‘The Crown’ About-Face: Netflix Renews Royal Drama for 6th and Final Season

Series creator Peter Morgan and Netflix had previously said Season 5 would be the show’s final

The Crown Season 3

Turns out “The Crown” will run for six seasons after all: Netflix revealed Thursday that the royal drama has been renewed for a sixth and final season, six months after the streaming service and series creator Peter Morgan announced that it would be ending with Season 5. And that surprising decision came after Morgan had continuously stated his vision for the drama had always been a six-season run.

“As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons,” Morgan said in a statement Thursday. “To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present day – it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.”

Cindy Holland, Netflix’s VP of original content added: “‘The Crown’ keeps raising the bar with each new season. We can’t wait for audiences to see the upcoming fourth season, and we’re proud to support Peter’s vision and the phenomenal cast and crew for a sixth and final season.”

The first and second season of “The Crown” starred Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, with her passing the throne to Olivia Colman for both Season 3 (which launched last November) and the upcoming Season 4. When Netflix and Morgan announced in January that the show would end with Season 5 — which is no longer the case — they also revealed Imelda Staunton would be portraying the queen for the final installment.

Now Staunton will be playing the royal lead for both Seasons 5 and 6, with Lesley Manville recently cast as her sister, Princess Margaret, a role currently filled by Helena Bonham Carter.

The upcoming fourth season of “The Crown,” which is expected to debut later this year, will cover Queen Elizabeth and the British royal family during the Princess Diana era, after the third season left off in 1977 at the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

The current cast of “The Crown” — so the actors who filled the British royal family’s shoes for Season 3 and will do so again for Season 4 — includes Colman as Queen Elizabeth II, Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, Carter as Princess Margaret, Ben Daniels as Lord Snowdon, Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles and Erin Doherty as Princess Anne. Emma Corrin will be joining the lineup in Season 4 as Princess Diana and Gillian Anderson will be coming in to play Margaret Thatcher.