Netflix's decision to split The Crown's final season in half was not really that hard to understand. The streaming service wanted to take advantage of the show's fanbase and get as many viewers watching the show as possible. Since it cannot actually admit that weekly releases of episodes have proven to be the more effective model for that, it did the same thing it did with Stranger Things Season 4, dividing the season in half and releasing it in two pieces, spaced about a month apart. The natural breaking point was Diana's passing, as her arrival has been the lightning rod around which the entire story revolved.
Seasons 1 through 3 were "Before Diana," Seasons 4 through 6, Part 1 was "Diana," and now Season 6, Part 2 is "After Diana." During the "Diana years, the story retreated from Queen Elizabeth, ostensibly the main character in the series, to the point that Season 6, part 1 made her a complete afterthought. But with Diana now a fading memory, it is now time for Elizabeth to step back into the spotlight. She is the survivor of the family in many ways, not just outliving Diana but her mother and sister along the way as well. Little does she know how long she'll keep calm and continue.
However, the trailer uses the occasion of her Golden Jubilee, the 50th anniversary, as a chance to look back across the decades the show has covered and bring closure to a story that's still not over. Queen Elizabeth II may have passed, but the monarchy rolls on.
Here is the full synopsis for Season 6, Part 2:
Still coming to terms with his mother’s death, Prince William heads back to Eton amidst an increase in attention from young female fans touched by his plight. The struggle to re-adjust leads to tensions with his family, as they try to support another young heir to find his way in the system and the world. Later, as Prince William takes up his place at St Andrew’s University, the omnipresent conflict of life as a public servant continues as he tries to balance the traditional undergraduate rites of passage with the constraints of his position and the constant presence of personal protection officers. His perseverance is tested when he develops a crush on one of the most desired students on campus: a woman by the name of Kate Middleton.
Princess Margaret suffers a stroke and is suddenly forced to reassess her lifestyle. As her health continues to decline, she finds herself slipping back into her memories, back to her secret night out with her sister during the biggest party in history: VE Day 1945. The memories from that evening and what it taught her about her older sister, comfort her in her final days. With the passing of her sister and her mother, her Golden Jubilee, and having approved the marriage between Prince Charles and Camilla, the Queen starts to consider her reign and, ultimately, her legacy. Approaching her ninth decade, the Queen is forced to dig deep and really examine what is best for the future of the monarchy.
The final six episodes star Imelda Staunton, Olivia Colman, Claire Foy, and Viola Prettejohn as Princess/Queen Elizabeth II, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville and Beau Gadsdon as Princess Margaret, Marcia Warren as The Queen Mother, Dominic West as Prince Charles, Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne, James Murray as Prince Andrew, and Sam Woolf as Prince Edward. Olivia Williams plays Camilla Parker Bowles, and Theo Fraser Steele plays Timothy Laurence. Part 1 will also feature Rufus Kampa as Prince William and Fflyn Edwards as Prince Harry. Andrew Havill plays the Queen's secretary, Robert Fellowes, Bertie Carvel plays Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Lydia Leonard plays Cherie Blair.
The Crown was created and written by Peter Morgan, who also executive produces along with Suzanne Mackie, Andy Harries, Stephen Daldry, Matthew Byam Shaw, and Robert Fox.
The Crown Season 6, Part 2, will premiere on Thursday, December 14, 2023. Seasons 1-5 and Season 6, Part 1 are streaming on Netflix.