The Crown season 5 ending explained and what it means for season 6

Explaining the ending of The Crown's fifth season, and where this leaves the Royal Family going into the sixth season of the Netflix series

The crown season 5 ending explained
(Image credit: Netflix)

After finishing The Crown season five, some fans are wondering what the final episode, 'Decomissioned' means for the sixth season.

The tenth episode of The Crown season five is titled 'Decomissioned' and while the episode doesn't end on any major cliffhangers, fans are still a bit confused about what this finale means for the series going forward. Here is a breakdown of the final season, and what this means for the sixth, and final, season of The Crown.

The Crown

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Crown Season 5 ending explained

The episode begins with the Royal Family agreeing to the decommissioning of the royal yacht, Brittania. 

Prince Charles travels to Hong Kong to mark the end of British rule as the region became an administrative region of China. The Prince then meets with the new Prime Minister, Tony Blair and the pair speak about the monarchy's future. The PM later described this conversation to his wife as, Prince Charles 'briefing against his own mother,' but expressed sympathy for the Prince.

Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles then travel to Manila and the Paracel Islands on the yacht, but the Prince returned to Buckingham Palace to receive some sharp words from the Queen. The mother and son then have a frank conversation about the monarchy's place in modern times and the episode ends with Prince Charles leaving the Queen to think about what he said. 

Princess Diana bumps into Mohamed Al Fayed and his wife at the ballet and the pair convince her to holiday with them in St. Tropez. Meanwhile, Dodi gets engaged to his model girlfriend, Kelly Fisher, whom his father disapproves of.

The episode ends as Diana packs her bag ready for the trip, and inhales deeply as she smells a hat that belongs to Prince William or Prince Harry. The Queen then says a private goodbye to the Brittania as the yacht is decommissioned as a part of her royal legacy comes to an end.

The Crown

(Image credit: Netflix)

What does this ending mean for season 6 of The Crown?

The episode ends on a sombre note, and the future of the monarchy seems to be in question as the public continue to dislike Prince Charles following the divorce, and the Queen refuses to modernise with the times. This perfectly sets up the tone for season six as the Royal Family's concerns are about to be heightened as they are struck with an enormous tragedy. 

The final episode of season five ended in the summer of 1997. Diana's trip to St Tropez took place in August 1997, and soon after this trip, Diana would die in a car accident with Dodi Al Fayed on August 31, 1997.

This means that the sixth season of The Crown will likely begin without a time gap and will jump right into where the final episode left off. This means season six will begin with Princess Diana's holiday with her sons and the Al Fayed's, the Queen struggling with questions about the monarchy's future, and Prince Charles trying to win back the public's approval.

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.