The Crown Season 4 Ending Explained: What Will Happen in Season 5?

The Crown season 4 ended on Netflix, breaking the audience’s hearts as Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Diana (Emma Corrin) tragically discuss their inevitable separation, and Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), is led to her political downfall. The season left the family disillusioned as everyone in the family settled, not getting what they wished for, while Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) unwillingly endured everything that has been falling apart. Here is an explanation of ‘The Crown’ Season 4, so make sure you read it till the end in case you have watched the season finale!

The Plot 

The Crown maintained its tag of a ‘critically-acclaimed historical drama’ this season as well, following the story of a decade dominated by the Queen and Margaret Thatcher. The Crown season 4 covered several historical events, from Britain and Argentina’s war over the Falkland Islands in 1982 to the Queen’s dispute over apartheid in South Africa and the ultimate fall of The Iron Lady’s reign as the Prime Minister. However, the disastrous ‘fairytale’ marriage of Princess Diana & Prince Charles remained the highlight of the season, covering all the bad bits of their marriage. Following the rushed engagement, low compatibility, and jealousy due to infidelity, Prince Charles maintained his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles (Emerald Shand) despite the birth of two kids.

The Crown Season 4 Ending Explained

The Crown season 4 finale has its title set as “War,” referring to the 1990 war in the Persian Gulf, along with the many battles between Charles and Diana, without any victors in the end, as the Queen rejected the idea of the two ending their marriage. Despite Diana’s effort, Charles distances himself from the idea of fixing the marriage, knowing that Diana would eventually cheat on him out of lonesome. The Crown Season 4 implies that this plan, in fact, worked, as Princess Diana resumed her affair with Major James Hewitt. Diana’s four-day solo tour of New York in 1989 made Camilla realize that the public would never love her as much as Diana. This caused a rift between Charles and Camilla, leading to Charles’ confrontation with Diana, where he revealed his true intentions and love for Camilla.

Determined to convince the Queen, both Charles and Diana tried to argue why the marriage should end, but the Queen decided not to allow this for the Crown’s betterment. By the end of The Crown Season 4, it was clear that Charles wanted to marry Camilla and Princess Diana wanted her freedom from the Royal Family, who are unappreciative of her true self. Initially, Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham-Carter) understood the couple’s incompatibility and urged the Queen to stop the wedding. Princess Anne (Erin Doherty), who considered the marriage to be perfect, urged her brother to end it. The show made it clear that even Anne felt threatened by the public’s love for her sister-in-law.

Princess Diana in ‘The Crown’
Image Credits: British Vogue

The most unusual observer and rare participant in Charles and Diana’s drama was none other than Prince Philip- an outsider to the Windsors himself and someone who never felt fully understood. In the Crown season 2 he was showcased to even have his own marital strains with Elizabeth and thus it was Philip who had the most empathy for Diana amongst the Windsors. It was Philip who privately gave Diana “The Balmoral Test” and was quite impressed at the Princess’s results. So, during The Crown season 4 finale, Philip once again reached out to Princess Diana during Christmas 1990. But he, too, was disappointed at Diana’s stubbornness, and discerned that they were not like each other after all. Philip resolved that he and everyone else are just pawns of the Queen, who is ostensibly the only one who matters. But Diana protests against this ideology instead of accepting her role in this ‘Crown’ order. Eventually, she loses Philip’s support too, making her feel more alone and vulnerable within the royal family.

The ‘Crowned’ Family

Following the central theme of ‘The Crown’ again, the only person who’s verdict and desire truly mattered was Queen Elizabeth. The monarch was blinded by the belief that just like her, Diana should also just suck it up and make the best of her marriage with Charles. Setting her own experience with Philip and their bad marriage as an example, Elizabeth ends up thinking that Charles and Diana simply have to keep working on their marriage. With time, mutual admiration and respect would save the marriage eventually. So, once again, the Queen’s word was considered final at the end of the day, and the Princesses’ wish was left unheard.

Image Still from Netflix’s ‘The Crown’, Season 4
Image Source: Netflix

What Will Happen in Season 5?

As for what is in store for the next season, it has been confirmed that the show will not resume before 2022. Morgan has confirmed that the show will be covering more historical events, but only till the early 2000s. She has also hinted that the show will have a sixth season as well. It is expected that Princess Diana’s controversial death will be covered in the show at some point. The Crown Season 5 will definitely cover more of the divorce and the Queen’s uneasiness around it. But until then, one can confirm that the drama in The Crown Season 4 is definitely worth a couple of watches!