All hail the new queen! Imelda Staunton will portray Queen Elizabeth II in the final seasons of ‘The Crown’ – and here’s the first look of her as the British monarch.
Cue up “God Save The Queen” and “Rule, Britannia!” on your playlists. Netflix unveiled the first look of Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II on Friday (July 30), giving fans of The Crown a preview of what they can expect in the final two seasons of the hit show. Much like the actual British Royal line of succession, Imelda, 65, has inherited the role after Claire Foy and Olivia Colman portrayed the monarch in seasons 1-2 and 3-4, respectively. “An early glimpse of our new Queen Elizabeth II, Imelda Staunton,” The Crown’s official account captioned the shot of Imelda, showing her looking closer to the modern-day Queen Elizabeth II.
Most fans will recognize Imelda from the Harry Potter franchise. She portrayed Dolores Umbridge in The Order of the Phoenix and both Deathly Hallows films. She’s also had prominent roles in the Paddington movies, Maleficent and Vera Drake, the latter earning her an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. “I have loved watching The Crown from the very start,” Imelda said in January 2020 statement after it was announced that she would take over the role of Queen Elizabeth. “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.”
“I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion,” she added. At the time, it was thought that The Crown would end with Season 5 instead of the six that series creator Peter Morgan had hoped for. But, Netflix changed its mind and granted the show a sixth and final season. “As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story, we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons,” he said in a July 2020 statement, per Harper’s Bazaar.
Lesley Manville will portray Princess Margaret, taking over the role from Helena Bonham Carter. Jonathan Pryce will portray Prince Philip, while Elizabeth Debicki will portray Princess Diana, taking over for Emma Corrin.
The Crown will end the story in the early 2000s, so the drama surrounding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not make an appearance on the Netflix show. “As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story, we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons,” Morgan said in a statement, per Deadline. “To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present-day—it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.”
That doesn’t mean there won’t be some drama – this is the British royal family, after all. Season 5 will reportedly cover the infamous 1995 Panorama interview between Princess Diana and Martin Bashir. This was the interview where Diana revealed Charles’s affair with Camila Parker Bowles and said, “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”