Fans of the show, which began its 60-episode run in 2016, celebrated on October 9 as Netflix released details about the highly anticipated final season, looking at the life and reign of the late queen and her family.
In an announcement that included a cryptic minute-long trailer, the streaming giant said that the season would be released in two parts. The first four episodes will focus on the death of Princess Diana in 1997 and will be released on November 16. The remaining six episodes will depict events leading up to 2005 and will stream on December 14.
In the trailer, the three actresses who have played Elizabeth in the show (Claire Foy, Olivia Colman and Imelda Staunton) each feature, reciting lamenting dialogue about the self-sacrifices made by the woman who ruled Britain for over seven decades.
Staunton—who took over the lead role from Colman in 2022—is the prime focus of the trailer. She closes a scene looking out from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London with the line: “What about the life I put aside? The woman I put aside?”
In this scene, there is an unacknowledged link to one of the defining moments of Elizabeth’s reign, her Golden Jubilee, which took place in 2002.
Unobvious to the average viewer, the hidden Easter egg is in the costume worn by Staunton, a blue coat dress and matching woven hat with diamond brooch pinned to the breast.
The outfit is a match for the one worn by the real life Elizabeth on the day she marked her 50 years on the throne with a Golden Jubilee thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on June 4, 2002.
Apart from being a landmark of a long reign that had only been celebrated by two previous monarchs (King George III in 1809 and Queen Victoria in 1887), the jubilee signalled a new era of Elizabeth’s reign.
The 76-year-old monarch had navigated the monarchy through the perilous decade of the 1990s. It not only saw a number of royal divorces and scandals, but also the fire at Windsor Castle in 1992, the year she defined as her annus horribilis, and the death of Princess Diana in a car crash in 1997.
The beginning of the new millennium was marked by two further deaths in the life of the queen, those of her younger sister, Princess Margaret, and of her mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
The queen mother was 101, and a domineering matriarchal force within the monarchy. She died just three months before the Golden Jubilee celebrations.
Though deeply mourned by her daughter, a number of commentators and courtiers have defined the queen mother’s death as a moment of liberation for Elizabeth. It has been suggested that the monarch felt able to make modernizing changes to the routines of monarchy that may have upset the Queen Mother, who was born when Queen Victoria was on the throne.
The Golden Jubilee also marked a shift in the world’s view of the monarchy, with an increased level of attention being turned towards the teenage Princes William and Harry.
On the day of the jubilee pageant, William received a wave of screaming cheers from royal fans when he appeared alongside his grandmother, which has featured in a number of recent viral videos.
The use of the thanksgiving service costume in The Crown‘s series-finale trailer suggests the milestone moment will feature in the show.
The events covered will stop in 2005, with the wedding of King Charles and Queen Camilla known to feature. It is not yet clear how the series will end, or if there will be a tribute to Elizabeth, who died at the age of 96 in September 2022.
Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.