Bad news for royalists: The queen’s reign will not last as long as previously expected. Netflix has announced that its sumptuous royal drama The Crown will end in its fifth season, one season shorter than the six-season plan creator Peter Morgan had originally envisioned for the show. According to a statement from Morgan put out by Netflix, this was a creative decision, since “now that we have begun work on the stories for S5 it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop.” Perhaps the series’s extravagant expense was probably a factor as well? In addition to putting out the news of the show’s renewal slash cancellation slash peaceful sunsetting slash whatever you call it in the streaming world nowadays, Netflix also confirmed reports that Imelda Staunton will take over the throne from Olivia Colman as QEII in the show’s fifth season, though of course she will only get to rule for one seasons, as compared to Colman and Claire Foy’s two-season stints as the queen.
The Crown is currently in production on its fourth season, still starring Colman as Elizabeth and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, which would bring the series into the 1980s as all the drama between Charles, Princess Diana (Emma Corrin), and Camilla (the multi-hyphenate Emerald Fennell) heats up. According to Morgan’s statement, Imelda would bring The Crown “into the 21st century” in the fifth season, which seems to imply that the show would end a little after Diana’s death in 1997, which Morgan also covered with Helen Mirren in The Queen. That’s certainly a major event to end your series on, but it’s really too bad that there’s nothing exciting going on with the royal family at the moment that might generate enough story lines for further seasons. No sir. Everything with the royal family is fine.