Did it live up to viewer expectations?
We all know how her story ends. After six seasons chronicling her life – and the lives of those surrounding her – The Crown comes to an end, with the second part of the sixth season airing on December 14th.
In the first part of the sixth season, we were taken on a journey leading up to Princess Diana’s death. While that part of the season strayed from focusing on the royal family, this part offers viewers exactly what we’ve gotten used to over the past years: a glimpse into the Queen’s life, decisions and royal dealings.
While some viewers may have anticipated that the series end with the Queen’s death in 2022, the series in fact ends in 2005, following the Prince of Wales’ marriage to Camilla. The series ends with the Queen’s younger selves watching proudly as she exits the Church, after deciding to remain in service.
The first episode of this part takes particular interest in Prince William, shedding light on his struggle to properly mourn the death of his mother, blaming his father for it all while becoming labeled a teenage heartthrob.
Prince William resumes his education at Eton and, aside from the occasional banter with Prince Harry, and that scene with his father, doesn’t offer much in this episode. The point may have been to show Prince William following in the footsteps of his late mother.
The episode starts on a more frantic and enticing note – a nightmare – and follows the Queen as she struggles knowing that she has become less popular than her own Prime Minister at the time, Tony Blair.
Because of her uneasiness, she asks Blair for help, and when she receives his suggestions, decides that the people don’t want a modern monarchy. This episode takes us back to the seasons before the sixth, when the creators took us on journeys into the Queen’s decisions and antics.
Many questions have popped up since this episode aired. Did Kate really meet Prince William when she was just a teenager? Did her mother really influence her decisions on travel and education based on where Prince William would be? Believing they are destined to be together.
This episode follows the story of a young Kate and William, some obstacles they faced – except, no one has confirmed or denied how true they are – and the beginning of their story.
Princess Margaret is a character we all grew to love throughout the seasons. Her outgoing personality and witty comments rendered her a crowd favorite. So obviously, when her appearances in this season were non-existent, we missed her.
The Netflix writers decided to give her a full episode. And it was lovely. To see her relationship from a younger age with the Queen, and then to learn how she held her ground throughout it all before her death. It was a moving episode, though it would've been better had we seen more of the princess through that season.
Of course, who can forget Kate in a sheer dress? The episode starts with Mohammad Al Fayed on TV, processing the death of his son, Dodi, and throwing blame at the Royal family, who were quick to dissuade any and all allegations by him.
Throughout the episode, we also learn about the Queen’s insecurities amidst the fiasco, we see some humor between her and prince William. Prince Harry is still portrayed as a lost soul who is resorting to drugs for comfort. And finally, Prince William decides to watch the Jubilee with Kate and her family, and soon discovers that he needs to be with her grandma.
Not a very shocking turn of events there, and the episode doesn’t offer much aside from making Prince William appear shallow for only wanting Kate after having seen her in a sheer dress.
Sleep Dearie Sleep
I don’t think it’s possible to watch this episode without shedding a tear or two. The bagpipes. The ending – royal, to fit the Queen, yet sad because we want more.
On another note, the ending was left open for interpretation. We all know the real-life events, but what did that ending want us to understand?
The final episode dives into the wedding of the Prince of Wales from Camilla and brushes over a scandal involving Prince Harry. It's quite sad that the latter is only portrayed as a disappointment through his behavior and not much else is highlighted. The episode also looks into the Queen having to make rather large decisions about her funeral, a task she found hard to complete.
Throughout the episode there are hints of the Queen wanting to hand over her reign to the Prince of Wales, and in the speech following the wedding, everyone was expecting to hear the words. But they didn’t. And the episode ends with the Queen’s younger selves watching over her and she walks out of the church, strong as ever.
Impactful is only one word to describe it, but a little lacking is another.
We were left with questions, and while we might know the answers, we wanted to see how Netflix was going to feed us those answers.
All in all, this part of season six is definitely binge-worthy and more interesting than the first part. It gives all the characters the closures they deserve, and shows us, once again, the human side of the Queen.