So far, Netflix hasn’t released a full season 6 trailer — or even a proper teaser — but earlier this month the streamer dropped a date announcement that functions as a first look at Staunton in elder Queen Elizabeth garb. The one-minute ad shows the queen making her way towards her balcony while key lines from past seasons of the show, including from Foy and Colman, are delivered via voiceover. After Elizabeth contemplates the life she could have had without the crown, we see her step out to face the crowds outside, wearing her signature white gloves and jaunty hat.
The teaser doesn’t tell us much, but it does seem to confirm some fans’ worries that the show has gotten more royalist in its old age. Early seasons of the series sharply (if at times subtly) criticized the monarchy, both in practice and in theory, and many viewers expected that stance to only solidify as the show wore on and Elizabeth transitioned from a wide-eyed pawn in a larger system to an established member of the ruling class.
But instead, the fifth season functioned as a heel turn of sorts, weirdly retconning some of Charles’ cruelty and asking audiences to feel for poor Elizabeth as she begins to lose relevance. Rather than focus on more sympathetic figures like Diana or her sons, the teaser is shot through with that same sense of sympathy for status quo-upholding Elizabeth, a move that might make viewers (the ones who aren’t Queen Elizabeth stans, at least) apprehensive about the direction of season 6. We’ll find out whether the show pulls off its goodbye when volume 1 hits Netflix on November 16, 2023.