The shocking reason Netflix's The Crown needs last-minute rewrites for season 6

Netflix have reportedly had to rewrite scripts as one important cast member isn’t returning

The Crown season six is said to be facing some last minute rewrites
(Image credit: Dave J. Hogan/Getty Images)

Drama seems to surround the Royal Family – even when they aren’t directly involved. The Crown – Netflix’s hit fictionalized drama detailing the life of royals starting with Queen Elizabeth’s unexpected rise to the throne in season one – is set to return for a final season with season six. However, Gillian Anderson, who played Margaret Thatcher, is said to not be returning, forcing some last-minute changes.

The Crown has hooked Netflix viewers for five seasons so far, with a fictionalized take on everything from Elizabeth’s unexpected ascension to the throne to the failed love story between the then Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Viewers last picked up with Netflix’s series as it focused on life for the Royal Family during the 1990s.

The drama covered in season five included the Queen’s annus horribilis in 1992 and the fire which tore through her beloved Windsor Castle.

The season also explored the fallout of Princess Diana and King Charles’ marriage.

We got our first look at Elizabeth Debicki starring uncannily as Princess Diana during some of the most tumultuous periods of her life, including the infamous 1995 interview with Martin Bashir.

While fans desperately await season six – said to be its final season - a last-minute spanner in the works has reportedly forced a rewrite.

Gillian Anderson is said to no longer be reprising her role as Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Gillian Anderson won't be returning as Margaret Thatcher

(Image credit: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A source close to the production has said, “Gillian’s portrayal of Thatcher was met with global critical acclaim and she was a huge asset to The Crown. It had been hoped she would be able to make an appearance in scenes around the golden wedding but sadly that has not been the case due to scheduling issues.”

The insider also added to The Sun that the decision was “another blow for producers” and meant altering scripts, with claims that the original plan was for Gillian’s Margaret Thatcher to attend a dinner with the Queen and Prince Philip.

However, a Netflix spokesperson has told another publication in the UK that “Gillian Anderson was never intended to return as Margaret Thatcher.”

Even when dealing with their fictional selves, the drama around the royals is always intriguing and mysterious!

Everything we know about The Crown season 6 so far

The official plot is still under wraps, but if The Crown stays true to its current timeline, season six would likely include the death of Princess Diana in 1997, 9/11, Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee, and the deaths of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother.

Tony Blair’s years in power, as well as his professional relationship with the Queen, will also reportedly be featured.

The Crown season 6 has already cast its young William and Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

And fans will get to see The Crown’s take on how Prince William and Catherine met at University.  As the story goes, the now Prince and Princess of Wales met at The University of Saint Andrews and dated for nearly five years before William popped the question.

Early photos of the actors playing William and Kate (played by Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy) have already been revealed.

When might The Crown season six air?

Netflix has not released The Crown's return date yet, but the final season of the show is expected to air in November or December of 2023.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.