Netflix’s “The Crown” has just been renewed for a fifth and final season, but it looks highly unlikely that we’ll ever see a version of Meghan Markle in this series.
Let’s start with the facts: Today, Queen Elizabeth is 93. Meghan Markle is 38, and her husband, Prince Harry — son of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, grandson of Queen Elizabeth — is 35.
Last we saw of “The Crown” was the Season 3 finale, which left off at the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, marking the 25th anniversary of her accession to the throne. She was 50 years old at the time.
Season 4 will cover the Princess Diana era. We don’t know exactly which year it will open on, but we do know that Diana entered the royal family in 1981 when she and Charles got engaged when she was 20 years old. The following year, Prince William was born, and Prince Harry, who is now married to Meghan Markle, came along in 1984. In 1996, Charles and Diana divorced, and Diana tragically passed away in 1997. Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in 2018, and their son Archie was born in 2019.
Diana will be played by 24-year-old Emma Corrin, and Prince Charles will be played by Josh O’Connor, who is 29.
Because “The Crown” follows the trajectory of Queen Elizabeth, new Queens are cast for each era of her life — otherwise Claire Foy, who played the Queen in the first two seasons, would have to undergo several hours in the makeup chair to get her to the right age as the Queen’s timeline goes on.
Season 3 replaced Foy with Olivia Colman as the middle-aged version of the Queen, and she will remain in that role for the upcoming fourth season, which is currently in production. No premiere date has been set. Imelda Staunton, who is currently 64, will play the elderly Queen in the newly announced fifth and final season.
It’s not impossible for Meghan to show up, and no official decision has been announced by the show. But considering that Season 4 will take place in the 1990s, it would require a pretty significant time jump to make it to present day — and aging Staunton, who is 64 in real life, nearly 30 years to the Queen’s current age of 93.
O’Connor told TheWrap late last year that creator Peter Morgan always brings the narrative back to “the issue of the crown and its power,” which implies that the show is meant to revolve around Queen Elizabeth — you know, the one who currently wears the crown.
Following the show’s trajectory of every two seasons covering one era of Elizabeth’s life, it would make sense that since Olivia Colman played Elizabeth for her Silver Jubilee, then her Golden Jubilee, which took place in 2002, would fall to the next Queen — Staunton. And that’s still nearly 20 years before Meghan Markle came into the picture. So while it’s too soon to say definitively where the series will end, it’s pretty safe to assume that it won’t make it all the way to covering the present day’s “Megxit” scandal that came about when Meghan and Harry recently announced plans to step back from their royal duties.
If anyone from today’s royal family shows up, it’s more likely to be Prince William and Kate Middleton, who married in 2011 and are now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. They now have three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Cambridge. But even that’s a stretch.