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How did The Crown end? Final episode explained as show pays tribute to the late Queen

Have you watched the final season of the Netflix show yet?

Olivia Coleman, Imelda Staunton and Claire Foy in The Crown
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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Part two of The Crown season six has finally landed and sees the conclusion of the hugely popular Netflix show based on the British royal family. While season six follows several members of the royal family, including Prince William and Kate Middleton’s burgeoning relationship, the death of Princess Margaret and the aftermath of Diana’s death, the finale is all about the late Queen. Spoilers ahead… 

The finale imagined the lead-up to Prince Charles and Camilla’s nuptials, including the Queen seeking permission from the Church of England and the decision to include a recital of the 'act of penitence' into their nuptials. 

WATCH: Imelda Staunton was 'inconsolable' when she heard that the late Queen Elizabeth II had passed away

However, the story is very much focused on Her Majesty, who is seen battling with the decision to abdicate the throne in favour of her son while dealing with her own mortality as plans for her funeral are put into place, and deciding to have 'Sleep, Dearie, Sleep' played on bagpipes included as one of her musical choices.  

Luther Ford as Prince Harry, Ed McVey as Prince William in The Crown season six part two© Justin Downing/Netflix
Luther Ford as Prince Harry, Ed McVey as Prince William in The Crown season six part two

While torn over the decision to abdicate, going so far as to include her decision to step down in her speech, she is visited by former versions of herself, namely Olivia Coleman and Claire Foy as younger versions, while they debate whether she could walk away from the crown or not. 

Imelda Staunton in a green outfit standing with Jonathan Pryce in a black suit© Dave Benett
Imelda and Jonathan take centre stage in the show's final series

Ultimately, the Queen decides against the decision, with her husband Prince Philip pointing out that the only reason she couldn’t step down is that she is the only person who can truly do the job, and that she was born to do it instead, telling her "those that come after you are not remotely ready to take over". 

He then tells her, "I’ll leave you to it," walking out of the church and leaving her alone. Strengthening her resolve, one of the final shots shows the Queen standing resolutely with the former versions standing behind her, referencing her decision to remain firm as the head of the monarchy. The final shot shows her heading out to the tune of Sleep, Dearie, Sleep. 

Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce in The Crown© Netflix
Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce in The Crown

Speaking to Variety about the ending, the show’s creator Peter Morgan said: "We'd all been through the experience of the funeral. So because of how deeply everybody will have felt that I had to try and find a way in which the final episode dealt with the character’s death, even though she hadn’t died yet." 

Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Gown

© PA Images

In 1953, a 25-year-old Queen Elizabeth II slipped into an extravagant white duchesse satin gown embroidered with strings of pearls, sequins and crystals. The Norman Hartnell-designed dress moreover featured embroidered national and Commonwealth floral emblems in gold, silver and pastel-coloured silks.On top of her sumptuous gown, the late monarch wore a six-and-a-half-metre Robe of Estate - made by royal robe-makers Ede & Ravenscroft. It took a team of 12 seamstresses, using 18 types of gold thread, a whopping 3,500 hours to complete the Queen’s velvet robe.

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