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No sooner had Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made the shock announcement that they were standing down as senior royals, effectively retiring from the British monarchy, The Crown had begun trending on Twitter.
Netflix’s royal epic may have recently dealt with the time period between 1964 and 1977 in season three, including the Apollo 11 moon landing, death of Winston Churchill and Princess Margaret’s affair and suicide attempt, but many on social media appeared to be licking their lips at the prospect of the latest news becoming part of the show’s future plot.
Live look at the Crown writers room pic.twitter.com/u2D1w8Yk69
— Oxtail Enthusiast (@mayavado) January 8, 2020
Season 8 of The Crown being written before our eyes… https://t.co/7nG9CPJ6K0
— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) January 8, 2020
Whichever season of The Crown this is, count me in. https://t.co/ZPcwChkgeT
— machine gun Kele (@kelechnekoff) January 8, 2020
Even the BBC’s political heavyweight Andrew Neil was getting in on the act, suggesting — like many others — that Meghan would now be free to play herself.
Now that Harry and Meghan say they want to earn their own way in the world, Meghan will be free to audition for the part of Meghan in The Crown.
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) January 9, 2020
Aisling Bea, the Irish comedian behind the Channel 4/Hulu comedy This Way Up with Sharon Horgan, shared a similar thought.
If #Meghan gets to play Meghan in The Crown episode of this, then maybe just maybe the door to the next dimension will open, we can all step through it & leave this burning, war-riddled globe behind to start afresh.
— Aisling Bea (@WeeMissBea) January 8, 2020
It has been widely reported, although not confirmed, that The Crown is set to last for six seasons. With each season so far having covered an average of just under 10 years of time, six seasons would take the series up to 2007, meaning at least two more would need to be included to feature the latest developments.
Left Bank Pictures, which produces The Crown for Netflix, was unavailable for comment. However, a source told The Hollywood Reporter that, at present, season five hadn’t officially been greenlit (although Imelda Staunton is widely reported to be in the running to take over from Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth).
But while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal departure may give The Crown creator Peter Morgan plenty of material to work with, should season eight get the go-ahead, there’s already a major story to deal with (and the last time The Crown started trending): Prince Andrew’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
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