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret

  • Khalid Abdalla as Dodi Fayed

  • Salim Daw as Mohamed Al-Fayed

  • Bertie Carvel as Tony Blair

  • Lydia Leonard as Cherie Blair

  • Marcia Warren as Queen Elizabeth/The Queen Mother

  • Andrew Havill as Robert Fellowes

  • Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne

  • James Murray as Prince Andrew

  • Sam Woolf as Prince Edward

  • Ed McVey as Prince William

  • Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton

  • Luther Ford as Prince Harry

  • Richard Rycroft as George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury

As well as the aforementioned group, we'll see younger versions of Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Prince William, and Prince Harry. They'll be played by Viola Prettejohn, Beau Gadsdon, Rufus Kampa, and Will Powell.

Per a report from UK newspaper The Sun, there'll also be cameo appearances from Claire Foy and Olivia Colman. This duo played Queen Elizabeth II at various stages of her life in previous seasons, so it's possible they'll return for a flashback scene or two each, especially if The Crown ends up paying tribute to the late monarch in its final episode.

The Crown season 6 story

Dodi Fayed and Princess Diana smile as they look at each other in The Crown season 6
Dodi Fayed and Princess Diana smile as they look at each other in The Crown season 6

Full spoilers follow for The Crown seasons 5 and 6.

Here's the official (and lengthy!) story synopsis for The Crown season 6 part, courtesy of Netflix: "In their first summer as a divorced couple, Prince Charles and Princess Diana share very different holidays with their sons. Diana is being courted by the Fayeds in the South of France, giving the young Princes a taste of luxury yachts, video games, and movie nights. Charles is sticking to tradition in Balmoral. The comparisons play out in the press, fuelled by a fervent paparazzi, and some of the Royal press team.

"As yacht life and the constant media scrutiny lose their appeal, Diana longs to return to see her boys, who are back in Balmoral. A diversion to Paris sees matters come to a head - against the backdrop of an intensified and aggressive media pursuit. After the news breaks of Diana and Dodi’s fatal car accident, a vast outpouring of public grief catches the Queen off-guard. With shockwaves resonating through the Palace, Mohamed Al Fayed is also processing the loss of his cherished son. Hoping that the news will bring him and the Royal Family together in shared grief; he instead finds himself increasingly shunned."

William, Charles, and Harry share a fun-filled moment in The Crown season 6
William, Charles, and Harry share a fun-filled moment in The Crown season 6

As the late Queen Elizabeth II said: "History was not made by those who did nothing." And, when it comes to the British monarchy, there’s a plethora of events The Crown has to cover. When it comes to the series' timeline, don't expect season 6 to contain anything from the past few years. As executive producer Suzanne Mackie told the Press Association (via UK newspaper The Daily Express) in 2020: "I doubt we’ll ever go as far into the present day."

So, where will the sixth season end? As the tweet below teases, Netflix's successful series could wrap up with the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. Or, at the very least, depict events surrounding the big day, which took place in April 2005. Other notable events taking place between 1997 and 2005 include Diana’s death, Prince Edward’s marriage to Sophie Wessex, and the deaths of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother.

Then there’s Tony Blair (and New Labour by proxy) being elected into office in 1997 and the former Prime Minister's time as the UK's political head. His 10-year stint in 10 Downing Street encompassed some of the 21st century's biggest historical moments, such as the September 11, 2001 attacks and the start of the second Iraq War.

In April, Netflix also shared a first look at young Prince William and Kate Middleton. Their romance began at the University of St Andrews, where they met while studying in 2001. Speaking on an episode of The Crown: The Official Podcast, creator Peter Morgan said: "In season 6, the arrival of William and Kate and Harry just blows the doors off… You want to see them. It happened in the read through. You could just see everyone was looking up and looking at each other across the room. And every time William spoke, it was like, ‘oh my God, this is just riveting.'"

The Crown season 6 won't just focus on the elder members of the royal family, then. We'll start to see a changing of a guard happening as the family's younger members, including Prince Harry, start to take center stage. How will this all be factored into season 6's 10-episode run? We're unsure, but viewers who have enjoyed what the previous five installments have offered will find plenty to chat about once it airs.

Where to watch The Crown's first five seasons

Princess Diana sits alone on a yacht's diving board in The Crown season 6
Princess Diana sits alone on a yacht's diving board in The Crown season 6

Netflix is home to a variety of megahit original shows, of which The Crown is one. Seasons 1 through 5 are exclusively available to stream on the streaming titan right now, with the sixth season doing likewise whenever it arrives.

What does the future hold for The Crown?

Prince Phillips sits down as he looks at someone off-camera in The Crown season 6
Prince Phillips sits down as he looks at someone off-camera in The Crown season 6

The Crown’s season 6 marks the end of the series, but there's been speculation it could continue as a series of spin-off films. Although currently unconfirmed by Netflix, an unnamed source told The Sun that there’s been talk of movies and a series of specials that may address different stories set across the breadth of the British monarchy’s rich history.

If Netflix wants to capitalize on the massive success it's enjoyed with the Meghan Markle-fronted Suits TV show, and/or its exclusive deal with Markle and Prince Harry's production company, it could look to retell the duo's divisive and public exit from the British royal family. Of course, given Netflix's close ties to the power couple, it would have to be done in a tasteful manner that the pair would be happy to sign off on.

As we mentioned, there's plenty more history that Netflix could pull from, but we'll be here all day if we start listing more ideas. For now, The Crown season 6 is coming soon. And, as season 5 secured a place in our best TV shows of 2022, its successor could nestle its way into our list for 2023.

For more Netflix coverage, read our guides on the best Netflix movies, best Netflix documentaries, everything we know about Stranger Things season 5, and what's the latest on The Lincoln Lawyer season 3.