Gillian Anderson's refusal to return to 'The Crown' causes major script changes and production chaos

Gillian Anderson's refusal to return to 'The Crown' causes major script changes and production chaos
Gillian Anderson attends the 73rd Primetime Emmys Celebration of 'The Crown' at Soho House on September 19, 2021, in London, England (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Season 6 of the Netflix series 'The Crown' has already sparked debate for its portrayal of Princess Diana's fatal car accident in 1997. However, the show's creators had to revise the scripts after 54-year-old Gillian Anderson, who played Margaret Thatcher in previous seasons, decided not to reprise the role. She gave an award-winning performance in season 4 of the series. Thatcher appeared in an episode of the show that covered Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's fiftieth wedding anniversary, and the producers had hoped to include her character in future episodes.

A TV insider stated that Gillian was a major addition to 'The Crown' and her portrayal of Thatcher was hailed with global critical acclaim. She was supposed to appear in sequences involving the golden wedding, but owing to schedule conflicts, that has not been possible. Nevertheless, it's been another setback for producers in what's already been a rather tenacious production. "As always with the series, brilliant scripting will guarantee audiences will walk away none the wiser," the insider said.


Need to 'prepare' yourself for 'Obsession' on Netflix? Here are 5 modern erotic-thrillers to get going

'Thicker Than Water' Review: Netflix crime-thriller promises chilling, mind-bending, and unpredictable plot

'The Crown' scripts revised after Gillian Anderson's refusal to reprise her role

In the original screenplay, The Queen and Prince Philip were to be seen sitting on golden thrones for supper with notable guests such as Baroness Thatcher, Princess Anne, and The Queen Mother in attendance. During the dinner, the Duke of Edinburgh made a statement about their long-lasting marriage, stating that tolerance is essential for a marriage to work.


The dinner took place on November 19, three months after Princess Diana's passing. The action then takes place at a second meal that was initially scheduled for November 20 by the producers. Imelda Staunton, 67, acts out The Queen's "strong and stay" speech in reference to The Duke, who is played by Jonathan Pryce, 75. "He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years," Her Majesty remarked of her husband. "I, and his entire family, and this and many other nations, owe him a debt bigger than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know." Due to Baroness Thatcher's absence from the second dinner, Anderson's appearance was deemed unnecessary for filming.

'The Crown' has wide popularity

Gillian Anderson dated Peter Morgan, the creator of 'The Crown', from 2016 until 2020, and they are still close friends. 'The Crown' has garnered immense popularity since its premiere in 2016. It depicts the life of Queen Elizabeth II, and the various political and personal challenges she faced during her reign. As of now, the show has been watched by 73 million Netflix accounts worldwide.


Originally, the show was supposed to end after its fifth season, but due to the overwhelming response from fans and the intricate plotlines, a sixth season was added to the series. The show's success has solidified its place as one of Netflix's most beloved and acclaimed shows.

Share this article:

 Gillian Anderson's refusal to return to 'The Crown' causes major script changes and production chaos