“It’s a bit like Star Wars,” a source tells The Daily Mail. Amazingly, they’re talking about Netflix’s mega-hit The Crown. With only two seasons left, creator Peter Morgan and the big red streamer are reportedly looking to expand the franchise with at least one prequel series. The rumor was first reported in the Mail, but has since been backed up by Deadline and Variety.
Which means, yes, they’re actually trying to apply the “Cinematic Universe” treatment to the British monarchy.
No plans have been greenlit, and stakeholders are still in the brainstorming and exploratory phase. But the rough idea would be to begin with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, and then follow the four kings that ruled during the first half of the 20th century leading up to Queen Elizabeth II’s reign (though Deadline suggests that some of Victoria’s reign could be explored too).
That time period would include the reign of King Edward VII, who spent most of his life as a globe-trotting playboy prince before coming to the throne after his mother’s death. All things considered, however, his nine years in power were generally considered a period of peace and success. Still, we suppose the show could also explore the exploits of his oldest son, Prince Albert Victor, who was once caught up in a scandal involving a homosexual brothel. Albert Victor died before his father, so it was his second son who would become King George V. He ruled for over 25 years, including throughout World War I—a time of rapid social and political change in Europe.
George V also fathered two sons who would go on to be king. The first, Edward VIII, of course famously abdicated after less than a year on the throne to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson (whose story was touched on during early seasons of The Crown). The second was George VI, who reigned throughout World War II and fathered QEII.
It’s certainly a rich time in English history, though aside from the scandalous abdication of Edward, the characters don’t have quite as much pop culture appeal as the modern Royal Family. There wouldn’t, for example, be a character whose debut was as widely waited-for as Princess Diana’s.
Still, if it proves a success, there are literally centuries of British Monarchy history left for Netflix to explore. Should they ever run out of material, we suppose they could begin exploring the monarchies of Spain or France in The Crown-style, too.