Netflix’s beloved royal drama The Crown will be ending sooner than expected. The streaming service announced via Twitter Friday that the show will be ending with its fifth season, meaning we’ve got two more seasons of content to go. They also took the opportunity to announce that Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter, Vera Drake) will be succeeding Olivia Colman in her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth during the show’s fifth season. Staunton, honestly, is the perfect choice to play Diana-era-onward Elizabeth, given her often severe and nuanced approach to interpreting stately characters.
Staunton says she’s been a longtime fan of the show, stating, “I have loved watching The Crown from the very start. As an actor it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan’s scripts.”
Both actors have received widespread acclaim for their portrayals of Queen Elizabeth on the show. In 2017, Foy took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama, then in 2018 followed up with an Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on the show. Colman, then, won the 2019 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama (just a year after she won both an Oscar and Golden Globe for playing another real-world British queen). Needless to say, the production team on The Crown is extremely good at casting, so we’re eager to see what Staunton brings to the table … and how many awards she’s given for it.
Series creator Peter Morgan has said he’s eager to see how Staunton would be “taking The Crown into the 21st century,” meaning we can anticipate seeing a lot of wild events in British royal history in the coming two seasons: Elizabeth’s annus horribilis controversy, the death of Princess Diana, several health problems for the queen, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage, and maybe even Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s (and, consequently, “Megxit”). There’s a lot of content to draw on, meaning the show could theoretically go on forever. Instead, Morgan wants to stop while he’s ahead: “At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop.”
You can check out our review of The Crown’s stellar third season by TV Editor Allison Keene over here.