“The Crown” Creator Peter Morgan Reveals How Queen Elizabeth's Death Changed the Show's Ending

The showrunner opened up about his changed plans for The Crown, even though the series' timeline concludes long before the monarch's death in 2022

<p>Daniel LEAL / AFP via Getty</p> Peter Morgan photographed in London on Nov. 8, 2022

Daniel LEAL / AFP via Getty

Peter Morgan photographed in London on Nov. 8, 2022

The ending of The Crown may have been different if Queen Elizabeth hadn’t died in 2022, according to its creator.

Peter Morgan, the mind behind The Crown, explained to Variety in a new interview that he was compelled to change direction with the hit television show as a result of the Queen’s death.

"We'd all been through the experience of the funeral,” he told the publication. “So because of how deeply everybody will have felt that, I had to try and find a way in which the final episode dealt with the character’s death, even though she hadn’t died yet.”

Netflix chief Ted Sarandos said that initial discussions included debates on whether they should end the show with the Queen’s death, but then she ultimately outlived their intended production length. The decision was made to end the program's timeline in 2005, as they felt, “It was the cutoff to keep it historical, not journalistic.”

“I think by stopping almost 20 years before the present day, it’s dignified,” Sarandos added.

Related: The Crown Creator Peter Morgan Admits Why He Didn't Read 'a Word' of Prince Harry's Memoir Spare

That air of being dignified is a hallmark of The Crown, which has never sought to satirize the British royal family.

"The British are so comfortable with satire," Morgan explained. "And I suddenly thought, 'Could I dare to take them seriously as complex, emotional human beings, not just attack them for their offices or institutions?' "

The reaction from The Crown to the Queen’s death is also in tune with the show’s other sentiments regarding the monarchy. After her passing, Morgan wrote in a statement to Deadline that "The Crown is a love letter to [the Queen] and I've nothing to add for now, just silence and respect, I expect we will stop filming out of respect too." Variety then confirmed that season 6 production had come to a halt.

Filming resumed on the show only a few days later.

Related: The Crown Creator Addresses Princess Diana 'Ghost' Rumor in Season 6

In October, Netflix revealed that the sixth season of The Crown would be coming to the streaming service this fall. The new season marks the first time that the series will be split into multiple installments. Part 1 will debut on Thursday, Nov. 16, and part 2 will follow on Thursday, Dec. 14. The season was teased with a new clip showing fans what they can expect from the final episodes of the show.

Spanning events in Queen Elizabeth’s life from 1997 to 2005 for the final season, the first drop of episodes will examine the relationship between Diana and Dodi Fayed ahead of their fatal car crash in Paris. The second half goes on to chronicle Prince William navigating life in the wake of his mother’s death, the marriage of Charles and Camilla and the early stages of William and Kate Middleton’s relationship.

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