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William and Kate’s "royal fairytale" timeline that inspired ‘The Crown’

Netflix’s hit royal drama, The Crown, is coming to an end after six seasons and 60 episodes charting the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II and her family—with the final episodes being split into two action packed installments.

In an announcement on Monday, the streaming giant revealed new details about the highly anticipated final season, which will not only cover the events surrounding the tragic death of Princess Diana (played by Elizabeth Debicki) but will also introduce the burgeoning romance of a young Prince William (Ed McVey) and Kate Middleton (Meg Bellamy).

The show is likely to bring with it a new wave of new criticism which has plagued the show since its debut in 2016.

Over the seven years it has been on screens there have been calls for disclaimers on episodes identifying that it is a work of fiction not wholly based on fact, with prominent voices claiming viewers could be easily misled. So far, Netflix has resisted these calls.

Though some commentators have found fault with the depictions of the real life events which plagued the royal family over the years covered in The Crown, it has proved a hit with audiences.

The show has received a total of 69 Emmy nominations so far in its run, with 21 wins, including awards for Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth Seasons 1 and 2) and Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles Seasons 3 and 4).

Here, Newsweek looks at everything we know about Season 6 of The Crown.

When Will Season 6 of The Crown Be Released?

The Crown‘s sixth season will be released in two parts. The first installment of four episodes will debut globally on November 16 and will cover the events surrounding the death of Princess Diana.

The second installment of six episodes will debut on December 14 and will look at how the royal family moved through the 1990s into the new millennium in the wake of Diana’s death, including what Netflix described as William and Kate’s “royal fairytale” romance.

What Year Will Events in Season 6 of The Crown End?

Netflix has announced that the events covered in the final season of The Crown will run from 1997 to 2005.

The show’s fifth season closed with events at the beginning of the summer of 1997. Queen Elizabeth was preparing to say goodbye to her beloved Royal Yacht Britannia, Prince Charles was working with a PR spin doctor to make his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles palatable to the public, and Princess Diana was preparing for a vacation with the billionaire Harrods owner, Mohamed Al Fayed.

The Crown Season 6 Timeline: Which Royal Events Will Be Included?

The Crown‘s final season will cover one of the most dramatic periods in the recent history of the British monarchy, although it remains to be seen which specific events will make it to the screen over the course of the final 10 episodes.

The season will open with Princess Diana’s meeting and romance with Mohamed Al Fayed’s movie producer son, Dodi Fayed. It was with Fayed that the princess took a summer vacation to the South of France at the end of August 1997 where they were furiously pursued by paparazzi.

Before their return to London, the couple stopped over in Paris where, in the early hours of August 31, 1997, the car they were traveling in at speed during a paparazzi car chase crashed into the central pillar of a road tunnel. Fayed and the car’s driver were killed on impact. After attempts by medical professionals to save her life, Diana was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The tragic death of Diana at the age of just 36 sparked a wave of international mourning and a public backlash of anger towards the monarchy, which had been seen as the driving cause for much of the princess’ unhappiness.

Moving on from Diana’s death, Queen Elizabeth lost two further family members in the build up to her 2002 Golden Jubilee. The monarch’s sister, Princess Margaret, died in February 2001 and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother died just weeks later at the age of 101.

Against this backdrop of family tragedy, a happier development came in the form of Prince William‘s new romance with Kate Middleton.

The couple met while studying at St Andrew’s University in 2001. They became friends while studying art history before William changed his degree to geography.

A milestone in the couple’s friendship occurred in 2002 when Kate walked in a charity fashion show at which William was in attendance. Kate was photographed wearing a sheer outfit which was later sold at auction in 2011 for £65,000.

The couple shared a flat together in the second year of their studies and reportedly began seriously dating in 2003.

William and Kate would later announce their engagement in 2010, marrying in an elaborate marriage ceremony at Westminster Abbey in 2011. Today they have three children: Prince George (born 2013), Princess Charlotte (born 2015) and Prince Louis (born 2018).

With the couple’s relationship continuing while they finished the course of their university studies, another royal romance marked a milestone at the time, with Charles and Camilla announcing their engagement on Valentine’s Day 2005.

The couple’s road to the altar was not smooth. Following the death of Princess Diana, a largescale public relations operation was undertaken to win around not only the public’s support, but also that of Queen Elizabeth.

The marriage eventually took place in Windsor on April 9, 2005, following a postponement when Pope John Paul II died.

Queen Elizabeth did not attend the marriage ceremony, which took place at the Windsor Guildhall, owing to it being the second marriages of both Charles and Camilla who divorced their first spouses in the 1990s.

Elizabeth subsequently hosted a blessing ceremony for the couple at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, provoking comment as to her happiness regarding the union with her decision to wear white.

Netflix previously released a teaser image of Charles and Camilla’s order of service, leading fans to speculate that Season 6 of The Crown could close with the wedding of Charles and Camilla, followed by some kind of on-screen tribute to Elizabeth who died in September 2022 as Britain’s longest reigning monarch, aged 96.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on X, formerly Twitter, at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

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 royals@newsweek.com. We’d love to hear from you.

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