The Crown is expected to take a hiatus from shooting its sixth season out of respect for Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday afternoon at the age of 96. Peter Morgan—writer, creator, and showrunner of The Crown—issued a statement to Deadline on the queen’s passing and its effect on Netflix’s Emmy Award–winning series. “The Crown is a love letter to her and I’ve nothing to add for now, just silence and respect,” wrote Morgan. “I expect we will stop filming out of respect too.”
Morgan also wrote the script for 2006’s The Queen, in which Queen Elizabeth II was played by Helen Mirren, who won an Academy Award for best actress. “I’m mourning, along with the rest of my country, the passing of a great queen,” Mirren wrote to Vanity Fair. “I’m proud to call myself of the Elizabethan age. If there was a definition of nobility, Elizabeth Windsor embodied it.”
Per Deadline, British director Stephen Daldry, who produced and directed a number of episodes of The Crown between 2016 and 2019, previously stated that Netflix intended to pause filming if the queen died at some point during The Crown’s production. “None of us know when that time will come, but it would be right and proper to show respect to the queen. It would be a simple tribute and a mark of respect,” Daldry told writer Baz Bamigboye when The Crown debuted in 2016. “She’s a global figure and it’s what we should do.”
The Crown follows Britain’s longest-serving monarch’s ascent to the throne and her reign. The series has thus far seen two actors play Elizabeth II. Claire Foy portrayed a young Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s through the early 1960s in the first two seasons of the series and briefly appeared in the fourth season, winning the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series in 2018 and a guest-actress Emmy in 2021. In seasons three and four, Academy Award winner Olivia Colman portrayed Queen Elizabeth II from the ’60s through the early ’90s, winning the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series in 2021. BAFTA winner Imelda Staunton is set to play the monarch in her later years in the upcoming fifth and sixth seasons.
Netflix recently announced that it cast three actors to play Prince William and Kate Middleton in the show’s sixth season: Rufus Kampa and Ed McVey will portray teenage and college-age William, respectively, and Meg Bellamy will play Kate. The Crown’s fifth season is expected to premiere on Netflix in November.