'The Crown' Showrunner Didn't Want to Do Series After Queen Died

The Crown showrunner Peter Morgan reflected on the series’ final season at a Netflix FYSEE event on Monday, touching on how Queen Elizabeth’s death affected his desire to continue the show.

In a conversation with LA Times critic Robert Abele, Morgan noted how he always thought of the show “as a story about the two houses, Buckingham Palace and Downing Street, and I never really thought of it as a story about the royal family. But of course, that’s all anybody thinks it’s about, the royal family, whereas I think of it is about the two houses.”

Admitting, “This is going to sound mad, but I’m not really that interested in the monarchy,” Morgan continued, “Mothers, sons, wives, husbands, that’s really what it’s about. And, of course, at the heart of it is this woman, this rather extraordinary woman. And for me the minute she died, I suppose, from that moment on, I didn’t really want to do it anymore, because it’s really about her as well.”

Queen Elizabeth died in September 2022, with season 5 of The Crown released in November 2022 and season 6 released in November and December 2023. The writer noted that when devising the series a decade ago, he originally thought it could be three seasons — a younger queen, a middle-aged queen and an older queen — but “pretty quickly realized that you couldn’t tell the story properly just in that amount of time.”

He also spoke about entering more recent history in the last two seasons, saying, “I’ve got a rule never, ever, ever to come within a decade. But then I doubled it for The Crown — a decade and one more decade for good measure. Because then to me, that’s a generation.”

Morgan noted how Princess Diana’s death, in particular, feels like it happened yesterday and put his two-decade rule into question. “On the one hand, I thought we’re fine, the death happened in 1997, it’s now 2024. That’s more than a generation,” he said, “but I could feel when the show came out that we had to be really, really careful, very delicate” because of the worldwide impact and emotion surrounding it.

And of the decision to end the whole series with Charles and Camilla’s 2005 wedding, Morgan said, “That ending came to me really early on. I always knew I wanted to end with at least 15 or 20 years,” and provided a “moment for the Queen to reflect really deeply upon whether she should continue or not.”

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