Entertainment

What does the Queen’s death, Charles’ ascension mean for The Crown? Netflix always had a plan

As was always planned in the event of the Queen’s death, Netflix’s The Crown will pause filming as a mark of respect. The lavish drama introduced a new generation of viewers to the longest-serving British monarch’s life and reign. Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday at the age of 96.

She was the Queen of the United Kingdom from 1952 to her death. She will be succeeded by her son, the 73-year-old King Charles III. The Crown, which debuted on Netflix in 2016, has remained one of the streamer’s most beloved original series, although it did experience a significant dip in interest around its third season.

The show’s creator, Peter Morgan, told Deadline that production on the sixth and final season will probably be paused. “The Crown is a love letter to her and I’ve nothing to add for now, just silence and respect. I expect we will stop filming out of respect too,” he said. Each season of the show chronicles one decade in the Queen’s reign. The fifth season is expected to be released later this year.

Claire Foy became an overnight star after playing the Queen in seasons one and two. She was replaced, as per plan, by Olivia Colman in seasons three and four. The show will conclude its six-season run with Imelda Staunton in the lead role. Dominic West will play the now king Charles III, and Elizabeth Debicki will play Diana.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Netflix always had a plan in place for the eventuality of the Queen’s death mid-production. “We have our own version of Operation London Bridge,” a series insider told The New York Post, making a reference to the speculated codename for the protocol to be followed in the aftermath of the monarch’s death. “This is particularly pertinent for if we are filming. Filming will shut down immediately if we are in production, for at least a week. There would also be lots of discussion about when to restart,” the insider continued.

While the show was originally set to conclude in the year 2002, it was recently reported that Morgan is now looking to stretch the drama out to the year 2005, when Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles. “The marriage of Charles and Camilla is treated like the end of one turbulent period in the Windsors’ story, and the start of a whole new one,” The Sun quoted an insider as saying

Director Stephen Daldry, who helmed some of the first season’s early episodes, had spoken about the eventuality of the Queen dying during the show’s run. “None of us know when that time will come but it would be right and proper to show respect to the Queen,” Daldry told Deadline in 2016. “It would be a simple tribute and a mark of respect. She’s a global figure and it’s what we should do. She’s an extraordinary woman and people will be upset.”

 

While the Queen’s death will probably not be written into the show, there will likely be a change in the marketing plans for the upcoming fifth season, which is expected to arrive in two months.

Staunton, Colman and Foy aren’t the only actors who’ve played the Queen on screen, of course. Morgan previously wrote the acclaimed film The Queen, which won actor Helen Mirren an Oscar. Following the Queen’s death, Mirren wrote in an Instagram post, “I am proud to be an Elizabethan. We mourn a woman, who, with or without the crown, was the epitome of nobility.” Most recently, the Queen was portrayed by Stella Gonet in Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart as Diana.




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